Who Are We?

The Far Out Initiative is a Public Benefit Biotechnology Company focused on developing technological solutions to the problem of involuntary suffering in human and non-human animals. We endeavor to accelerate the rate at which new – and old – scientific discoveries are translated into scalable altruistic interventions that can be rapidly implemented and disseminated through market-based strategies.

The Good News

In 2019, scientists discovered a woman with a new form of congenital pain insensitivity that left her virtually immune not only to physical pain but to psychological pain as well.

Unlike other forms of congenital pain insensitivity, her condition left her blissfully unaffected by fear, sadness, anger, anxiety, and grief. She is also free of the frequent injuries and early childhood self-mutilation behaviors that make other forms of congenital pain insensitivity so pathological and dangerous.

Her pain-sensing neurons work, but she does not generate intrinsically unpleasant experiential qualities in response to the signals they send her brain.

Her syndrome remained unknown to her until she was well into her sixth decade of life, in contrast to other forms of congenital pain insensitivity that make themselves known immediately due to their disastrous consequences.

The Path

On May 24th, 2023, University College London released its landmark paper investigating the molecular basis of this strange new pain insensitivity syndrome titled "Molecular Basis of FAAH-Out Associated Pain Insensitivity," in which it was revealed that this "Feel Good Syndrome" was caused by two simple genetic mutations affecting the FAAH Platform: a less active SNP of the FAAH gene and an 8KB micro-deletion at the beginning of the FAAH-OUT pseudo-gene, which lead to a drastic increase in anandamide ("the bliss molecule").

These two generic differences had a downstream impact on many genes, but only a handful of these changes were identified as relevant to physical and psychological suffering. Chief among them were the downregulation of ACKR3 - an endogenous opioid scavenger - and the upregulation of BDNF - a nerve growth factor known to impact depression and anxiety.

This "Feel Good Syndrome" could be replicated using gene editing technologies like CRISPR in humans and livestock animals. Moreover, it could plausibly be reproduced pharmacologically using already existing inhibitors of FAAH (which substantially boost anandamide and BDNF) and ACKR3.

These premises formed the basis upon which The Far Out Initiative developed the suffering abolitionist research program we are now pursuing.

[Update: based on the early research considerations and deeply appreciated community input, we have made important observations and decided on a few adjustments to our roadmap - in line with the suffering abolitionist mission and vision, as well as preserving the sufficiently narrowed down scope of activities and planned interventions. More detailed update should be available soon. In the meantime, we would like to express our gratitude for important feedback and continued support.]

Our Dual Strategy

The Far Out Initiative intends to address the problem of involuntary suffering through the Anandaimonia project for humans and the Ananda Lines to help non-human animals who suffer immensely due to factory farming. We intend to realize them in collaboration with other altruistic contributors and projects, and we welcome serendipituous collaborations to occur.

The Anandaimonia Project

The Anandaimonia Project is our human-directed research and intervention effort to solve the most chronic and acute forms of human suffering thanks to targeting the genetic basis of physical and psychological pain. “Anandaimonia,” intended as a term for the maximally beneficial versions of intentionally induced “Cameron Syndrome,” was coined by Marcin Kowrygo in 2023. It constitutes a portmanteau of “ananda” (a Sanskrit word translated as “bliss, delight, joy” that gave a name to anandamide, an antinociceptive neurotransmitter degraded by FAAH) and “eudaimonia,” a Greek word meaning “happiness, well-being.” This combination emphasizes how an ethically-aligned technological intervention may lead to sustainable human flourishing, which we want to promote directly and through the beneficial (e.g. prosocial) secondary effects of the intervention.

We plan to test the effectiveness of two genetic interventions and one multi-drug pharmacological intervention against a broad range of physical and psychological pain conditions in the highly liberal regulatory atmosphere of a special economic zone.

The Ananda Lines

The Far Out Initiative has already taken the early steps to pursue our Ananda Lines research program - a plan to produce lines of gene-edited ("precision bred") livestock animals with the profound resistance to physical and psychological suffering that comes with this newly discovered syndrome. Factory farming results in suffering of inconceivable magnitude that must be addressed as soon as possible.

The edits we are researching do not require us to introduce species-foreign genes. In consequence, the lines of livestock animals produced through these edits would not be classified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) according to the new and more scientifically informed regulatory paradigm, emerging globally and already fully in place in the UK, Brazil, and several other nations. The "precision bred" classification of Ananda Lines livestock animals would give the possibility of affecting the meat markets by replacing meat produced from tormented animals with much less ethically concerning meat produced from animals with a profound resistance to physical and psychological suffering.

Links to relevant regulations and legislation are included in our "Further Reading" section.

Our Team

Acting CEO, Marcin Kowrygo (marcin@faroutinitiative.com)  

Director of Bioethics, David Pearce (david@faroutinitiative.com)

President, Aatu Koskensilta (aatu@faroutinitiative.com)

Founder, Michael Sparks (founder@faroutinitiative.com)

CTO, Dr. Adam Summerfield (adam.summerfield@faroutinitiative.com)

Director of Media, Sergio Tarrero (sergio@faroutinitiative.com)  

Chief Advisor, Manu Hérran (manu@faroutinitiative.com)

Logistics Officer, Adam J. Davis (adam.davis@faroutinitiative.com)  

Technical Researcher, Zack Eagleton (zack@faroutinitiative.com)  

Media Liaison, Barbara Sparks (barbara@faroutinitiative.com)

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