PLAYING GOD DEPT.
Just when you thought all we need to worry about is an asteroid strike, nuclear war or environmental disaster, here comes your tax-supported government with some new scheme to wreck society. Unless the public begins to awaken to the dangers of unrestricted government experimentation and demand some thoughtful restraints, we’re all likely to see a future in which we are dominated by mutants, cyborgs and engineered life forms — though sometimes it seems we’re already there.
By Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton
July 29, 2013
We’re no molecular biologists over here, but have you ever seen the sci-fi flick Gattaca?
In that 1997 film, society is structured around eugenics as people are bioengineered to be ‘perfect specimens’, and one’s entire life and position in the world is based on their genetics. Those conceived naturally without genetic screening are proclaimed “invalid” and only allowed menial jobs, despite the innate talents and skills they may possess. Alternately, the 2011 movie In Time portrays a dystopic future where humans are genetically programmed to stop aging at 25 and could live forever — so long as they earn enough “time credits” to afford to stay alive; the poor perish swiftly under an artificially skyrocketing cost of living that times out their clocks, while the rich who steer the technocracy are gaming the system and living indefinitely.
Such nightmare scenarios place obvious restrictions on the natural right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Back in reality, alarmingly similar ends are being pursued.
DARPA, the Department of Defense’s research arm, has just put out a new solicitation for a project called, “Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering” on the government’s Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) site.
This project isn’t just for engineering any mammal’s genome, however; it’s specifically for the bioengineering of humans.
The proposal explains the project’s details:
The ability to deliver exogenous DNA to mammalian cell lines is a fundamental tool in the development of advanced therapeutics, vaccines, and cellular diagnostics, as well as for basic biological and biomedical research… The successful development of technologies for rapid introduction of large DNA vectors into human cell lines will enable the ability to engineer much more complex functionalities into human cell lines than are currently possible.
The project’s stated objective is to “improve the utility of Human Artificial Chromosomes (HACs).” (Gallows humor jokes about how DARPA wants to literally HAC(k) you can be made at any time.) A Wikipedia entry explains in relatively plain language what a HAC is and what it does:
A human artificial chromosome (HAC) is a microchromosome that can act as a new chromosome in a population of human cells. That is, instead of 46 chromosomes, the cell could have 47 with the 47th being very small, roughly 6-10 megabases in size, and able to carry new genes introduced by human researchers.
So DARPA and its team of associated scientists want to introduce an entirely new 47th chromosome into human genetics as a vector platform for inserting bio-alterations and wholesale genetic “improvements” into our DNA.
The agency hopes that development of a new chromosome will allow a solution to the limitations of current “state-of-the-art” gene transfer technologies (including plasmids, adenovirus-, lentivirus-, and retrovirus-vectors, cDNA, and minigene constructs). The proposal explains that existing approaches must be improved due to known drawbacks in the scientists’ failure to control their results, causing a few minor major problems:
These include random DNA insertion into the host genome, variation in stable integration sites between cell lines, variation in the copy number and expression level of DNA that is delivered, limitations on the number and size of DNA constructs that can be delivered, and immunological responses to foreign DNA.
Yet these techniques are already in use? How reassuring.
Ever hear the term ‘playing God’? Scientists who work in these fields not only refer to themselves as “genome engineers,” but “biological designers” in their journal articles. This January 2013 piece in the journal Molecular Systems Biology introduces the topic with a chilling description:
The phrase ‘genome-scale engineering’ invokes a future in which organisms are custom designed to serve humanity. Yet humans have sculpted the genomes of domesticated plants and animals for generations. Darwin’s contemporary William Youatt described selective breeding as ‘that which enables the agriculturalist, not only to modify the character of his flock, but to change it altogether. It is the magician’s wand, by means of which he may summon into life whatever form and mold he pleases’ (Youatt, 1837).
It’s impossible to even compile an accurate listing of all the potential slippery slopes at play here, yet it is clear that this entails a momentous grasp at controlling life, which not only empowers an already dictatorial technocratic elite, but emboldens a delusional and destructive cadre intent on overwriting the existing species now on Earth.
In one 30-second promo video, an investment firm (with their creepy all seeing eye logo) nonchalantly projects that within 50 years, science will displace natural life by a factor of 50-to-1 with artificial lab-created species – including plants, animals, humans, bacteria and viruses. Fidelity Investments forecasts the creation of 50x more synthetic biological species than known natural species
Through DARPA, our government funds a laundry list of projects to gain technocratic control of the future that reads more like a summary of the latest sci-fi horror film plots. Case in point: just today Activist Post reported “Secret DARPA Mind Control Project Revealed: Leaked Document“.
When looking at one DARPA project to perfect mind control techniques — or a second DARPA project to study the human hormone oxytocin to ‘improve’ our response to government propaganda — or a third DARPA brain interface project that would literally turn soldiers into cyborgs, it’s creepy enough. However, when looking at all of these projects together as a combined effort … it raises chilling questions as to what kind of dystopic, technocratic future they are forcing us into.
These developments only include a small sampling of what we know is admittedly going on. Who knows what is actually taking place behind the scenes.
Exactly how many far-reaching and potentially disastrous implications of our government literally playing God are there?