This is one I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while… a hothouse with amped up mutations, and an environment tweaked to drive the forces of natural selection into overdrive. An insectoid, microbial, vegetative piranhasphere. An evolutionary fast-breeder for creating new and useful monsters.
Which is obviously as good an excuse as any to dig up this clip again, which is not connected in any way.
So anyway, something that’s turned up recently is a Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering machine, which as far as I can gather is this concept operating at a microbial level – though I’m not sure if this isn’t just a mass-mutation creator rather than a sphere where competition actually happens – “instead of trying to directly create double-mutants, Wang and Farren’s approach produced hundreds, even thousands of mutations simultaneously, resulting in billions of different strains. Because lycopene colours cells red, the researchers simply selected the brightest bacteria.”
Still. A step on the way I think. Combine this with the machine in Wales that can perform its own experiments, and we could well wind up with something… well, utterly ungovernable.