02 July 2005

How Do You Make a Next Level Human?

Realistically, changing present day humans to next level humans is going to require genetic manipulation. Some genetic sequences that are active will need to be turned off, some sequences that are dormant will have to be turned on, and other sequences will probably have to be cycled on and off over certain intervals of time. Living a long time will be a fine balancing act if we do not want to initiate malignant tumors on a frequent basis.

Nanotechnology may provide us with temporary measures, in terms of keeping blood vessels clear, delivering selective toxins to tumors, cleaning out metabolic waste products that interfere with normal cell metabolism, and other cellular housekeeping chores.

Neither genetic therapy nor nanotechnology are at a stage that will allow transitioning to the next level. There will be stopgaps, such as stem cell therapies, which may be available much sooner. These therapies should allow organ transplants and crude regenerative treatments for many body tissues. Scientists will also learn much more about tissue growth factors and various low level hormones that affect health on a cellular level. Standard pharmaceuticals will become safer and better targeted to the body systems that need treatment. Nutritional science will learn better means of tissue support.

If you are over the age of forty, particularly if you smoke and are sedentary and obese, you probably won't see many of the advances listed above in time to be of help. If you are thirty or under, and take very good care of your body, the chances of excellent that you will see most or all of those advances, and will probably benefit from at least tissue growth factors and some cell therapies.

Within the next fifty years, geneticists will probably be able to design an embryo's genetics using gene segments from several different humans, choosing among them for the very best combination. Embryos will likely be grown in artificial wombs. This may happen on a lab in international waters, or in an orbiting lab outside any national jurisdiction. Or it may become commonplace in your neighborhood genetics lab.

Humans have long wished for freedom from death and disease, for more strength, more intelligence. That wish is within our sight if not our grasp. For it to become real, we have to do our jobs.

Civilisation itself is under threat from stone aged religious and ideological reactionaries. These enemies of the future cannot be allowed to prevent humanity from making that transition to the next level. Perhaps we can make it that far, but if not, our children surely can. We have to hold off the enemy long enough to allow our scientists and engineers to create the pathway to the next level. We do not want to fail.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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