Author Topic: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!  (Read 40365 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Here you go, Akalabeth. I'll provide a list of possible genetic fixes, and you can explain to me how technology would do a better job of correcting these problems.

1. Move retinal arteries behind the retina instead of in front to prevent many causes of blindness.

2. Remove wisdom teeth to prevent brain abscesses, empyema, and meningitis.

3. Slightly lower the position of the larynx. Helps with choking.

4. Alter the odontoid process in the spine; a simple ball-and-socket joint instead of a peg here would prevent a lot of paralysis injuries in whiplash.

5. Strengthen hip joints, which are still optimized for quadripedal locomotion - that's why the hip joint so frequently degenerates with age. You'd need to do some canny designing to pull this off.

6. Intelligently re-engineer the knee joint while you're at it. It's also still optimized for quadripedal life, and it's way too weak.

7. Redesign the foot so we're no longer walking on our wrists. I'll leave the specifics to the structural bioengineers!

8. Weave the plantar nerves in the foot into the bone structure so they're not crippled by arch collapse.

9. Redesign the median nerve in the wrist so it's no longer damaged by each wrist flexion. Improve ligamental shielding.

10. Move the ulnar nerve to the inside of the elbow; we're not horses, so why is it still built like a horse's ulnar nerve?

11. Reengineer the brachial plexus and add protection to prevent the destruction of the nerves there by certain forms of pressure.

12. This might be a contentious one, but the placement of the rectum, urinary tract, and vagina in females is poor and prone to infection. Needs a bugfix!

13. Remove the appendix.

14. Prevent progressive dilation of veins in the legs during posture change to reduce the risk of death by blood clot.

15. For god's sake, move the vital cranial nerves and carotid artery structure farther from the nose, or protect it somehow! We shouldn't be dying of sinus infections that get into our vital nerve and blood pathways. Similarly, move other cranial sinuses away from the middle ear!

16. Prevent chordoma and gill-type birth defects; they're a product of old evolutionary structures that grow and then vanish during fetal development, for no real reason.

That's my shopping list! Some of them are easy fixes, some would be hellishly tricky, but I'm sure the same human ingenuity that built the space shuttle can figure it out.

Quote
Hibernation as it exists in nature is a involuntary part of an animal's life cycle which is dictated by the seasons. So how is it that humans or any creature will be able to biologically hibernate at will.

HIT injections. Or an internal gland under voluntary control. Easily accomplished - there are dozens of organisms that can voluntarily alter their biochemistry like that.

Sorry for not answering that earlier. Satisfied?

Sorry if I ignored you, but I haven't exactly been systematically dismissing your points. It was an honest oversight.

I really dislike your style. I don't enjoy these debates when they turn so personal.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
This. All of this.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I did?  :nervous:

Yes, you appeared to agree, with your whistling. :p
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
The 'faster option than natural evolution' I was talking about was intelligent design, natch.  ;7 And I don't mean the silliness of people who missed elementary biology, but actual human intelligent design of the human organism.

A rather fetching example of which I posted up above. Now we just need to get the expertise and the experts to pull off the suggested changes.

I can't wait to get started!

 

Offline The E

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Also, let's not forget this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqzmEtLe8PM

On a more practical note, what about haemogoblin with a higher oxygen capacity?

Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Indeed, as The_E sayeth, HerraTohtori has posted a request for a higher-capacity haemoglobin molecule a la the crocodile.

Apparently a human version has already been produced!

 

Online Mongoose

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
That's my shopping list! Some of them are easy fixes, some would be hellishly tricky, but I'm sure the same human ingenuity that built the space shuttle can figure it out.
Those were all very fascinating items (damn, you've done your homework), but I feel like sticking thermal tiles onto a rocket glider required just slightly less ingenuity than most of them will. :p

 

Offline Mr. Vega

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
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16. Prevent chordoma and gill-type birth defects; they're a product of old evolutionary structures that grow and then vanish during fetal development, for no real reason.
You can't do that with significantly altering the fundamentals of embryonic and fetal development. Good luck. Everything else looks reasonable.
Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking.
-John Maynard Keynes

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
That's my shopping list! Some of them are easy fixes, some would be hellishly tricky, but I'm sure the same human ingenuity that built the space shuttle can figure it out.
Those were all very fascinating items (damn, you've done your homework), but I feel like sticking thermal tiles onto a rocket glider required just slightly less ingenuity than most of them will. :p

At our current level of expertise, absolutely. We've barely started work on the problem.

