Week 5. Patty Durongwong. Biotechnology and So Much More

Wow. It’s the only word I think of when I reflect upon this past week in class. Not only was the topic of biotechnology so interesting, but the midterm projects were inspiring on so many levels. What I found rather interesting was that a good chunk of the midterm projects involved bionic arms, legs, or ways to make humans – well, less human. Our society seems to be almost obsessed with making the actual human body more robotic. Maybe its because we believe we have reached a peak in all other technological advances – a car that can parrallel park, a computer that can do pretty much anything with the click of a button, and….well what more can we want? However, I am rather disturbed by the thought that what society is interested in is making us more un-human. I understand that many of the ideas are intended to help those who cannot move and that is, without a doubt, a positive humanitarian aspiration. Then, if we can make our limbs robotic, or our bodies unbreakable – we will have technically evolved the entire human race singly handedly.

Biotechnology appears to have no limits. If nature can exist without the necessity of computers or cars – why can’t we? By studying the systems that occur in nature and applying that to our society – perhaps we can be as successful as nature is. Biotechnology is even more interesting when we use technology to alter biological systems – much like the spider goats. When I first thought about the concept – i said to myself “How bizarre, and why a goat and not a cow?” I guess the production of spider silk on a mass scale has to start somewhere. I realize that just as spiders need to produce such a strong silk to survive, humans must advance in technology to survive. Our culture has moved into a paradigm where technology is all around us – most of us cannot leave the house without our cell phones, or live a successful life without checking our emails. By studying how nature survives, we are hoping to advance in response to new discoveries or concepts – however “out of the box” they may be. We seem to be on a daily struggle to find ways to make our lives easier and more efficeint and we are trying to find the answers in technology. Are the answers in biotechnology? How does nature carry on so efficiently and so effectively without cell phones or computers? Civilization is so obsessed with making our lives easier that we forget to do things for the mere purpose of enjoyment – we are always striving to make our lives better and more successful. It seems technology is lifting us more off the ground than we intend it to and there is no turning back with technology – afterall, we cannot simply remove cell phones from our lives…at least not until we invent something better than cell phones.

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