The story is partly from the point of view of one child not as smart as his enhanced peers. They are only built to last till their teens then they die. The slow child is helped to survive by one of the scientists who feels sorry for him.
He continues to create music and tools to help mankind. One the the smart children creates some sort of liquid to pass on their enhanced genetics to the average person before she dies. The slow child escapes and passes it to a poor Indian girl living on the street.
It makes her crazy she forms a death cult. Somehow they end up in space at some point I think they become so advanced they turn into a form of conscious light or something. That's all I can remember.
I think I read it in the late 90s early 00s but I don't know when it was published. The cover was black with a planet or space on it.