Now more than ever, I want to track down my evil twin Joel. Then, i want to do some genetic matching, to be sure he’s genetically identical to me. Then, let the body modifications begin. I certainly wouldn’t want to do exactly the same things as the people featured in this article, but I can certainly think of some other things I’d like to try. I’m certain that with a little practise, nerves can be hooked up and transplanted parts can be used functionally. I’m envisioning a hand with opposable thumbs on both sides. I’m seeing a third eye that, even if it can’t see, can open and close.
I’m thinking that people with this mind for artistic vision in body modification can only be looking forward to the advancement of cloning and cloning-related technologies. If I can grow an exact genetic duplicate of myself (perhaps with no more brain than the bare minimum to keep the rest of the body alive), I can finally get the redundant organs I’ve always wanted. A backup heart for better circulation. An extra lung to oxygenate my blood quicker and so I can hold my breath longer. An extra adrenal gland. Who knows what else, and that’s just on the inside. I think it would be hilarious if mybelly button was replaced with a third eye that could at least open and close and look around, even though I don’t think we’ll have the technology to connect sight to it for some time.
Of course, this is all just quick brainstorming. I’m certain that I could come up with much more interesting things that were more practical than an eye in my belly. What sorts of body modifications will the people who have spikes screwed into their skulls get when they can pick and choose more extensive, more biological modifications? They talk about eugenics curing genetic diseases and cloned organs replacing the existing transplant waiting lists, but I think they’re overlooking the most exciting and interesting things that will come out of these technologies: the advancement of a modified human body as art.
People argue whether genetically re-engineering your children to give them blue eyes or green eyes instead of brown is ethical, but I’m waiting to hear the arguments against third and fourth eyes and I know that multiple pupils have occurred naturally, so there must be some way to trigger it genetically, and what will they say to try to convince parents not to choose to give their children such a unique visage in this world? I would love to have blue skin. Surely scientists and eugenics can come up with a way for my child to have blue skin and hair, in addition to the “normal requests” for strength, height, good vision, long life, intelligence, and all the things “normal” parents want for their children. As long as eugenics and cloning are not wholly and internationally banned, artists will try to o things like this, and I applaud anyone who does.
Perhaps before too long a way will be developed to change the genetic code of an already living being. I understand that every atom in the human body is replaced within seven years. If this is the case, then couldn’t some sort of retrovirus course through the body, and over the course of seven years change the genetic makeup of every cell in that body? Couldn’t I administer such a thing to myself, and in under a decade be totally, genetically different? Skin grows pretty quickly. I bet such a procedure could turn my skin permanently blue in just a year or two. I know that Canadian scientists developed a salve several years ago that was able to modify the makeup of hair follicles so that they permanently grew a different color of hair. They tested it on white mice. At the end of the trial, all the mice that received the treatment had naturally growing bright blue fur where the salve was applied. Imagine if they could do something like that for skin, and in your choice of colors! (Sure, sure. The obvious application of the technology they developed revolutionizes hair dying as we know it, and allows people to avoid the entire “wrong colored roots” issue, by simply changing the color their hair will grow out at the same time they dye it. I’m more interested in less practical uses.)
I’m probably boring you. I’ll keep thinking about this, as I have for years. Now I’ll just be thinking about having extra fingers, and all with different colors of skin.