January 07 2009 / by Adam Cutsinger
Category: Biotechnology Year: Beyond Rating: 2
Once nanotechnology, stem cell research, and genetic engineering were able to converge upon the same laboratories it became clear that a wide variety of deadly and debilitative diseases share their origin: damaged or failing tissues, organs and bodily systems. Some are chronic due to aging, others are more acute, but they have correlated pathologies after all. The interrelationships between the biggest 20th century killers of humankind became astonishingly clear, as did the road to the regenerative medicine to cure nearly all of them.
Even the healing of the world's sick and the saving of innumerable lives has it’s critics. What will come of Social Security, when people increasingly live well beyond the age of retirement but the percentage of young people remains unchanged? Where will we put all these people over the coming years? Of course, there was the Pig Pandemic of 2019, but that disease’s potential to devastate has also been hogtied.
The benefits of regenerative medicine go beyond extending longevity. We are seeing improving quality of life. President Elect Sasha Obama has promised to raise the retirement age to 75, but such a move may not be necessary. Retirees are returning to the workplace, starting up new businesses and nonprofits, traveling, pursuing projects and helping to raise their great grandchildren.
There has been much debate about the practical usage of the same sort of bioengineering that has begun conquering deadly disease, and especially the capability of nanotechnology in the other sciences, as to whether we can A) make better use of the space we have and B) create livable space where it does not currently exist, namely on and in the oceans, and in space.