We Can Be Heroes

We Can Be Heroes

There are more real life superheroes than you think.

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A lot of these seem to rely on careful genetic tinkering or sheer luck. Why did this article not cover the effects of random gamma rays and their effects in developing super-strength and purple pants?

Thunderous Cacophony:
Why did this article not cover the effects of random gamma rays and their effects in developing super-strength and super-modesty?

Fixed that for you.

Bruce Banner's most incredible power is his ability to keep his shame covered with fabric, despite turning into an unstoppable green raging ball of pure id and gaining several hundred percent extra mass.

I like the example of that boy with super strength. In the link given in the article he seems to be described as having super strength (although I just glanced over it).
I really don't know if reliably modifying the human genome will work out in the end. Modifying plants for example seems pretty hit and miss, creates more problems (e.g. roundup-resistant weeds, giving farmers huge headaches) and their method of transfering the roundup-resistance into soy beans for example seems to be pretty random, at least from what little I understand. Viruses might be more reliable but might also more dangerous.

One thing I wonder about is if naturally occuring mutations and recessive traits may be responsible for some of the hero figures appearing throughout old mythology. For example, Hercules (if he existed) might have had the same rare condition the boy mentioned as an example has.

So Repoxygen "inserts an oxygen sensitive EPO gene - which codes for the hormone erythropoietin - into the genome of any tissue it's injected into." Sounds an awful lot like the plasmids from BioShock to me - altering your genetic code by injecting yourself with the substance in question.

Aptly enough, the BioShock comparison raises the spectre of the potential dangers of this kind of genetic tinkering. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it and I think the potential benefits are absolutely worth the risks. But it does tie in with what you were saying in the last couple of paragraphs, about the ethical and social issues raised by this incredible technology. We saw what happened to Rapture, and admittedly the plasmid use there was unregulated, but hypothetically, such a scenario would not be inconceivable if this technology became generally available.

I'm always a bit baffled when sports are held up as an example of the negative side of genetic tinkering/steroids: We might possibly be developing a way for humans to become stronger and faster with minimal effort and your problem is that people might start cheating more at a game? I completely understand why you would want to make sure steroids didn't cause health issues, but if we have to have more cheating at football in order to have superhuman, that's just a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

I just don't understand how it's ethically wrong to take steroids except when doing so violates a contract or set of rules, and then its the violation of the rules/contract rather than the steroids that is causing the problem.

Side note: Was the article title a reference to Heroes by David Bowie? Because I've definitely had that song stuck in my head for the past few days.

Falterfire:
I'm always a bit baffled when sports are held up as an example of the negative side of genetic tinkering/steroids: We might possibly be developing a way for humans to become stronger and faster with minimal effort and your problem is that people might start cheating more at a game? I completely understand why you would want to make sure steroids didn't cause health issues, but if we have to have more cheating at football in order to have superhuman, that's just a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Assuming you are one of the ones who can afford said treatment (assuming for discution that the treatment is 100% safe)

I ask you, would said treatment be offered to the world at large (Where everyone an be "super"?)

or only to the those who can afford it?

sleeky01:
Assuming you are one of the ones who can afford said treatment (assuming for discution that the treatment is 100% safe)

I ask you, would said treatment be offered to the world at large (Where everyone an be "super"?)

So you'd be against tech if not everybody can have it? Disparity is always an issue. We shouldn't handicap ourselves just because we didn't bring enough for the whole class. That's like saying we shouldn't offer expensive cancer treatments at all because not all patients can afford them.

First Wheadon show that has a decent chance of not getting canceled in it's first season and it's baaaaaad. Like "90's pretend to be Marvel, but not really" bad. The dialog of all things is horrible!

Rawbeard:
First Wheadon show that has a decent chance of not getting canceled in it's first season and it's baaaaaad. Like "90's pretend to be Marvel, but not really" bad. The dialog of all things is horrible!

Really? I quite enjoyed it. I'm glad Coulson is still Coulson, and the new characters could be interesting. I was afraid this show would do to Coulson, what Torchwood did to Harkness, and I'm glad they dodged that bullet.

kyosai7:

Rawbeard:
First Wheadon show that has a decent chance of not getting canceled in it's first season and it's baaaaaad. Like "90's pretend to be Marvel, but not really" bad. The dialog of all things is horrible!

Really? I quite enjoyed it. I'm glad Coulson is still Coulson, and the new characters could be interesting. I was afraid this show would do to Coulson, what Torchwood did to Harkness, and I'm glad they dodged that bullet.

