New Plant Paradigms

Alessia Andreotti
April 10th 2014

“Imagine if we understood the mechanisms of biological systems well enough to be able to engineer whatever is biologically possible."

In his book The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen and What to Do, Daniel Berleant - professor in the Department of Information Science, College of Engineering and Information Technology at University of Arkansas - proposes future scenarios for different vital areas of discussion, spanning from the current century to nearly eternity.

"With understanding currently expanding fast, this might come into view within our lifetimes or those of the next generation. That would bring on a new era, a flavor of technological Singularity characterized by amazing biological processes that are limited only by intrinsic limitations of physics and chemistry.”

The excerpt is from the chapter New Plant Paradigms in which the author envisions some potential answers to the question: “In this approaching era, what might be biologically possible for plants?”

From making veggies and seeds taste better to beans taking over the world, passing through fruit transgenic hybrids, these are some of the possibilities we could embrace in the future.

“The creation of life at the limits is an engineering field that is barely in its infancy, but with a future likely to be more strange and dramatic than most dare dream.”

Source: Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence

Image: Pineberry

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Should men be able to give birth to children?

Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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