Bioware, a subset of biotechnology, is the field of science dedicated to to improving the human machine on an organic level and a macrobiological scale. That is, bionetics research seeks to improve the body's many existing organs and subsystems by enhancing and augmenting them. Although the application of bionetics can make the body perform far beyond its original parameters, these enhancements are quite different from those possible through cybernetics. The metal and silicon of cybernetics is stronger and faster than flesh, but flesh is more malleable. Meat is by far the the subtler, and infinitely more diverse, medium. Think of bioware as biological cyberware. Bioware represents the pinnacle of modern medical technology, but it's still in the testing stages. Below are some examples of the bioware available on the street.
Platelet factories - Platelet factories increase the body's ability to handle damage. By selective enhancement, thrombocyte (platelet) within the bone marrow is increased to a high level, resulting in the formation of "platelet factories."
Symbiotes - Symbiotes consist of a number of tailored microorganisms (nanites) that are introduced into the host subject's bloodstream. They so dramatically enhance the body's own regenerative functions that the host's natural healing time is reduced for physical and mental trauma.
Synthacardium - Synthacardium boosts the heart's ability to handle increased levels of activity. Synthacardium consists of artifically enhanced myocardium, the muscle tissue that makes up the heart. When added to the structure of the heart, it enables the organ to perform at higher levels of strenuous activity with ease.
Orthoskin - Orthoskin weaves an energy-diffusing material under the skin that gives th recipient the equivalent of personal armor. The transformation of skin into orthonskin is an extensive process. The indvidual's skin is peeled back section by section, and the body's dermal layer is fortified by grafts of sythagen (a strengthened and reinforced collagen-protein derivative), flextin (a synthetic and more resilient form of the elastin protein), and flakes of modified and laced cartilage.
Tailored pheromones - It is possible to alter an individual's main sweat glands so that they will release a discreet levels of specially designed pheromones into the surrounding air. Only a few molecules of the pheromone are required to trigger the effect, but now matter how low the concentration of secreted pheromone, all persons in the area of dispersion are affected equally. Dispersion is largely dependent on atmospheric conditions. Under average conditions (an open area with little or no wind), the area of effect extends from the source of the released pheromones in a circle whose diameter is approximately 15-20 meters.
Adrenal pump - The adrenal pump is a small, muscular sac implanted in the lower abdominal cavity and connected to each of the suprarenal (or adrenal) glands. When dormant, the pump concentrates and serves as a reservoir for the hormones adrenaline and noradrenline. When activated, the sac contracts, sending a surge of concentrates into the bloodstream. Stress and other emotional states such as anger, fear, or lust will also activate the pump.
Suprathyroid gland - The suprathyroid gland is a regulating gland that is grown, then implanted on top of the thyroid gland in the body. This suprathyroid gland supercedes the metabolic functions of the thyroid, optimizing catabolism (the breakdown of complex substances, such as starches into sugars) and anabolism (the chemical conversion of substances, such as the construction of complex sugars) within the body. The altered metabolism produces more energy and effectively supercharges the recipient.
Toxin extractor - As the main site of catabolism, or the breakdown of complex substances in the body, the liver is the prime site of defense against potentially toxic compounds and drugs. The toxin extractor is a specially cultivated cluster of cells implanted in the liver to greatly improve the efficiency and to expand the spectrum of catabolic activity. Potential toxins that make their way into the bloodstream are filtered out in the liver, and, with the aid of the extractor, are broken down into harmless fragments and then expelled.
Pathogenic defense - The pathogenic defense augmentation involves an enhancement of the spleen, spearheading the production of more effective and aggressive leukocytes, or white blood cells. These cells are then released into the bloodstream to combat disease and infection.
Cerebral booster - Boosting the brain via a cerebral booster involves the introduction of additional nervous tissue, along with convolutions and gyri (ridges and furrows), into the frontal lobes of the cerebrum. The extra cells and increased surface area improve the efficiency of cognitive and other higher-level functions of the brain.
