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How Far Away Are We?

  

100 members have voted

  1. 1. How long do you think it will be before partial transformation is a reality?

    • Less than 1 year
      1
    • 1 to 2 years
      5
    • 2 to 5 years
      9
    • 5 to 10 years
      24
    • 10 to 20 years
      27
    • More than 20 years
      34
  2. 2. How long do you think it will be before total transformation is a reality?

    • Less than 1 year
      1
    • 1 to 2 years
      0
    • 2 to 5 years
      4
    • 5 to 10 years
      5
    • 10 to 20 years
      20
    • 20 to 50 years
      23
    • Longer than 50 years but within our lifetime
      10
    • Not within our lifetime
      37


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I think fully immersive VR is the best bet, but I believe plastic surgeory can accomplish almost anything asthetically (but who wants just asthetics?)

 

I don't think a fully movable tail would be possible without further nerological research. Sure they can stick a tail in you, but your brain wouldn't know how to control it because its unfaimilar with the muscles. I can't see them taking existing anatomy and modifying it into soemthing else. They would have to remove an arm and say implant stem cells (or a whole limb and connect the nerves + muscles) from another species or something similar. I believe sometime within the next 100 years it will be medically posible to connect a human brain inside something other than a human body, but I can't see anyone actually doing it for a very long time.

Edited by SilverWolf

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Din   

(I don't actually know anything about anatomy, so sorry if my idea doesn't make sense)

 

If you surgically have a tail attached and implying they know how to do it and have it all hooked up right to be able to move, wouldn't your brain eventually figure out how to move your tail similar to like how we all learned to move our limbs as babies.

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I think some of that is instinctual. We have vestigial parts in our bodies that we no longer have control over (Plica Semilunaris). I'm sure with enough time you might be able to figure out how to move it, but im not entirely sure

 

EDIT: Related article  "Patients connected to a new prosthetic system said they 'felt' their hands for the first time since they lost them in accidents. In the ensuing months, they began feeling sensations that were familiar and were able to control their prosthetic hands with more -- well -- dexterity."

Edited by SilverWolf

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Zodiark   

Perhaps with advances in genetic engineering it'll be very possible, but also difficult and dangerous. Not to mention the trillions of dollars to go into research itself, and the millions of dollars a normal procedure would cost.

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tzeneth   

The issue you can run into with this and me thinking from a weird mix of science fiction, my own experience, and wild speculation is that you'll naturally have an amount of resistance to most modifications to humans that aren't meant to fix some type of injury that already existed. Example, giving the ability to walk to someone who has lost a leg will be easily accepted by society but spending money to replace a fully functional leg so that your leg is better than everyone elses will not as easily be accepted. The large issue that can come from this is in any intervening period where you have the haves and the have nots. If someone has to have either gentic engineering or cybernetic engineering to enhance their muscles and bones in order to be hired as a generic low paid lifter and mover of crates, then there's going to be discrimination issues that arise.

 

The areas where I can see genetic engineering would be used the most in combination with cybernetic engineering (I use and mention both because whichever is cheaper, safer, and easier to use at the time will probably be the one that dominates) with potential public outcry being ignored is in military application. If it's easier to replace a human's eye such that it also has the ability to see heat signatures without relying upon an outside power source, you've enhanced their capabilities. The result is that you can have a bit of a trickle down. The military pays for the research for military purposes and a niche market arises from that research.

 

Another possiblity, and this is me entering into complete science fiction, is the potential application of genetic engineering for body modification in order to more properly adapt to other planets within an interstellar setting. There may be situations where terraforming would actually be more expensive (if that technology existed, but assuming you have some method of FTL, terraforming seems like an order of magnitude less complicated based on modern scientific theories) and getting humans who are willing to accept body modification for the adaptation. Maybe you need a thicker skin with greater resistance to UV rays due to a larger sun which gives out those types of rays on a planet in the habitable zone of that sun. That researach, along with the gradual acceptance of body modification could lead to acceptance of less exapansive changes which leads to the gradual steps of acceptance of larger changes like potential physical transformations into anthropoidal animals.

 

Then again, if I'm going full crazy science fiction, we may attempt to uplift animals which leads to a greater acceptance of none-human looking sapient species and a decrease in speciesism within humanity. Although that would probably be stopped by a lot of people as simply "playing god" along with all the fears based on plenty of horrific apocalyptic stories based on that concept alone.

