Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome was an artificial disease, accidentally created by Dr. Beverly Crusher aboard the USS Enterprise-D in 2370. Attempting to cure Lieutenant Reginald Barclay of Urodelan flu, Dr. Crusher used synthetic T-cells to activate the gene that would fight off the infection. However, an anomaly in Barclay's genetic structure caused the T-cell to mutate and activate all of Barclay's dormant genes, including his latent introns. Interaction with the Urodelan virus caused the T-cells to become airborne, spreading throughout the ship and causing the crew to "de-evolve." The syndrome was cured by using amniotic fluid to create a retrovirus, eliminating the effects.
Initial symptoms of the disease include abnormal behavior, irritability, hyper-activity or decreased activity, chills, fever and paranoia.
Ultimately, the newly active genes aggressively express themselves, drastically altering the body and causing the suffering patient to physically regress into an earlier form of his or her respective species, or possibly even a combined form of multiple animal types. (TNG: "Genesis")
List of victims
Though every lifeform aboard the Enterprise-D was affected, the following is a list of people actually shown to have been affected:
- Reginald Barclay: a spider-like creature
- Dern: had the syndrome, but was killed before mutation began
- Livingston: a jellyfish-like creature
- Alyssa Ogawa: an ape-like creature
- Jean-Luc Picard: nearly turned into a primitive primate (possibly similar to a lemur or pygmy marmoset)
- William T. Riker: an early hominid (Australopithecine)
- Spot: complete transformation into an iguana
- Deanna Troi: an amphibious humanoid
- Worf: a savage, primordial crustacean of the Klingon homeworld, capable of spewing acid