Life In The Fast Lane
November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
The realm of possibilities in the future due technological progress is broad and magnificent in scope. Perhaps in 50 years we will go to work via hover car or spend family vacations in orbit around the earth. By any means, the promise of new technologies can only incite hopeful (and far-fetched) conjectures about the world of tomorrow. One thing that we can rely on during these extrapolations is the rapidly developing bioengineering industry. Scientists are currently creating novel techniques for correcting errors in the human genome that can only promise great things over the next few decades. In the future it is not improbable that we will have the technology to fix carcinogenic genes by clipping faulty DNA or even to grow new organs for transplant patients out of stem cells. By decelerating the breakdown of telomeres we may be able to slow down aging and the onset of age-related illness. The promise of genetic manipulation will enable us to halt degenerative diseases, cure cancers, and perhaps master life itself. Of course, with a myriad of new genetic technologies we should expect considerable societal change. With the cessation of genetic problems will come a slew of social anxieties. Extension of projected human life span will create problems of over-population and put demands on available food, land, and fresh water. And at our current levels of exorbitant consumption, this could mean we as a race would require either life-style changes or government-implemented population controls. Yet even with these potential social problems, the miracle that is genetic engineering is certainly a hopeful prospect.