The DNA resequencer, also called the Genetic manipulation device, is a device that can alter the DNA of any human. People that had been "resequenced" could have genetic diseases cured or reach an ultra-extreme state of human advancement, granting them what appeared to be superhuman powers provided the operator knew how to create such effects. It is unknown exactly how powerful the device can make a person as it has never been seen used by an expert on the technology, however as it seems capable of altering any DNA, it is likely it can reach the absolute limit of human ability. (SG1: "Metamorphosis")

The device was used almost solely by the Goa'uld after it's original use by the Ancients to assist them in Ascension. The Goa'uld were attempting to use the machine to create humans with superpowers to take as hosts. A human in this advanced state is known as a "Hok'tar" (a Goa'uld slang combination of the words "hok" meaning advanced and "tau" meaning human). The Goa'uld were shown using the technology, however, they did not develop the technology. Samantha Carter hypothesized, and it was later confirmed, that it was technology built by the Ancients as its holographic display contains Ancient writing. Carter's theory was later proven when a replica of the device was used by Anubis, who obtained this technology from the Ancient knowledge he received when Oma Desala helped him to ascend. (SG1: "Metamorphosis", "Prototype", "Rite of Passage", "Full Circle", "Threads")

The device worked by altering a subject's DNA to any given form, which can do anything from increasing their brain activity from roughly 10% up to 90% or programming them to disintegrate after a set time depending on the wishes of the user and their understanding of the technology. After Jonas Quinn used the device, a tumor developed in his brain, which consisted of neurons which were five times more densely packed than normal. Depending on the length of time for which the machine was used, various people (solely due to the increased brain functionality), were shown to have Near ascension abilities such as telekinesis and telepathy, super-human senses and strength, supernatural health and self healing, perfect memory, and the power to heal by touch. Ascended beings possessed similar supernatural abilities of the same order but in far more extreme magnitudes and proficiency. Through extreme evolution, such as that provided by the DNA resequencer, a being could gradually acquire Ascended powers until genuinely Ascending themselves if this was the programming entered by the operator. This solidified the idea that Ascension was the evolutionary target of life. This also indicated that many of the Ancients may have possessed the abilities granted by the DNA resequencer and many may have used it to ascend rather than natural evolution. (SG1: "Maternal Instinct", "Metamorphosis", "Prophecy", "Prototype", "Frozen", "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2")

Technological uses[]

The DNA resequencer has various uses. The device is shown to scan a subject's physiology and DNA and then change it, allowing it to perform a multitude of tasks, both beneficial and harmful. Among other uses, the device was stated or shown to advance people's development, increase their neurological capabilities and improve their health. The Goa'uld Nirrti, also used the device to make people into biological time bombs. The main purpose, however, has been to advance humans, granting them extraordinary abilities and eventually ascension.

Advancing and ascending humans[]

The urban legend that the typical human brain is usually between 5 and 10 percent active at any given moment is true. The Ancients, in contrast, were more advanced and had brains that were at least 80-90 percent active. The DNA resequencer may have been a factor responsible for this. The alterations made by the machine evolve a human (or Ancient) to a state closer to that of ascension. Before ascension, as the user's brain evolved, their intelligence increased. It has also been shown that the user can obtain supernatural abilities. The machine can give the user increased health and regenerative abilities, a perfect memory, telekinesis and telepathy, the power to heal by touch, and super human senses and strength. In the case of Jonas Quinn, it gave him precognition. This may be the reason many, if not all, Ancients had these abilities. Several have demonstrated use of such abilities, but it is not known whether all Ancients possessed them. Once the device evolves someone to a state where their brain is 90% active, they can ascend. Many, if not all, Ancients already had astoundingly high mental capability and were able to ascend without the machine. If all Ancients were capable of ascending without the machine's functionality, the only uses for it would be those listed below. Otherwise, some may have used the machine to ascend. (SG1: "Frozen", "Prophecy", "Full Circle", "Prototype")

Other uses[]

Besides making super-advanced humans and ascending people, the machine was shown to have other uses. It is capable of giving people the Ancient Technology Activation gene and could be used to repair biological flaws in a person. This may be one reason the Ancients were shown to have had almost completely perfect health (excepting the plague they suffered in the Milky Way before the device was invented). Other contributing factors to their health could be their healing device or just their extreme state of evolution. However, many Ancients were evolved so far that they could ascend without the machine. (SG1: "Frozen", "Evolution, Part 1", "Evolution, Part 2", SGA: "Sanctuary")

