Week in Weird – 10/9 Page One

Xenobiology

Starting this week off with some heavy thinking we take a look into the emerging field of xenobiology. This is basically bio-engineering on steroids. The idea is that we can expand the building blocks of life(DNA) to include new, synthetic sets of amino acids to introduce entirely new species. These new species might be used to cure diseases such as cancer, or to correct chromosomal disorders. Aside from that we could use xenobiology to make more educated guesses of where other life might exist in the universe and what it might be like.

Dad’s Thoughts:

My first thought is: “Holy fuck, we’re going to kill ourselves and not even realize how we’re doing it.” My second thought involves the zombie apocalypse. Then my rational brain butts in and say that we could accomplish great things in my lifetime with this field of research. Imagine a life without cancer, aids, Downs Syndrome, Alzheimers, muscular distrophy, and thousands of other terrible diseases. Imagine being able to use bacteria to regrow someone’s nerves and cure paralysis or regrow entire body parts. Regenerative medicine could take on a whole new meaning and life expectancy could mean something completely different.

I still think there is a very real possibility that we create something we cannot destroy and kill ourselves, but I figure A.I. will do that long before a genetically altered super-virus will.

Next: Will Artificial Intelligence kill us?

 


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