por Canek Zapata
This biopunk future will come in three ages:
1) “Quantified bio”
23andme-like diagnostics become available at grocery rates for everybody. Just as the iPhone tracks every step I take, people will have their genomes continuously monitored, including their microbiome and all microorganisms around their house, gardens, pets and cattle. This no longer requires sequencing; the functional analysis is done with biochemical and microbiological agents directly, without much interference with the specimens. Tinder finds proper matches genomically—at least this is what it would advertise. Gated communities might require applicants to have their genomic profile within certain boundaries of ‘ancestry’ or other presumed properties. After genome-targeted drone killings have become a standard weapon of the U.S. military, racist terrorists also start to use targeted bio-weapons against people carrying certain genomic markers.
2) “Evolution as will and representation”
Genetic modifications are commoditized. Sanitation, hygi
ene, and most of medicine has moved from chemistry to biology, substituting hydrochloric acid or isopropyl alcohol with enzymes and phages. Nano-tech and biotech merge into material science on atomic levels, creating all kinds of hybrid molecules that further blur the boundary between organic and inorganic chemistry. Manufacturing and processing becomes more a process of self-assembling things instead of printing them. The climate crisis is resolved by means of airborne microbes turning CO2 into chalk and getting raw materials in abundance by organisms agglomerating rare elements. Mars terraforming has made great progress, and the Martian atmosphere has already doubled in density, with most of the additional gas composed of oxygen and nitrogen. After some time most organisms on earth are ‘synthetica’, finally rendering the tree-like models of Linnaean genetic ancestry obsolete. In widespread genomic punishment and corrections, deviant behavior is dealt with by infusing gene-alterations into people’s bodies that mi