The Ancients were researching and experimenting with ascension before they actually ascended. Research of this was actually found in Atlantis. Many have speculated that the DNA Resequencer may have been used as part of that research. SG-1 was able to use a subcomponent of the machine as a brain scanner (see Anubis use section for details). Another more destructive use of the machine is liquification of a person as demonstrated by Niriti. A time can be set within one's DNA by the DNA Resequencer for a person's body to turn into water. (SG1: "Metamorphosis", "Full Circle", "Threads", "Prototype", SGA: "Hide and Seek")

Additional factors[]

The Repository of knowledge contained a DNA resequencer that allowed O'Neill to use the healing powers of the Ancients after encountering it, which was used to heal Bra'tac. (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")

The Ancient Ayiana was known to possess the abilities to rapidly self-heal and to heal others by touch. Her neural scan showed that parts of her brain almost identically matched those of Cassandra Fraiser, after she had developed telekinetic abilities (as part of Nirrti's experimentation to create a Hok'tar prior to her discovery of the DNA Resequencer, and those of O'Neill, after he had the Repository of knowledge downloaded into his mind. Although not explained, it is possible the Ancient woman had used the DNA Resequencer or a similar technological method (such as the one Nirrti used on Cassandra). However, it is unlikely that she used the Repository of knowledge since she likely already possessed the knowledge it had to offer. It has been implied that Ancients reached an extremely advanced state without the aid of technology. She may not have needed technology to obtain her abilities. Since the scans of Cassandra and O'Neill matched those of the Ancient woman, logic dictates that they also matched each others. (SG1: "Rite of Passage", "Frozen")

Nirrti's use[]

The Goa'uld Nirrti, who SG-1 had encountered several times previously, somehow obtained a DNA resequencer and used it to manipulate the DNA of people living in a nearby village in an attempt to create more advanced humans. She eventually wanted to procure the most advanced host possible. At that time, most Goa'uld were not aware of ascension. In her experimenting, she planted time bombs in many of the people and caused extreme physical deformities resulting in disease and devastation. It is possible that she did not understand the technology and the deformities were caused by accident. She used the machine to give one man telekinesis and another was given telepathy. Samantha Carter commented that she could have given other powers to other villagers. She eventually wanted to take a host with all the powers the machine could provide her with or modify her current host to those standards. (SG1: "Rite of Passage", "Metamorphosis")

Once SG-1 was captured by the advanced beings Nirrti created, Nirrti began experimenting on them. After going through every member of SG-1 (and several members of the a Russian SG team that accompanied SG-1 on the mission), she began experimenting on Jonas Quinn. Not long after, she concluded she could make Jonas many times more powerful than anyone else she had experimented on. The reason for Jonas's advanced level was never stated, although when he first joined Stargate Command it was mentioned that he had a genius level intellect and was gifted with great abilities of learning and recall (for example, reading and memorizing all SGC mission briefings within days of his arrival). Additionally, one year later, Anubis commented that Jonas's physiology merited further experimentation. Whatever the reason for Jonas's advanced state, the show implied that Nirrti probably intended to take him as her host. (SG1: "Metamorphosis", "Homecoming")[1]

Afterwards, SG-1 convinced the genetically altered people that Nirrti was not actually trying to help them. A rebellion was incited and the telekinetic man choked Nirrti to death. The telepathic man, who had obtained the necessary knowledge from Nirrti to operate the DNA resequencer, restored his people to their original state. The device was soon after destroyed. (SG1: "Metamorphosis")

Anubis's use[]

On the planet P3X-584, a second device was discovered in a lab comprised of Ancient architecture, by SG-1 with an advanced Human/Goa'uld-Hybrid clone of Anubis, Khalek. There it seemed that Anubis produced a clone with virtually every characteristic of himself, even his personality and memories. Anubis then used the DNA resequencer to give Khalek extremely advanced human abilities.

