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Nanotechnology: Enhancement goals for human body

Forbes.com did a poll to find out what human body enhancements their readers would most like. The poll seems to be gone, but nanotechnology commentator Gregor Wolbring quotes it in his own column:

Smarter brain (403 votes – 29 %)
Wings (230 votes – 17 %)
Breathe underwater (147 votes – 11 %)
Stylish, furry tail (127 votes – 9%)
Don’t want to be human at all (103 votes – 8%)
Night vision (61 votes – 4%)
Extra arms (51 votes – 4%)
Fur (37 votes – 3%)
Eagle-eye vision (34 votes – 2%)
Perfect as is (34 votes – 2%)
Great speed (29 votes – 2%)
Better-protected genitals (26 votes – 2%)
More physical strength (17 votes – 1%)
Camouflage skin (13 votes – 1%)
Stronger sense of smell (10 votes – 1%)
Chitinous armor (9 votes – 1%)
Better balance (7 votes – 1%)
Acute hearing (6 votes – 0 %)
Fangs (6 votes – 0%)
Eyes on stalks (5 votes – 0%)
Horns (5 votes – 0%)
Pouch (3 votes – 0%)
Stronger sense of touch (2 votes – 0%)
Extreme height (2 votes – 0%)
Stronger sense of taste (0 votes – 0 %)

The poll seems to have assumed that synthetic biology would be the method of enhancement, but presumably the goals would not change if nanotech were the pathway instead. The top three goals — and some of the later ones — seem plausible as being desirable, though one wonders whether respondents understood just how big those wings would need to be without major reworking to get the mass down. And where is “Increased healthy lifespan”? That might well have won if listed. —Christine

8 Responses to “Nanotechnology: Enhancement goals for human body”

  1. Max Kaehn Says:

    Or how about tweaking some internal feedback loops so we get cravings for the kind and amount of food that we actually need, as opposed to what our body thinks we’ll need when we get up tomorrow to go hunting, foraging, or flint-knapping? Or maintaining good muscle tone with less exercise?

  2. Accelerating Future » Forbes Looks at Transhumanism Says:

    [...] Via Nanodot.   [...]

  3. Nanoman Says:

    With a nanotech enhanced super immune system and nano devices moving through bodies, these enhancements can become more mutable and you can add to the list. Use buckytube/diamond armor weave instead of biosynthetic chitin, for example. Custom-make your body into whatever form you want, both exotic and sublime. This leads to a question I have: How will society’s systems of judgement of individuals change once these nano and bio tech abilities become available? Example: Right now people judge someone based on how much money they have and how they look (there are individuals who are more noble, judging based on personal merit and compassion etc). How will this change when everyone potentially can have a super body and practically endless material wealth, when the guy who is dirt poor and (lets say for illustration purposes) weighs 400 pounds and is 5 feet tall now, gets nanotechnology and can remake his body into a 6 foot tall 150 pound solid mass of muscle and can assemble himself a sports car and live in a beautiful nano made mansion, and imagine everyone being able to do something like this if they chose, how will society judge people? This has interesting socio-economic implications.

    Some critics of my statement may say that while nanofactories can become common there will still be limits to land and especially choice land. So what? If you have nanotech you can have an air car and live out in the boonies and commute to any large urban city center within a few hours or so at most, or, just have a nanomade self-maintaining super yacht out in the ocean or river as your home base. Sure, beachfront Los Angeles or Long Island property would be limited. But then again, what happens when you can use nano “coral” like devices to SYNTHESIZE NEW LAND MASSES and islands of your own taste? Ofcourse, governments will likely try to keep people under their control and limit what would be done along those lines. But you all get the point.

    Perhaps nanotech will lead to a world where we judge people based on merit rather than looks and possessions, something people have desired for a long time.

  4. Kyle Haviland Says:

    Is there a place online that keeps track of what nanotechnology firms exist and their current goals, projects, and breakthroughs?

    I’ve always wanted to play the invisible man. I don’t see the Harry Potter invisibility cloak up there. I’ve seen predictions of that all over google and the bbc. :-)

  5. A Spoon Named Froyd Says:

    I can’t even imagine that if as a human race we use less than 10% of brain’s capabilities what nano technology could help us discover with our mental aptitude that has nearly unfathomable possibilities.

    I would have said regenerative abilities and precognition. Not to mention a distributor nano that brings all the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, aminos, protein that the body needs as to obtain all around wellness. Also eliminates chemical instability in the brain, the body which is incidentally caused by the food we eat and enjoy.

  6. Nobody Man Says:

    What about the ability to re-grow limbs, teeth, and eyeballs, etc.? Mental ability to affect genes / traits passed on (but not otherwise modified) to children? Precognition is an unlikely but attractive prospect, but I would MUCH rather see an equally improbable but much more desireable (after all, who wants to know the size and shape of his own death?) enhanced spirituality and “other” center of the brain activity and function. Wouldn’t you like to talk with God, on a level you’ve never had before? I would personally love to hear from Jesus. Oh, in case you were wondering about the starfish, … I think asexual / homosexual reproduction should be made illegal for ever. Perhaps if the “not human at all” group had their way, but not current humans– no … way. Bloody furries.

  7. Nanoman Says:

    And there is an area of interest that is related to nanotechnology, that nanotech tools would allow us to explore in depth: The connection between biology and electricity/electromagnetism. This is a very neglected area of research. Perhaps molecular tools will allow us to learn more about these interactions.

  8. DamianPoirier Says:

    nanoman, re your social question, look at second life where these self same attributes exist. anyone can have anything be anything and yes the bottom line there is ” what kind of person are you?”
    I joined SL wondering how well i might integrate 3d printing with it. the more time i dpend there, the more i realize the way people are there is how people will be when 3dprinter tech is universal. and it makes me smile. but hopefully seriously we need the “invulnerabilty” aspects as well. people in FL can not endure long the antics of grieffers/terrorists who put god before people.

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