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In 2040 A.D. severe overpopulation and the desire to conquer uninhabited territories lead to the development of a permanent settlement on Antarctica, the icy continent recognised as a new nation a decade later.
More than a century later the Antarcticans are thriving in their homeland much to the bemusement of the rest of the world. The United Nations arranges for a diplomatic mission to find out how the natives have adapted to their harsh environment.
Researchers find that years ago one of the communities discovered a sugar called trehalose which protects Antarctic organisms from the extreme cold. It shields them by forming a protective layer keeping cellular structures in place, hence preventing death by intracellular damage.
Isolating the genetic code for trehalose production, they have developed a system for introducing it into human DNA via artificial wombs so that new inhabitants are born with the ability to synthesise it. This mechanism has ensured their continued survival.
Antarctic Futures was developed in response to a brief investigating the future of Mankind, identifying key drivers of change to generate design proposals for a sustainable future.