Ancient Technology Activation gene therapy is a procedure developed by Dr. Carson Beckett in which a human without the ATA gene can receive a retrovirus which allows them to use Ancient technology. The project was underway months before Beckett took his research with him into the Pegasus galaxy.
In the therapy, a mouse retrovirus is used to deliver the missing gene directly to the cells. This permits the user to initiate Ancient technology and run more sensitive equipment, such as a Puddle Jumper.
Starting in 2004, the Atlantis expedition began to employ the in vitro retroviral gene therapy to transfer the Ancient gene expression to humans. However, only about a 47-48% of those who undergo the procedure are rewarded with the ATA gene, and even then it is not always permanent. (SGA: "Hide and Seek", "The Tower")
After a Puddle Jumper was stolen during the Battle of M2S-445, McKay suggested that the Human-Wraith Hybrid Michael Kenmore may have come up with a gene therapy of his own that enabled him to use Ancient technology. While this is unconfirmed, Michael did later show the ability to control the stolen Puddle Jumper, indicating that this may in fact be the case. (SGA: "The Seed", "The Prodigal")
The gene therapy is only effective on those who already possessed the Ancient gene in a dormant state; they did have Ancient ancestors, but this specific generation has not manifested the natural gene, although they retained the genetic potential for it to be passed on to their children. (SGA: "Homecoming")
In 2009, Ladon Radim claimed that the Genii had discovered a way to introduce an active ATA gene into their population, but needed the gene therapy as the final piece. In exchange for the gene therapy, Ladon offered to send the Pride of the Genii to aid in protecting Atlantis from Queen Death's attack. While not sure if the Genii were telling the truth about the ability to introduce an active ATA gene with the help of the therapy, Richard Woolsey reluctantly agreed to grant them access to the gene therapy after confirmation was made of Queen Death's approaching fleet. (SGA: "Inheritors")
Carriers treated with gene therapyEdit
- Dr. Meredith Rodney McKay (SGA: "Hide and Seek")
- Col. Dillon Everett (SGA: "The Siege, Part 2")
- Some of Col. Everett's troops (SGA: "The Siege, Part 2")
- Lt. Morrison (SGA: "Misbegotten")
- Otho (SGA: "The Tower")
- Lt. Colonel Melissa Hocken (SGA: "Allegiance")