LSDNA – will we pee in the genetic pool?

So far, the term “recreational genetics” has been used primarily to denote the “pastime” of tracking someone’s genetic heritage in order to discover who they may have been related to, or how far they can trace their family tree back to some nomadic tribesman of inner Youfreakistan.

I think we will be able to go well beyond that. The entertainment value of discovering that Barack Obama and Dick Cheney is temporal at best. I mean, who doubts that all politicians have some evil, twisted gene that leads them to the desire to dominate the masses under the barely disguised moniker of being concerned for the welfare of their fellow human?

No, I am thinking of a far more amusing form of using genetic manipulation: temporary retroviral reshaping of ones genetic structure as a source of entertainment.

Wayne Porter, in his blog entitled “Second Life is Real Life,”

touches on the notions of using tiny computers inside the body in order to fully simulate the experiences on can have in the here-to-fore named “virtual worlds.”

But I think we will go several steps further.

Genetic manipulation is being worked on and tested all over the world (except perhaps in Us government funded labs) through stem cell research and retroviral experimentation. The notion that we can “fix” a faulty gene set and in that way change a person’s health condition is very appealing to science, the pharma industry and the general population.

Of course, as we get closer to being able to do this on an economically efficient scale, we will see other uses deployed. If steroids can give an athlete such an edge in building muscles that he may be willing to perjure himself before congress about it ( a congress who feels the country has so little or importance on it’s plate that it spends time reviewing the drug habits of baseball players – a subject that they must be certain will impact the war, the economy, social security and health care) then what would they be willing to do if they can alter their body to see like a hawk , or improve the response time of their nervous system or speed the time it takes to recuperate or heal the body?

Will these be the methods that will allow us to affectively adjust our genetic makeup enough that colonizing the moon, other planets and asteroids will become feasible (if we modify ourselves to use less of or more efficiently the resources that are scarce in other areas, we would be continuing the human tradition of adapting to our environment in or to better subjugate it).

We have shown that humans are willing to spend big money on personal body enhancement be-it boob jobs, tattoos or Botox. I think there will be a tremendous market in not just genetic fixes and alterations, but an even more interesting one in temporary genetic transformation. You could decide to be a freckled red head for a week or month or have your lung capacity increased for that vacation hiking in the mountains. Or even just have the size of your g-spot doubled and twice as sensitive in time for that honeymoon or big weekend date.

The possibilities are mind bending far beyond anything we have seen done with drugs or surgery. The questions of what constitutes a human will be more than interesting.


Update: the Vatican has just announced that “Genetic Manipulation” has been added to the list of “sins.” Ii guess the discussion is getting here sooner than I thought it would.


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