Sunday, May 26, 2024

Engineering Cells

By the mid-2030s or 2040s, ideally, we will be able to get human boots on Mars, enabling us to directly see how humans respond to Martian living and how well our “molecular risk mitigation” plans work. Once there, we will be able to test more genetic-engineering designs on more cell types and organisms across a large range of newly defined contexts. As currently done on Earth (for safety concerns), most of the work will start in animal models and then slowly be expanded to humans. Some possibilities include altering the expression of DNA damage-repair genes, tumor suppressor pathways, or pathways related to cellular and oxidative stress. It will also fundamentally challenge what we think about in terms of a “normal” genome as we continue to make alternations through the selective addition or removal of pieces of the human genome, and we begin to see how many alternations can be made to a cell while still relating its innate, functional properties. Our current idea of normality will be reexamined from many perspectives – from the human genome to human birth. Pilot experiments for “genetic armor” will also begin . . .

The Next 500 Years - Christopher Mason

No comments:

Post a Comment