Gene strands are used for purchasing [[Upgrades|upgrades]] that provide various bonuses. Gene Strands and Gene Strand upgrades are not lost after attacking a planet.
Unspent Gene Strands provide a 1% increase to global [[BPS]].
This can be increased to 2% by researching Schroedinger's Gene at the [[Dark Matter Institute]].
New Gene Strands can be obtained by killing a percentage of a planet's population.
When entering a [[Black Hole]], Gene Strand upgrades are lost, but the unspent Gene Strands are transformed into Dark Matter.