On Advancing Technology

Michael Anissimov talks about the nature of technology: "We realize that the longer you look forward, the more uncertain the predictions get, but one thing is quite certain: if a [technology] is physically possible and obviously useful, human (or transhuman!) ingenuity will see to it that it gets built eventually. As we gain ever greater control over the atomic structure of matter, our technological goals become increasingly ambitious, and their payoffs more and more generous. ... Gene therapy replaces bad genes with good genes, and RNA interference can selectively knock out gene expression. Together, they give us an unprecedented ability to manipulate our own genetic code. By knocking out genes that code for certain metabolic proteins, scientists have been able to make mice that stay slim no matter how much junk food they eat. Lou Gehrig's disease has been cured in mice, and it could only be a few years before we develop a therapy that can cure it for humans too. Aubrey de Grey’s SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) research program contains various prescriptions for the use of gene therapy. Within a couple decades or so, progress in anti-aging therapies will improve to the point where we are gaining more than an extra year of lifespan per year, reaching so-called 'longevity escape velocity' eventually culminating in indefinite lifespans. Like many transhumanist technologies, gene therapy is really exciting because it's just beginning."

Link: http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/?p=455

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