My personal thanks to kwolph, the unidentified fellow who was nice enough to stop by and forward me the link to this rather interesting infographic. Courtesy of the Keithley Center, which designs electronic systems for measurement and analysis, this infographic shows how advances in nanotechnology might aid us in reinventing and augmenting the human body.
These include augmenting our brain chemistry by either delivering drugs directly to our receptors (which can include anti-depressants, stimulants, or pain killers), or the more audacious approach of enhancing our thought pattens and memory by actively building and repairing neural tissue. As such, things like mental illness, brain injuries and trauma could be overcome at last.
In addition, there’s plenty of enhancing our hearts, lungs, reinforcing our bones, repairing muscle tissue, enhancing our eyes, reflexes, strength, endurance. And, as they point out, by virtue of the female model, the scourge of breast cancer, which effects one in eight women, could be be wiped out. No mother’s or young women dying before their time anymore!
And of course, other entirely too common ailments, heart disease, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and every form of degenerative disease, could be nipped in the bud either through regular maintenance of the bodily tissues, or by correcting the fault at the genetic level.
There’s really no limit to what programmable nanomachines could do, once the technology was realizable of course. And above all, proven to be safe and effective. And since it would mean that human beings no longer would be subject to disease or degenerative conditions (a la aging), lives could be extended indefinitely, which is part and parcel of the whole “transhuman”, “posthuman” and “postmortal” concept.
Naturally, they used the image of a very pretty young woman for the display. Had it been a man I’m guessing they would have gone with a six foot tall dude with washer board abs and only 1 percent body fat. Why can’t they ever use a porked out old dude with man boobs? That’s what I’d like to know? Well, for one, such regular individuals don’t exactly inspire confidence in the consumer market, do they?
8 thoughts on ““How Nanotech Could Reengineer Us.””
It sounds interesting, but I can’t help but think of all the things that could go wrong with this sort of tech. In fact, a few ideas are coming to mind as I write this comment.
You know despite the things that could go wrong, if it could produce a more effective means of liposuction or fat reduction,I would sign up for trial studies. I’m a little more comfortable with the idea of nanotech in my body than having a link to the internet in my head.
Me too! I’ll take tiny machines improving my body over permanent cybernetic implants any day.
What they should have done was had a display with a “porked out old dude with man boobs” on one half of the display and the re-engineered dude with the “wash board abs and 1 percent body fat” on the other half.
That’d work! Kind of like those awful supplement and anti-aging cream ads.
O.K. here’s the question? If we’re worried about overpopulation now – what happens when people can live forever? Or will it be only the rich – who can pay for all this who live forever?
Most likely. Like all modern advances, it threatens to widen the gap between rich and poor people, and nations. However, one of the leading causes of overpopulation is the need to ensure the continuation of families and have plenty of working hands due to high mortality rates and lack of resources. Something of this nature would actually go a long way to ensuring that is no longer the case.
I’m not sure about the overpopulation part. Cultural and biological imperatives are hard to overcome. On the other hand, maybe it would make us more accountable environmentally, since the potential of having to live with the side effects might be greater. Interesting post.