Human Engineering: How far can we take it?

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  1. #1
    EDR
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    Question Human Engineering: How far can we take it?

    Currently, we've yet to make a child with a certain hair color ASFAIK. But I imagine that's just around the corner. But how far do you think Human Engineering can go in the farther away future? Do you think it's possible to give humans gills or the ability to hold their breath for an hour. Or to give everybody genius level intelligence? Or to fly, to give mankind wings?!? Do you think someday we'll do it? I hope so, that would be an amazing future.


    *sigh* I need to stop watching X-men...

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    Bios Raider biosninja's Avatar
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    If you can dream it, you can do it


    *edit*
    as soon as they figure out human dna
    The knack of flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    It will be a long time before we could genetically engineer a person to hold their breath for an hour. (if that's even possible without gross deformation)

    Given that we don't even know the structure of the proteins created by each gene, and are a mile away from being able to model protein-protein interactions accurately...its a looooong way off before we can start building complex functionality into the genome.

    What we could do is use stat-analysis that says x percentage of people with y characteristics have z genes, and that technique could perhaps be used to enhance the probability of intelligence, (if of course people could agree what intelligence was and what a good test for it is). That may or may-not be feasable depending on how complex the interactions of different genes are, and how much experimentation would be needed: Who would volunteer their child for genetic experimentation that could go distasterously wrong?

    I suspect that modification with technology will be feasable before completely genetic control is.
    Last edited by Clyde; 05-20-2003 at 05:21 AM.

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    Registered User GoodStuff's Avatar
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    Re: Human Engineering: How far can we take it?

    Originally posted by EDR
    Do you think it's possible to give humans gills or the ability to hold their breath for an hour. Or to give everybody genius level intelligence? Or to fly, to give mankind wings?!? Do you think someday we'll do it? I hope so, that would be an amazing future.
    Flying not without gross deformations. You'd need a huge breastbone, with bones light as anything, enourmous muscles for the wings, serious gene-editing to get the feathers, an extremely high metabolism and a diet of mostly sugars at enourmous rates...

    A flying human won't be very human anymore.

    Hold breath for hour... I don't see why not. Either put in equipment to lower metabolic rate at will, or an organ that stores oxygen extremely efficiently. Or re-engineer entire biological system to be able to use another process than oxydation of carbon for fuel. Sure, why not?

    Genius level intelligence... Maybe. Intelligence still very hard to pin down. Many differing types of intelligence. And make someone too intelligent and they might go insane. (By our standards). Or make the ultimate genius - and then he's bored out of his skull because we are so primitive.

    The future is the future. Who knows what tomorrow holds? We can but wait and see.

    Gus
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    Pursuing knowledge confuted's Avatar
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    Wow, this seems like a thread that Ethic would have started :P Anyway, I think we're still a few years away from having mutant babies being born, and the simple changes will obviously come first...if legislation doesn't stop it first. However, it will happen somewhere, with or without laws.

    Who would volunteer their child for genetic experimentation that could go distasterously wrong?
    More than you probably want to hear about. Some people want a super baby. Some people want the "honor" of having their kid to be the first to be genetically engineered. Some people wouldn't have any ethical concerns about it. Some people would just accept any embryo via in vitro if it meant that they could have a kid... When the technology is ready, there will be a waiting list of people who want it.
    Away.

  6. #6
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    Ethically, there are a lot of issues that will be raised. If the technology exists for parents to determine the traits of their child, some people will do just that. It wouldn't be more than a few generations before a genetically engineered super race dominates the weaker naturally born humans. Hitler's sick dream could become a reality if we are not careful.

    At the same time, people will say it is not fair to be forced to have genetically unmodified children when there is a high risk that that child will develop a dehabilitating hereditary disease. I am pretty sure that if the technology develops enough for this people will eventually support genetic engineering for this purpose. This will lead to a greater acceptance of genetic engineering for purely aesthetic reasons and then to "life-advantage" reasons.

    I'm sure humanity will adapt to the new circumstances as it always has before.

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    Who would volunteer their child for genetic experimentation that could go distasterously wrong?
    *raises hand* ooo ooo ooo pick me pick me! over here in the corner over here pick me!

    I don't know how long it'd take to be able to do that type of stuff but it seems like if we can get a complete understanding of how human dna works (which might take centuries) then it seems it'd be possible

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