True enough, Coulson worked. But the "He really doesn't know" innuendo bullcrap might come back and Harkness him. So unneccessary. *sigh*

Falterfire:
I'm always a bit baffled when sports are held up as an example of the negative side of genetic tinkering/steroids: We might possibly be developing a way for humans to become stronger and faster with minimal effort and your problem is that people might start cheating more at a game? I completely understand why you would want to make sure steroids didn't cause health issues, but if we have to have more cheating at football in order to have superhuman, that's just a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

I actually think that the whole sport thing makes a good analogy. When you think about it life is one big competition.

To make it in life your gonna need a job that pays well and chances are you are gonna need some kind of skill to acquire that job. If you don't have connections your only hope is to work your way up the food chain of whatever field you're in and hope your efforts pay off.

Now imagine a society where you can make some as strong, fast, smart, etc. as you want to through genetic manipulation, but its only available to those who can pay for it. While its not a foregone conclusion, this could end up creating a society where money truly is the only way to make it life. The poor can't hope to excel in any skilled field, because those with money can pay to acquire those traits.

I'm not saying genetic manipulation should be completely banned, but it could have some serious social repercussions depending on how widespread it becomes.

Zetatrain:

Falterfire:
I'm always a bit baffled when sports are held up as an example of the negative side of genetic tinkering/steroids: We might possibly be developing a way for humans to become stronger and faster with minimal effort and your problem is that people might start cheating more at a game? I completely understand why you would want to make sure steroids didn't cause health issues, but if we have to have more cheating at football in order to have superhuman, that's just a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

I actually think that the whole sport thing makes a good analogy. When you think about it life is one big competition.

To make it in life your gonna need a job that pays well and chances are you are gonna need some kind of skill to acquire that job. If you don't have connections your only hope is to work your way up the food chain of whatever field you're in and hope your efforts pay off.

Now imagine a society where you can make some as strong, fast, smart, etc. as you want to through genetic manipulation, but its only available to those who can pay for it. While its not a foregone conclusion, this could end up creating a society where money truly is the only way to make it life. The poor can't hope to excel in any skilled field, because those with money can pay to acquire those traits.

I'm not saying genetic manipulation should be completely banned, but it could have some serious social repercussions depending on how widespread it becomes.

once it becomes available it doesnt matter if its banned or not, people will use it to get ahead in sport, their lives and in their careers. which leaves anyone unable to afford it or unwilling to go through it at a marked disadvantage, etc

the movie gattaca explains a world thats an extreme but believable version

wombat_of_war:

Zetatrain:

I actually think that the whole sport thing makes a good analogy. When you think about it life is one big competition.

To make it in life your gonna need a job that pays well and chances are you are gonna need some kind of skill to acquire that job. If you don't have connections your only hope is to work your way up the food chain of whatever field you're in and hope your efforts pay off.

Now imagine a society where you can make some as strong, fast, smart, etc. as you want to through genetic manipulation, but its only available to those who can pay for it. While its not a foregone conclusion, this could end up creating a society where money truly is the only way to make it life. The poor can't hope to excel in any skilled field, because those with money can pay to acquire those traits.

I'm not saying genetic manipulation should be completely banned, but it could have some serious social repercussions depending on how widespread it becomes.

once it becomes available it doesnt matter if its banned or not, people will use it to get ahead in sport, their lives and in their careers. which leaves anyone unable to afford it or unwilling to go through it at a marked disadvantage, etc

the movie gattaca explains a world thats an extreme but believable version

Oh yeah no doubt about that. Hell, steroids are banned in sports and that sure as hell hasn't stopped some people from using them.

Zetatrain:
I actually think that the whole sport thing makes a good analogy. When you think about it life is one big competition.

To make it in life your gonna need a job that pays well and chances are you are gonna need some kind of skill to acquire that job. If you don't have connections your only hope is to work your way up the food chain of whatever field you're in and hope your efforts pay off.

Now imagine a society where you can make some as strong, fast, smart, etc. as you want to through genetic manipulation, but its only available to those who can pay for it. While its not a foregone conclusion, this could end up creating a society where money truly is the only way to make it life. The poor can't hope to excel in any skilled field, because those with money can pay to acquire those traits.

I'm not saying genetic manipulation should be completely banned, but it could have some serious social repercussions depending on how widespread it becomes.

Ahh... you do realize you can pay to make someone strong, fast, smart, etc, and that you pay for skills to land good jobs right?