Damage compensator - The implanted ribbons of transmissive nerve fiber that form the compensator bypass the safety-inhibitors that would normally prevent individuals from functioning while injured. Damage compensators allow the host bodies to act while suffering from physical and/or mental trauma. Compensators do not block the actual damage, only the neurological and physiological effects of shock and fatigue on the body.
Bioware and organic modifications are perfect vehicles for optimizing human/meta-human body performance without straying too far from nature's original course. As good as the human body is, it definitely falls short of perfection in terms of design and execution. And no matter how intricate and capable bioware becomes, there will always be many things that the body cannot, and was never intended to do. Cybernetics bridges the gap between intent and function. With silicon and steel, man can achieve goals only dreamt of in ages past. Cyberware is not limited by the parameters of flesh. If it can be built, it can be implemented. Some examples of cyberware are below.
Bone lacing - Bone lacing is a lengthy and expensive process in which the cellular structure of the subject's bones is augmented with lattice chains of reinforcing plastics and metals to improve bone's integrity and tensile strength.
Hydraulic jack - When installed in standard cyberleg replacements, a hydraulic jack dramatically increases leaping capability.
Memory - Advances in computer microtechnology and high-density optical chemistry have made internal memory more "Essence-friendly", with a relatively small increase in its monetary cost. All memory is a first-in-first-filed (FIFF) architecture that fills all avilable space to ensure the fullest possible use of existing memory. As data accumulates, however, it takes longer to sift through the memory banks to retrieve requested information. System load delay (SLD) can be calculated using the simple formula SLD = MpU/250 (MpU is the number of megapulses used). System load is measured in turns. As internal memory is intrinsically faster than the memory used to produce skillsofts, it is generally recommended that skillsoft users upload them into internal memory to reduce the amount of delay time. Installation of an I/O subprocessor unit can also reduce SLD.
Datajack - As cybertechnology and cyberware has grown in sophitistication, so has the ubiquitous datajack. An improved datajack can now increase performance levels by increasing the data flow rate (DFR), measured in megapulses per turn. Once a datajack has been installed, the user will still need an I/O control device (an encephalon or I/O subprocessor) implanted before he gains full access to all internal memory and headware peripherals. Information can be uploaded, downloaded, and otherwise manipulated at a rate equal to the datajack's DFR.
Softlink - Designed to replace the outdated chipjack, a softlink contains all the necessary hardware for the human brain to interpret and utilize skillsofts and datachips, though using Active skillsofts still requires the installation of skillwire systems.
Skillsoft - Memories on a chip. When used in conjunction with the proper headware and bodyware, skillsofts allow users to know and do things they never learned themselves. Because a skillsoft's "memory imaging" encoding differs from actual memories or learned experiences the user may already have, the skillwire system must override the user's own reflexes, abilities and memories, forcing him to rely on encoded capabilities.
Tactical computer - A tactical computer is a dedicated system designed to keep track of all relevant combat data. If the subject's senses cannot provide the appropriate information, the computer may not be able to make the correct decisions.
Chemical analyzer - The chemical analyzer is usually implanted in the tounge or fingertip. This device requires a small sample of the compound to be analyzed in order to determine the chemical composition. When used by itself the chemical analyzer will only provide the raw chemical breakdown or composition. In conjunction with a chemical reference program the analyzer will also provide common and/or industrial compound names, and will prepare a short precis on the application and properties of the material.
Gene therapy alters the body's genes for improvement. Marketable gene-tech usually comes in three varieties: treatments, microbiologicals and macrobiologicals. Microbiologicals is the cheapest and most common method. Some gene therapy examples provided below.
Immunization - Immunization therapy extends a permanent immunity to a single disease or compound. This differs from standard monoclonal antibody treatment in that this procedure uses the actual hybridomas (the source of specific monoclonal antibodies) rather than just the antibodies they produce. Immunization is a relatively simple and painless process of injecting specially tailored hybridomas into an individual's bloodstream. After a one-month incubation period, that person is immune to the effects of the particular disease or compound for which he was treated. Higher doses or mutated strains may overwhelm the body and prove ineffective.