It is unclear why Anubis created Khalek or whether he intended for him to ascend. The most plausible explanation came from Teal'c who commented that Anubis may have been trying to create a servant even more powerful than the Kull Warriors. However, if this were the case, it would have made little logical sense to give him the personality traits of Anubis as he would probably have been disloyal and evil (this is the opposite of the perfectly programmed Kull Warriors). Nevertheless, Khalek was so advanced and powerful that the Tau’ri were worried that he could ascend at any moment. After Khalek was found by SG-1 in the lab, he was captured and taken prisoner in the SGC. Extreme security measures were taken to prevent him from escaping. Guards were posted, force fields were erected, and a component of the DNA Resequencer was hooked up to monitor his physiology. The component, which Colonel Mitchel called the "ascendometer", was capable of displaying a subject's brain activity on a screen. Eventually Khalek attempted to escape causing damage to the SGC and killing several guards. However, he was killed in the attempt despite using many powers the DNA Resequencer gave him. Despite all his powers, the writers clearly did not make him invincible. The DNA Resequencer used to advance Khalek was captured by earth. They later used information gathered on the device and on Khalek to create a weapon to fight the Priors; an ultrasonic pulse which disables a Prior's abilities. (SG1: "Evolution, Part 1", "Evolution, Part 2", "Prototype", "The Fourth Horseman, Part 1")

Atlantis variant[]

Main article: Ascension machine
Tao of Rodney

Rodney McKay in Atlantis' DNA resequencer

The Atlantis expedition discovered a chamber within the city that held a device that was capable of 'evolving' individuals that activated the device. The 'enhancements' would bring an ordinary human or Ancient to the brink of evolution where they would gain increased intelligence, telepathy, telekinesis as well as other similar abilities. These individuals would continue to evolve until their bodies would shut down as they were no longer capable of sustaining life functions. The participant would have a choice between dying or ascending with a minority of Ancients (that used the resequencer) achieving the latter. This was due to each persons DNA being unique and that a set sample of the original pre-evolved DNA sequence would need to be present in order to achieve a reversal of the devices effects.

The device appeared far different compared to the DNA Resequencer with a person standing on the platform being engulfed by a spiraling green form of energy. (SGA: "Tao of Rodney")

Comparison with other concepts[]

The Priors of the Ori demonstrate extraordinary abilities. The reason Priors possess their powers is the same reason that users of the DNA Resequencer have their abilities; highly upgraded physiology, particularly neurology. Priors are far more advanced than ordinary humans and are implied to be able use far more than 10 percent of their brains. The neurology of Priors and DNA Resequencer users were similar enough that Samantha Carter, Doctor Lee, and other scientists were able to use data on Khalek and the DNA Resequencer to create a weapon to disable a Prior's abilities. Despite the physiological similarities between the Priors and DNA Resequencer users, most Priors are not upgraded by technology. The Ori themselves can actually turn a human into a Prior almost instantly without the aid of any (visible) technology, though Adria's pendant is also able to give people these abilities. (SG1: "Avalon, Part 2", "Origin", "The Fourth Horseman, Part 1", "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2")

The Prior's abilities seem to be amplified by their staffs, whereas DNA Resequencer user's abilities are purely biological. It is unclear how much of the Prior's abilities are biological as opposed to technological. Many of their more advanced abilities, the ones that surpass DNA Resequencer users, appear to emanate from their staffs. For example, when a Prior induces a healing wave, the wave appears to originate from his staff. (SG1: "Avalon, Part 2", "The Powers That Be", "The Fourth Horseman, Part 1", "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2")

Behind the scenes[]

According to the DVD director's commentary of the episode "Metamorphosis", the prop actuality consists of three components. Two of these components are physical but the third is computer generated. The first component is a pedestal that rests on the floor. The actor would stand on the pedestal. This would draw attention to the actor using the device and was also a way to show that they were using it. Above the user was the second component, an orange globe. This was what appeared to be the technological part of the device (at least the first time the device appeared). (SG1: "Metamorphosis")

Later on in the editing process the third component was added, a computer generated energy field which appears to paralyze the user. Additionally, computer generated representations of DNA surround the user. It should be noted that the color scheme of the DNA surrounding the user was different when Jonas Quinn was in the machine. This is further indication that he is special in the Stargate universe (see Nirrti's use section).[1] It should also be noted that when the second DNA Resequencer was found in season nine, there was no orange globe above it. In addition, the computer generated DNA in the second device appeared far more dense and complicated then when it was displayed in the first device (see Anubis's use). (SG1: "Metamorphosis", "Prototype")


  1. 1.0 1.1 DVD extra - Directors Commentary on the Stargate SG-1 episode "Metamorphosis"

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