How science can build a better you

November 4, 2012

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius (Wikimedia Commons)

How far would you go to modify yourself using the latest medical technology?

In a New York Times article Saturday, author and broadcaster David Ewing Duncan offers a partial checklist of cutting-edge medical-technology therapies now under way or in an experimental phase that might lead to future enhancements, including:


  • supermemory or attention pill
  • cochlear implant to improve hearing
  • brain-boosting neuro-feedback and video games


  • retinal implant
  • exoskeleton
  • exoskeleton operated from the brain via fiber optic lines embedded under the skin
  • drugs that alter enzymes and other proteins associated with genes for, say, speed and endurance or dopamine levels
  • re-engineering cells and DNA to eliminate diseases
  • grow improved fresh brain, heart or liver cells

Who would get the enhancements, how much twould they cost, and who would gain an advantage over others by using them?