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Old 05-25-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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between a genetic or a technological super soldier, which one seems more likely and could they possibly happen?

What could the benefits be for both?

If offered a genetic enhancement would you take it?
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I'll take any kind of enhancement unless there are negatives involved.

I don't know about the first question...
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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1 - I don't doubt there will be some genetic enhancements in the future, but a genetic super soldier? Probably not any time in the foreseeable future. Most likely we'll continue seeing battle bots.

2 - What you're talking about are soldiers. As I said, it's possible some enhancements will be possible, such as better vision, hearing, etc. But it's hard to imagine a genetic super soldier. I guess it all depends on what you mean by a super soldier. A human being, even one who has been genetically enhanced, could still be blown to pieces and killed.

A battle bot, on the other hand, doesn't require genetic engineering, could take more physical punishment, and could be sent into environments that would be impossible for a human being. If it is destroyed, it might be regarded as a loss, but not quite in the same sense as the loss of a human life. Battle bots can be factory built and replaced quickly, and can be made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for different applications. Human beings are not as easily replaced.

3 - Sure, there are some genetic enhancements that would make some things in life a lot easier. Better vision, better hearing, resistance to diseases and infections, ability to regrow missing or damaged body parts and organs, more stamina, longer life, etc. However, before ever thinking about undergoing such enhancements, I'd want to know if there could be any long-term negative effects or risks to such genetic modification, especially in terms of reproduction. Is it worth the risk? For anyone who either chooses not to have kids, or is at a point in life that they don't want any more kids, then that's a different matter.

Or would you become like the Incredible Hulk? "Please don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fracturedman View Post
between a genetic or a technological super soldier, which one seems more likely and could they possibly happen?

What could the benefits be for both?

If offered a genetic enhancement would you take it?
Sounds like a job for Monsanto Man

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Old 05-26-2009, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Texas
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We have the technology to regrow body parts.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
We have the technology to regrow body parts.

Yes, but it's a very complicated process and requires surgery, and isn't a direct result of genetic enhancement. Although, genetics would certainly be involved in terms of ensuring successful compatibility of grafts and transplants, I think it usually involves using certain medications to help suppress the immune system.

I was thinking more in line of genetic enhancement or modification that would enable the body to self-heal or self-regenerate. For example, some lizards can lose part of their tail and are able to regrow it. However, that probably doesn't involve bones, and certainly doesn't involve vital organs. Worms can also regenerate. Stem cell research seems to be promising in helping certain parts of the body heal and to some degree regenerate. It's possible it might eventually lead to finding a way to a genetic enhancement that triggers or enables auto-regeneration. Lose part of a limb, a new one grows to replace it. Nothing like that on the horizon just yet though.

I suspect better improvements will eventually come along, but I'm doubtful we'll be seeing genetically enhanced humans who could automatically regenerate missing limbs and organs any time soon, if ever.

That pretty much leaves technological enhancements. I still think (in terms of some kind of "super soldier") high-tech equipment and/or bots would be much more practical, cheaper, and more quickly available in the long run than a genetically enhanced human "super soldier".
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
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The future is now, or at least on the horizon. Organs have already been grown in the lab from a patient's own adult stem cells and transplanted to the patient once it's been grown. And since it was made from the patient's own cells, the immune response did not come into play. I read that bladders, heart valves and others have already been grown. I remember not too long ago a young girl was missing all or part (not sure) of her sex organs, but these were replaced. A guy who had cut off part of his finger, grew it back, with a little help.


youtube vid
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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That's pretty impressive Brian. Thanks for posting that. I partially retract what I said. It's great to see this kind of development, although it kind of sounded like it's still rather experimental, or at least not yet widely available. And I don't know if it falls into the kind of genetic enhancement category the OP was getting at. Regardless, this sort of thing is what can provide a lot of hope for people in need.

I know there has been advances in stem cell research. Hawaiian singer Don Ho, who suffered from a bad heart, underwent stem cell therapy in Bangkok, Thailand because the practice wasn't allowed in the US. Although he only lived a bit less than a year, he declared he felt much better after the treatment. The quality of his life had improved. It's likely he probably would have died sooner without the treatment.
VesCell™ Adult Stem Cell Improves Don Ho Life


I also knew about tissue growth. Skin tissue is probably the most well known. And of course there's the Vacanti mouse with a human ear growing on its back.
YouTube - Mouse Ears

Now that I think about it, I do seem to recall having seen something about developing heart valves. But I did not know about the "powder" regrowing the fingertip in, what was it, 4 weeks or so? Pretty remarkable.


However, my retraction is only partial. I still stand by my opinion that I don't think we're going to be seeing any genetically enhanced human super soldiers in the near future. Robotic? Yes. Human? No. For the very reasons I gave in my previous post. Granted they are not currently the kind that look like people, but then they don't have to. It's worth noting that military bots have been significantly increasing in number. Kind of sounds a bit like something out of the Terminator movies.
Rise of the military machines - technology | Stuff.co.nz

COLUMN - Killer robots and a revolution in warfare: Bernd Debusmann | Technology | Reuters
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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Wow, that is some sweet information, thanks. How about performance or lifestyle enhancing implants. I once read an article about how some people want to support having all people giving a chip that is implanted in you that has all your medical, financial, and other data. Alot of things that are actually thought to be conspiricy are real just not in the exact way as imagined.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fracturedman View Post
Wow, that is some sweet information, thanks. How about performance or lifestyle enhancing implants. I once read an article about how some people want to support having all people giving a chip that is implanted in you that has all your medical, financial, and other data. Alot of things that are actually thought to be conspiricy are real just not in the exact way as imagined.
Unfortunately, why not propose science help out in figuring out how to create world peace rather than the next ingenius weapon idea. The proplem is science seems to have led the way to more horrific warfare. It's been used as more of a furthered cause than a solution. Manufacturing of a genetically engineered Kurt Russel's Soldier, Van Damme's Cyborg or Captain Picard's Locutus is hardly the answer. Our planet's environment can't take it anymore.

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