I mean, if not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socio-economic_mobility_in_the_United_States that article can help.

Honestly what you describe is not a big change, just one more way to have a stagnated income inequality, so it will happen but will change little.

kyosai7:

Rawbeard:
First Wheadon show that has a decent chance of not getting canceled in it's first season and it's baaaaaad. Like "90's pretend to be Marvel, but not really" bad. The dialog of all things is horrible!

Really? I quite enjoyed it. I'm glad Coulson is still Coulson, and the new characters could be interesting. I was afraid this show would do to Coulson, what Torchwood did to Harkness, and I'm glad they dodged that bullet.

dont know if anyone else caught it, but there was a throwaway line between two characters saying that Coulson probably wasn't Coulson.

Tahiti is magical, after all.

But yea, it's good that he's still the Super Hero fanboy secret agent we came to know and love.

Kalezian:

kyosai7:

Rawbeard:
First Wheadon show that has a decent chance of not getting canceled in it's first season and it's baaaaaad. Like "90's pretend to be Marvel, but not really" bad. The dialog of all things is horrible!

Really? I quite enjoyed it. I'm glad Coulson is still Coulson, and the new characters could be interesting. I was afraid this show would do to Coulson, what Torchwood did to Harkness, and I'm glad they dodged that bullet.

dont know if anyone else caught it, but there was a throwaway line between two characters saying that Coulson probably wasn't Coulson.

Tahiti is magical, after all.

I picked up on that too although I was thinking on the line that Coulson was a clone or something like that and Tahiti was just a placeholder memory to justify the gap. Granted I wouldn't mind going to Tahiti for a holiday!

Kalezian:

dont know if anyone else caught it, but there was a throwaway line between two characters saying that Coulson probably wasn't Coulson.

Tahiti is magical, after all.

Jaeger_CDN:
I picked up on that too although I was thinking on the line that Coulson was a clone or something like that and Tahiti was just a placeholder memory to justify the gap. Granted I wouldn't mind going to Tahiti for a holiday!

At first I figured that was a toss off explanation that Coulson was an LMD--Life Model Decoy--but now I'm wondering if the "magical" bit involved...Coulson being some kind of zombie?!?

EDIT: This being the Marvel universe and the plan to bring the Rocket Raccoon to a major movie proves they're ready to go hog wild AND considering their plans to have Dr. Strange emerge--possibly with his own movie--it isn't too far fetched to think they'll introduce Marvel magic and the undead this way.

Seriously...this IS Marvel, after all. ^_^

EDIT 2: Also I recall how Maria Hill commented that Coulson kept saying he was dead longer and longer. Perhaps that, too, is a clue to his ZOMBIE status? O.O

A most interesting article.

As my major interest is in the enhancement of the human body through cybernetic bits and pieces, it got me thinking, is there some way to modify the genome in order to make said human more receptive to artificial organ replacement/enhancement?

Dude, that's just Deus Ex Human Revolution isn't it?

rofltehcat:
I like the example of that boy with super strength. In the link given in the article he seems to be described as having super strength (although I just glanced over it).
I really don't know if reliably modifying the human genome will work out in the end. Modifying plants for example seems pretty hit and miss, creates more problems (e.g. roundup-resistant weeds, giving farmers huge headaches) and their method of transfering the roundup-resistance into soy beans for example seems to be pretty random, at least from what little I understand. Viruses might be more reliable but might also more dangerous.

Personally, I think the problems with Roundup can be attributed to corporate greed, and not so much the science behind it. Roundup could have changed the world for the better, but the technology was abused to make some folks in suits stinking rich.

As for the use of viruses, it's not all that dangerous at all. Viruses are such simple organisms -- if you can even call them that -- that sequencing their DNA and studying their methods of infection isn't difficult. In fact, certain viruses have already been modified for use in gene therapy, as was mentioned in the article. There' are concerns about where in the genome viruses insert their genetic load, but since the pathogenic, viral genes have been removed, it's a worth worth taking by those who need the treatment.

rofltehcat:
One thing I wonder about is if naturally occuring mutations and recessive traits may be responsible for some of the hero figures appearing throughout old mythology. For example, Hercules (if he existed) might have had the same rare condition the boy mentioned as an example has.

The same question was asked in the intro to the article, and it's a very interesting question, but there's no real way to know for sure. I'd like to think that genetics had some part to play in some of the less outrageous ancient myths.

 

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