Friday, June 1, 2007

I, for one, welcome our moth overlords

Man, Darpa kicks ass. Turns out that within the next few years we'll be flying robo-moths over enemy camps. I think this officially trumps the sharks with lasers attached to their foreheads. If you go beyond the military applications, this technology could be used everywhere. Imagine the research you could do if you could grow mice to behave exactly as you wish, without intefering with, say, the immune system.

The ethical issues will be enormous though. In medical science, I've always been part of the "them or us" camp, and I think for the most part, I'd remain resolutely there even if we made remote-controlled mice. If anything, it would reduce pain and suffering by cutting down on the need for risky anaesthesia or missed injections, if you could grow some sort of internal iv bag, with a remote-controlled release. It would also eliminate mistakes in euthanasia, if there could be some immediate, painless way of killing the mice using internal machinery. It's all just speculation, but this technology will be immensely valuable.

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