Leonization - Named after Ponce de Leon, the legendary seeker of the fountain of youth, Leonization repairs the cellular damage that accompanies the natural aging process. This gene therapy program involves making an initial genetic probe of the subject and then preparing a nanite "bath" matched to the subject's genome. Once immersed in the nutrient solution, the body is placed in a trance-like state while the nanites go about their job of rejuvenating aged cells. This process usually takes four months to complete and is relatively fast as far as system-wide gene therapy is concerned.
Antibac - Until the year 2041 the standard treatment for bacterial infections and disease were antibiotics such as amoxil, penicillin, and so forth. Though antibiotics kill the bacteria, they do not remove the endotoxins already released into the bloodstream by the bacteria. Antibac protects the body from bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream) and endotoxic shock (the poisoning of the bloodstream by chemicals secreted by pathogenic bacteria).
Zeta-interferon - In cases of viral outbreaks, mammalian cells will normally produce interferons, the name given to three types of proteins (each with numerous variants). Interferons stimulate virally infected cells to synthesize other proteins that inhibit viral replication, slowing down and sometimes stopping the spread of infection. Zeta-interferons is a gengineered derivative of naturally occuring interferons. Highly specific in nature, each z-interferon is tailored to combat a single virus or strain. Z-interferon completely halts viral replication, and the cells are quickly destroyed.
Doom - Doom is an insidious example of how monoclonal antibody technology can be dangerously abused. Gengineered doom antibodies seek out and bond to body tissue. Each doom unit has a radioactive isotope (Bismuth-212) attached to the antibody "vehicle". Bismuth-212 decays by alpha radiation, the emission of alpha particles (helium nuclei). The energy of anti particles is high enough to kill any cell it passes through and has a penetration level of about ten cells. Doom destroys the surface layers of muscle tissue. As soon as the dead tissue has been removed by the body's own waste-disposal system, doom proceeds to attack and destroy layers underneath. This will, theoretically, continue until there is no muscle tissue left, but in most affected creatures death usually occurs before that can happen.
Gamma-anthrax - Gamma-anthras is a mutated strain of the already deadly anthracosis bacillus, and is lethal if left untreated. After incubation, g-anthrax manifests as cold-like symptoms, becoming a fulminating pneumonia as disease progresses.
Chemistry, like genetics, is a field of science with vast potential. Elemental in nature, chemistry affects the basic "stuff" of physical creation, making it a force of nature that can be channeled by man. Examples available on the street below.
Carcerands - Carcerands are molecular bodies whose structures resemble empty spheres. Carcerands are used to release chemicals into an organism over a period of time.
Dikote - Dikote is a process that deposits a thin diamond film over any solid surface. Small volumes of methane gas are mixed with large volumes of hydrogen gas, then subjected to power beams of microwave energy. This creates a plasma, a super-hot gas in which all atoms are ionized. The plasma is then passed over the cooler solid target, forming a diamond film as the gases condense on the surface. The film imports much more structural strength and resilience to conventional materials.
DMSO - Though dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a utility chemical with a number of applications, its most common use is as a carrier that forces the skin to absorb delivered chemicals. Upon contact with skin, DMSO, and whatever else is dissolved in solution with it, is instantly absorbed into the body. DMS is used to deliver many biological and chemical agents.
Ruthenium polymers - The existence of chemicals that change colors under mutable physical conditions have been known for some time. Ruthenium polymers are exceptional cases because of their wide spectrum of colors, which can be altered easily by changing the polymer's chemical composition. Polymers can be applied in layers of less than .1 micron thick, making it possible to apply the polymers to any surface without loss of flexibility and function. With the recent wedding of ruthenium-polymer technology to modern imaging technology has come about the "chameleon cloaking technology". Chameleon technology involves scanning environmental conditions and processing the data through and imaging processor. The processed data is then fed to the ruthenium-polymer surface and results in a "corrected" image of the environment - minus the cloaked object.