Hey Epsilons! Brave New World Getting Closer

Recent experiments indicate that animal behavior can be permanently altered, turning aggressive animals into models of passivity. Neurobiologist Barry Richmond and his team have done this by blocking the effects of a gene in the brain called D2, which cuts off the link between the monkey's motivation and perceived reward.

Humans have an identical gene.

The experiments involved getting monkeys to operate levers in response to color changes on a screen in front of them. Richmond's team found they could make monkeys work their hardest and fastest all the time by manipulating D2 so they forgot about rewards. No complaints or slacking off.

"Most people are motivated to work hard and well only by the expectation of reward, whether its a pay cheque or a word of praise, said Richmond. In these experiments we found we could remove that link and create a situation where repetitive, hard work would continue without any reward.
Looks like Ford's in his flivver and all's well with the world, right? Unfortunately, Richmond notes that the technicalities of permanently altering human behavior by gene manipulation are too complex. "They would be indiscriminate and not be able to appreciate that their efforts were wasted if there was a problem further along a production line," he said.

He and other scientists are optimistic that techniques of manipulating human traits are just around the corner. Future IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinics will be able to provide much more than just a reasonable chance that IVF will produce a baby boy or baby girl. Julian Savulescu, professor of ethics at Oxford University, believes that people have a "moral imperative" to genetically enhance their children.

In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, the primary means of turning a person into an Epsilon worker were strong conditioning in childhood. However, the book does also mention chemical and bacteriological manipulation of the embryo prior to birth. Or should I say, "decanting."

Read more at Scientists find way to make us slaves.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/25/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.' - James Blish, 1957.

Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'

Rise Of Skywalker Could Trigger Epileptic Seizures
'... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while.' - John Varley, 1984.

Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).

Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'

Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'

The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'

Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'

NASA's Electric Motor Scooter
'...all the [lunar] prospectors took bicycles along as a matter of course'

Moving Suns To Different Galactic Neighborhoods
'...to swerve their star from its course, the globemen made use of a simple physical principle.'

Students Surveilled By School Phone Apps
Cheer up, students. '...cracking my SchoolBook had been easy.'

Massage Robot Has Soft Hands, Er, Pads
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently over my naked form.'

Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'

Elon Musk's Traffic Tunnel Challenge Is Boring
'The car vibrated... threading the maze of local tubes.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.