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Gevad   

We have vestigial parts in our bodies that we no longer have control over (Plica Semilunaris). I'm sure with enough time you might be able to figure out how to move it, but im not entirely sure.

From what I know the plica semilunaris isn't a full nictitating membrane.  We can't control it because there isn't enough left to control. 

 

There have been instances of people attaching electronic devices, orientation sensors, and embedding magnets into themselves or doing things like constantly wearing upside-down glasses.  In all of the cases I read it seemed to take around 8 weeks for the brain to adapt to the new input and start seeing it as normal.  I'd bet money our brains could adapt to use almost anything we can add to ourselves as long as it has some type of feedback loop.  I'd guess the younger we are the faster the brain could adapt. 

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Gevad   
One is Petomics, which is making a probiotic for cats and dogs that makes their feces smell like bananas

I can see a few problems with that.

 

The world is going to be a lot stranger in 20 years.  Though I don't think we know enough about human DNA to safely, freely edit it.  The first generations of genetically modified babies will probably have serious health problems when they get older.  Right now we're checking embryo for things like eye colors and discarding ones the parents' don't want.  I don't think anyone is doing modifications yet. 

Edited by Gevad

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beep   

Technologically, around the time when artificial narrow intelligence (expert systems) start taking off. Initially to fix and repair damage and of course military 'applications'. Socially, there's really just too many variables.

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Furlover   

Think the biggest problem first is soccial acceptance. But about aquirering the technology for it, that is a long way to go.

the evolution of the computer was very hard, and took quite some decades. (unless you count the primitive computers with it,

then it took more then a couple of hundred years) Then to think that modification of the body post-natal would be a lot harder.

I can remember saying scientists saying that around our year we would have robots walking around like humans would.

 

Unless it comes in handy for the military to modificate human boddies, only then we would see this kind of thechnology.

And it would take a couple of decades then to develop it for customers.

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Everyone says that till they learn the leaps science has been making in the last decade or two. Textbooks are out of date. School courses and even some universities are out of date. Read the scientific papers the moment they come out, you'll be up to a year out of date. I have spent the last 7 years researching this and writing about it, first as science fiction and now for the science facts I have found. Saying it won't happen in the next fifty years is like being around in 1959 saying no-one will walk on the moon before 2009 at the earliest.

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LostOne   

I actually belive we could get it by tomorrow if we really wanted to. Its more of costs and people that dont want it that will keep it from the public for a long time, maybe years after we know how to do it.

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I actually belive we could get it by tomorrow if we really wanted to. Its more of costs and people that dont want it that will keep it from the public for a long time, maybe years after we know how to do it.

Hence we take a medical approach. Tech that can edit genes and kick-start transformations can also properly (not pharmaceutically) cure cancer. The two use cases require the same capabilities.

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Myka   

Even if something like this is possible, it will take literally a lifetime before people decide how it should work on a consumer basis to reach to us.

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Even if something like this is possible, it will take literally a lifetime before people decide how it should work on a consumer basis to reach to us.

Two words: Open Source.

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wtguy   

Until laws become relaxed enough that people are allowed to setup home labs (ignoring cost) I believe we will have to stick with the machinery of the mind

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Coyotech   

Perhaps this won't be physically possible within our lifetimes, but I'm fairly certain that VR will take off and get to a point where it would be almost as good, which could even happen within the next ten or twenty years. 

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Himmon   

Agreed - even when the technology arrives, it'll take ages for people to consider it "ethical" to make dramatic changes like that for non-life-threatening reasons, but virtual reality will give a pretty good substitute in the meantime.

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I see a lot of promise in the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique. The main issues would be making sure that the genetic overwrite happens to every cell in the body (though @DanFoxDavies has offered an elegant and scientifically grounded solution to that), the speed of the transformation  (too fast and RIP patient, too slow and it wouldn't be worth it.

Others have mentioned the need for a... need of the anthros' existence. As for what need there is now, I've no clue.

Either way, this is precisely why I chose Biomedical Engineering as my major.

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I'd say the need is in the need to diversify our genetics before some naturally selecting events or other happen to us and wipe out the relatively monocultural 7.5 billion sentient beings on the planet who class as humans. It's important to adapt ourselves to the challenges we may face from scarcity of resources, climate change, the impacts of war, space exploration and colonising new worlds. Fur is advantageous to people living on Mars, for example - it's very cold there, so we need to consider how much energy it takes to warm up habitats there.

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