Alan Kay states, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it yourself” (qtd. in Garreau 88). Many Americans ponder what the future might hold. Will technology bring a new era to mankind or will it be the end to all eternity? Ray Kurzweil, inventor of the year by MIT, argues “he is convinced that medicine is moving sufficiently fast; therefore, any person who can stay healthy for the next 20 years may so benefit from the explosion in biological technology as to be immortal” (Garreau 90-91). With the advancements of medical technology continuing to climb, this quote illustrates that the future will make for a better world. Organizations such as The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency known as DARPA, The Continuous Assisted Performance known as CAP, and The National Science Foundation fund studies that demonstrate how genetic engineering will impact America’s future by developing a bigger, better, stronger individual (Garreau 19-35). Each day as the advancements of technology doubles, the world will soon not worry about diseases and health; everyday gene technology will better our minds, bodies, and most future generations, thus making the “Heaven Scenario”. In the Article “Gene Technology and Tissue Engineering” Andree, department of Plastic and Surgery, Freiburg University Hospital, states “Gene therapy is based on the concept for certain proteins or polypeptides into a cell and, thus, may be used for potential modulation of tissue. Genes can be delivered using either an in vitro approach, and with viral or non-viral vectors. Genes may therefore be stable, or transiently expressed by the cells” (93).
This fact illustrates the concept of genetic manipulation and how each cell is expressed. Both Rob DeSalle, Ph.D. in Division of Invertebrates, and Michael Yudell, MPH in Molecular Laboratories, summarize that the study of Genomics will have a major impact in medical services. If doctors knew how to discover someone’s exact diseases, then they can transform and improve those cells to stop in in its act (117-118). With the help from DARPA and CAP and the study and treatments of Gene therapy, Americans’ will soon find themselves living longer and healthier lives. DARPA funded by Michael Goldbatt, is one of the world’s foremost drivers of human enhancement (Garreau 19). Their vision is to “accelerate the future into being” (Garreau 21). DARPA help fund the computer mouse, graphics, weather satellites, and many other technologies (Garreau 25). One independent agency that works strongly with DARPA is CAP managed by John Carney (Garreau 28). CAPs advantage over DARPA is the laboratory. One idea that they are studying is “finding an enzyme that appears only in bacteria but not in us. It might exist only for a brief time in the bacteria, but without it, that life form cannot exist. Then you attack it” (Garreau 28-30). Organizations such as DARPA and CAP strive to make unstoppable human beings. For instance, take the well-developed movie Gattaca which came to theaters in 2010 and was about a man that manipulates his DNA to hide his identity to be a more advanced, genetically engineered, human being. No one is capable of stopping him from becoming a better meaningful species to society.
Most Americans strive to build themselves up to become the best they can be. Americans’ study the use of DNA manipulation in bodies and cells to help fight off diseases and illnesses such as the common cold or flu. Goldblatt proclaims, “We do not fear the unknown, and we relish exploring the unknowable” (Garreau 19). Americans should be more like this quote and strive to become the best species that has ever existed. DARPA is studying a vaccine that will help in pain management. Such vaccines will make milestones in terms of medicine. If someone is hurt they will feel the first trigger of pain but the pain will soon subside (Garreau 19-28). This pain vaccine will have many benefits to Americans dealing with diseases and to society. The National Science Foundation believed in the “Heaven Scenario”: They predicted in 10-20 years the world will evolve much better. Wearable sensors will enhance every person’s awareness of his or her health condition, environment, chemical pollutants, potential hazards, and information of interest about local business, natural resources, and the like. The human body will be more durable, healthy, energetic, easier to repair, and resistant to many kinds of stress, biological threats, and aging process, and technologies will compensated for many physical and mental disabilities and will eradicate altogether some handicaps that have plagues the lives of millions of people. (qtd. in Garreau 112-113) This statement unveiled a world where technology advancements will mature in a way that Americans are capable of being healthier and happier individuals. The effects of genetic engineering impacts the future by manipulating genes to help Americans live longer. Enzo Russo and David Cove, authors of Genetic Engineering: Dreams and Nightmares, tell a brief story about a little girl that was suffering from a disease called Severe Combined Immune Deficiency.
