Category Archives: Technothriller blog

Blogs relating to the technothrillers

Genetically Engineering New Forms of Life

Want to know how to alter DNA to genetically engineer new forms of life?  Sounds like a new take on what we did in my thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, but it’s actually Newsweek’s cover story. http://www.newsweek.com/2017/07/07/natural-selection-new-forms-life-scientists-altering-dna-629771.html   

Author of the Newsweek article is Bryan Walsh. (Believe in giving credit where credit’s due, and writing this deserves credit!)

Right now I’ve got to run to an appointment; hopefully I’ll be back to make some points. But at least wanted to get this off to you to peruse over the weekend.

And if you time for even more perusing, please do check out my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.  http://michaelmcgaulley.net/books/sample-remedy/

A REMEDY FOR DEATH, Human-Chimp Hybrids,  Chimeras, “Chimphumans”, and “Humanzeees”

Plot spoiler warning:  One plot-line in my scientific techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, touches upon the sensitive possibility of creating hybrids combining human and chimp cells and characteristics. But my post here won’t spoil the story, I promise. (Even though, by the way, a “Chimp Donnie appears in some of the scenes.)

But now, in the “real world”, not the world of sci-fi–  Wait! Stop the presses! These days maybe there is scant to little difference between “real” science and “science fictionalizing” what is perhaps just round the corner—for good or bad.

Sorry for the interruption. As I was saying,  David Barash, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington, explores some broader implications—and ethical dilemmas—in an article, “It’s Time to Make Human-Chimp Hybrids” in the magazine NAUTILUS.  http://nautil.us/issue/58/self/its-time-to-make-human_chimp-hybrids

Definitely worth reading, whether or not you come to agree with all of his in-favor arguments.

Usefully, early in the article, he clarifies the distinction hybrids and chimeras: “It is unclear whether my own imagined chimphuman will be a hybrid (produced by cross-fertilizing human and non-human gametes), or a chimera, created in a laboratory via techniques of genetic manipulation.”

He uses both “chimphuman” and “humanzee,” by the way.

(In fairness, I’d point out –possible plot-spoiler—that the method developed and being tested by Dr. Doug Daulby, lead character in A REMEDY FOR DEATH, suggests a third way of fusing humans and chimps. And hence brings its own unique ethical and legal issues.)

By the way, this concept of combining different sorts of animals—including even humans with animals—is not really so new, after all. It’s been done with race horses and various farm animals for years. But did you know that nearly a century ago the Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov was working on creating animal hybrids, including “zeedonks” (from combined zebras and donkeys)?

And there’s more! In the late 1920’s, with the support of Stalin, he experimented with injecting human sperm into female chimps, and then the reverse! Apparently nothing came of it.

Enough said here. The link to Dr. Barash’s article in NAUTILUS is above. And let me give a plug for NAUTILUS magazine as well, in which I first came on via this article.  Terms itself “a different kind of science magazine,” and does seem to be precisely that. Fascinating articles, and welcomes new subscribers, in print or e-edition.  The link is http://nautil.us/  (note the exact spelling.)

Just to give a sense of the savvy: this pic below is used to accompany the Barash article in NAUTILUS  Look closely! That one spooky pic conveys so much.

 

There’s another article, by John Ellis, commenting on the Barash piece in PJ MEDIA  https://pjmedia.com/faith/push-make-human-chimp-hybrids/  The title, “The Push to Make Human-Chimp Hybrids”, correctly suggests that he is less enthusiastic about the possibility.

Sample sentences from that article: “Ultimately, what Barash is after is the erasure of the uniqueness of human personhood. His argument for the making of a human-chimp hybrid is built on his rejection of any real distinctions between humanity and the rest of the animal kingdom.”

Professor Barash’s article was adapted from his upcoming book THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY: USING SCIENCE TO SEE OUR SPECIES AS IT REALLY IS.  Coming, summer 2018, Oxford University Press.

And after passing on all these plugs, time for a plug of my own for A REMEDY FOR DEATH. (Available in both p-book and e-book editions at the usual book-sellers, including Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/REMEDY-DEATH-Playing-body-biotech-ebook/dp/B00946XVKW/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521574977&sr=1-3&keywords=mcgaulley

(Sorry for long link; can’t get the system to work right.)

My blog–in case you arrived here by other means– is www.MichaelMcGaulley.net )

 

A REMEDY FOR DEATH: articles on radical life extension, reversing aging, the quest for human immortality, and regenerative medicine

As  my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, is set in areas including anti-aging methods, bio-engineering, radical life extension, the quest for human immortality,organ regeneration and organ fabrication, regenerative medicine, reversing aging, the quest for eternal youth, and transhumanism, I keep an eye out for articles on these and related topics.

Here are a few of the more intriguing. Normally, I’d like to comment on them and put them into perspective, but the list has grown too quickly recently.  

 

Tech titans’ latest: Project Defy Death. Washington Post, page 1 above the fold, April 5, 2015;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2015/04/04/tech-titans-latest-project-defy-death/#

Continue reading A REMEDY FOR DEATH: articles on radical life extension, reversing aging, the quest for human immortality, and regenerative medicine

Special sample: how sensory deprivation immersion tanks fit into the plot of the technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH

Here’s your free sample drawn from my science technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.  Note: this special sample does not pick up at the beginning of the story, but rather focuses specifically on how sensory deprivation immersion tanks work in the plot.

Click to enter that special world: A REMEDY FOR DEATH— how sensory deprivation immersion tanks fit into the story

A REMEDY FOR DEATH . . . Scientists grow full-sized beating human hearts from stem cells

My bio-science techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, focuses on a group of super-rich trying to re-create themselves in “healthy, horny 21-year-old bodies with all our accumulated savvy from this lifetime”.
Seems far out?
Not so, as hardly a week goes by without elements of just-that being announced by science labs around the world.
Articles report in the online London Independent https://www.indy100.com/article/human-heart-grow-stem-cells-science-transplant-medicine-technology-7521166 and  by Alexandra Ossola in Popular Science  http://www.popsci.com/scientists-grow-transplantable-hearts-with-stem-cells   how not only is this a step toward the scheme of the bad-guys in A REMEDY FOR DEATH, but — better for the world– will ultimately produce many more of the replacement hearts needed by those waiting for heart transplants.

The photo here comes from the article in the professional journal Circulation Research, where you can read more  http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/118/1/56