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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

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The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Monday, April 04, 2005

"Plant's Genetic Repairs Astound Scientists" -- Bio

"'Plant's Genetic Repairs Astound Scientists' by Joe Palca

"All Things Considered, March 23, 2005 · In a surprising finding that challenges the conventional rules of inheritance, scientists have shown that the cress plant arabidopsis can overwrite the genetic code it inherits from its parents and revert to that of its grandparents or even great grandparents. Scientists say they now hope to learn whether this is just an aberration, or something that could be happening in other plants and even animals."

Hmm. You know where this could prove to be [i]really[/i] important? If you read a book like Redesigning Humans you'll find out that we'll probably be able to modify the genes of embryoes to produce far stronger, smarter, faster, more attractive, etc people.

But gene therapy -- altering the genetic codes of kids and adults -- is more challenging. I wonder if having a plant that can alter its own genetic code could provide clues as to how to enable humans to make that shift.

Of course, it may be the equivalent of the idea of adding an extra pair of easily-modified chromosomes in vitro to humans, and thus having a set of genes that can be tinkered with at will as the child grows older. Still, worth looking into...

And, of course, repairing one's genes always brings up a potential cure for that pesky cancer thing...

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