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16. Prevent chordoma and gill-type birth defects; they're a product of old evolutionary structures that grow and then vanish during fetal development, for no real reason.
You can't do that with significantly altering the fundamentals of embryonic and fetal development. Good luck. Everything else looks reasonable.

Yeah, that one's gonna be a bit thorny, inn't?

And the rest are reasonable, sure, but we still have to learn a lot before we can pull it off. Still, though, if we can build all the marvelous things we have already, I don't think this is unfeasible. Optimistic, but reasonable.

 
Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Nice shopping list GB.  Personally I'd throw in some less-vital options such as general enhancements to the human form such as better eyesight, stronger muscles, tougher bones, and maybe a better sense of smell.  None of that is vital, but I do think we should constantly be improving ourselves in all areas, not just fixing problems caused by physiology.
17:37:02   Quanto: I want to have sexual intercourse with every space elf in existence
17:37:11   SpardaSon21: even the males?
17:37:22   Quanto: its not gay if its an elf

[21:51] <@Droid803> I now realize
[21:51] <@Droid803> this will be SLIIIIIGHTLY awkward
[21:51] <@Droid803> as this rich psychic girl will now be tsundere for a loli.
[21:51] <@Droid803> OH WELLL.

See what you're missing in #WoD and #Fsquest?

[07:57:32] <Caiaphas> inspired by HerraTohtori i built a supermaneuverable plane in ksp
[07:57:43] <Caiaphas> i just killed my pilots with a high-g maneuver
[07:58:19] <Caiaphas> apparently people can't take 20 gees for 5 continuous seconds
[08:00:11] <Caiaphas> the plane however performed admirably, and only crashed because it no longer had any guidance systems

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
I concur. The thing about 'general enhancements', though, is that it's hard to know how to engineer them specifically, and what tradeoffs might be involved. As Akalabeth pointed out, a better sense of smell could be a curse in some situations, and stronger muscles or tougher bones could come at the price of a more demanding diet.

I'd also like to see patches for better heuristic calibration - humanity in general has a serious overconfidence problem in most experimental confidence range tests. But cognitive territory is messier and more risky, and will probably have to wait.

 

Offline Topgun

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
I concur. The thing about 'general enhancements', though, is that it's hard to know how to engineer them specifically, and what tradeoffs might be involved. As Akalabeth pointed out, a better sense of smell could be a curse in some situations, and stronger muscles or tougher bones could come at the price of a more demanding diet.
we do have waay too much food though.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Not everywhere.

You wouldn't want an amped-up metabolism to feed your augmented muscles and bones if you were stuck in the Sudan.

As a good indicator of how cautious scientists are being with the field, the NIH recently adapted guidelines that basically said, 'you only treat the disease with genetic alteration of nothing else works.'

I think that's a pretty good philosophy all in all: genetic augmentation should generally be a last resort.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 09:13:41 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
It could be noted, however, that those general enhancements could also include our ability to metabolise food in the first place, we aren't actually too bad as animals go for being able to eat a wide variety of foods, but since food increases linearly, and population increases exponentially, we will always hit a brick wall, maybe approaching it from two different angles at once might help that problem?


 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Maybe. I'm not sure how to improve human food metabolism, though, so, for that I'd have to resort to the kind of magicalism AA was accusing me of (though, in the case he was leveling the accusation towards, I was able to supply a mechanism, so ha.)

 

Offline übermetroid

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Lets go the "old mans war" route and get rid of blood and replace it with something else.  Something that carries more oxygen and is not able able to get infected.
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

 

Online Mongoose

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
While we're making a list, can we tack on the cessation of the formerly-useful adaptation of storing too many calories as fat, so as to eliminate moobs and the beer gut once and for all?  Or how about strengthening teeth enamel, so as to bankrupt the sadist enterprise that is dentistry? :p

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
We are pretty poorly adapted to our current diet, especially on the cognitive level. Our food-reward circuits could use some intelligent tweaking, but you have to be careful of tradeoffs.

We do have drugs right now that appear to extend the lifespan of mammals while simultaneously keeping them pretty thin.

 

Offline High Max

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
..
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 11:59:03 pm by High Max »
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!
Yeah, but those are a bit farther out on the horizon, and kind of fall into 'let's just make it better!' category. I'm not sure how to get started on those, though I imagine other organisms could provide some insights.