“She was the first known human being to be treated using gene therapy…After two years of therapy, this young girl was able to attend school normally, to swim, dance, ice skate with her family and friends” (117-118). With this example it substantially shows the achievements of Gene Therapy and how Americans greatly benefit from them. Children will have the privilege to go out and play or do whatever else their little imagination wants to do so they can be just like every other child. If doctors had a way to catch or see a disease before it overtakes someone’s body then they would be able to do something about it. Jacobs, consultant genetic counsellor Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, believes “Early identification of individuals with, or at risk of, hereditary disease can make a difference to patients and families in terms of accessing genetic services, early detection and risk-reducing measures. Several clinical guidelines recommend undertaking family history assessment in clinical setting” (Jacobs, Chris, Christine 38). Jacobs also states that “Recognizing when off spring may be at risk of genetic condition such as cystic fibrosis, Duschenne muscular dystrophy or Huntington’s disease, can help couples to make choices about prenatal testing and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. These procedures increase the possibility of a healthy baby and reduce the risk of passing the mutation to future generations” (Jacobs, Chris, Christine 38). With this possibility, think of how it will make a new era to mankind. Parents no longer have to worry about unborn babies and whether they will have the same disease as their ancestors.
Another person that was influenced by Gene Therapy is Gregory Stock. Stock, director on Medicine, Technology, and society at the school of medicine of California, proclaims “In the future Americans will benefit from using ‘Artificial Chromosomes’. Future generations will be able to switch out one or two chromosomes that may be transferring diseases with a stronger chromosome” (qtd. in Garreau 116-117). There are many believers of the “Heaven Scenario” although all the outcomes might not be the same. Ray Kurzweil, who was granted the national medal of technology, was the inventor of the “Heaven Scenario.” He stated “is there is no problem or challenge that there [is not] an idea to overcome that problem” (qtd. in Garreau 115). This statement argues that no matter how difficult something might proclaim to be, there will always be a new improved way to get thru. In terms of medicine, there will always be new inventions of technology and drugs that will make a better advancement then the former. No matter what the statistics say technology will always have an astonishing outcome. If Americans’ had the opportunity to formulate themselves at a higher level of humanity then why not go for it? (Garreau 115)
Most Americans’ dream that one day the world will be a heavenly place for all humanity. With the advancements of new medical technology doubling and continuing to climb up this progressive ladder, Americans’ soon will be bigger, stronger, and healthier individuals. The inventions of new drugs, either injected or manipulated into genes, will influence making the outcome of the “Heaven Scenario” true. If more organizations like previously stated DARPA and CAP continue to find new ways of implementing and then attacking infections and disease: Americans’ will live much longer non-stressful lives. Imagine the outcome of waking up clear headed and pain free with no worries in sight. Future generations will have the knowledge and ability to know when a bad enzyme links on and attacks cells; furthermore, being able to stop the infection before it explodes and travels thru DNA. It will be a new era to mankind. Americans’ will be able to determine and choose how their children turn out. Children will be healthier and live longer lambent lives. Like my opening quote “the best way to predict the future is to invent it yourself.” Negative controversies about technology being the end of mankind should not influence Americans’ into not believing in the “Heaven Scenario,” thus sit back and watch the never ending achievements and outcomes of Gene therapy transmute the world into a better brighter norm.
Andree, C., et al. “Gene Technology and Tissue Engineering.” Minimally Therapy & Allied Technologies 11.3 (2002): 93-99. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 March 2014. DeSalle and Michael Yudell. Welcome To The Genome: A User’s Guide to Genetic Past, Present, and Future. Canada: John Wiley &
Sons. Inc., 2005. Print. Garreau, Joel. Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies- and What It Means to Be Human. New York: Random House, 2005. Print. Jacobs, Chris, and Christine Patch. “Identifying Individuals Who Might Benefit From Genetic Services And Information.” Nursing Standard. 28.9 (2013): 37-42. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 March 2014. Russo and David Cove. Genetic Engineering: Dreams and Nightmares. Oxford New York Tokyo: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.
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