Deep Brain Stimulation is either awesome or terrifying, depending on how much you like the idea of having wires in your brain. In a nutshell (which is to say your head), DBS is kind of like a pacemaker for your brain. A little battery pack is surgically implanted in your chest, because apparently you have a lot of free space there, and then some electrodes are run right up to your gray matter.
They already use this to treat Parkinson's patients and other diseases caused by a misfiring brain. And they're figuring out ways to even use it to cure depression. And obesity. And aggression.
OK, that's kind of frightening. But as close as they are to inventing some kind of behavior control module for your head, there are some pretty awesome uses, too, like stimulating memory. Experiments have shown that shooting electricity into certain parts of the brain makes all kinds of long-lost memories come bobbing back to the surface, in full detail. How'd you like to never forget a face or phone number again?
And talk about two birds with one stone, right?
And, who knows, maybe that behavior-control stuff isn't so scary. Who doesn't have a habit they wouldn't like to drop with the flip of a switch? The experiment we linked earlier was on obesity, and trying to use DBS to control appetite. Can we quit smoking this way? Or drop a drug habit?
And if they can do that, there's likely going to be someone, at some point, who hooks up one of the wires to the earth-shattering orgasm piece of the brain at some point creating the world's first fully self-sufficient hands-free spooge machine. Come on, what could go wrong?
So at this point it should be obvious where we're going as a species. The science is getting to the point where there's no reason to be satisfied with these flimsy, non-superpowered bodies evolution gave us.
Take, for instance, Nadya Vessey. She was born with a condition that prevented her legs from ever developing properly, and had both of them amputated when she was a teenager. She loves to swim, and instead of saying, "Man, I wish I had my legs back so I could swim like other people," she said fuck it, and went for a mermaid tail.
Since it still hasn't occurred to the prosthetics industry to sell such a thing, she got in touch with Weta, the special effects company that worked on LotR and King Kong, and asked if they'd build her one.
They did, presumably for the Hell of it, designing a prosthetic fish tail from plastic molds and wetsuit fabric with a polycarbonate spine. But it's not just a prop meant to confuse passing sailors. It's a fully-functional prosthetic that allows Vessey to swim like a fish. She's talking about using it for the swimming section of an upcoming triathlon.
That's what we're talkin' about. Think outside the box, science.
Can't walk? Implant some damned wings in our back. Or give us cybertronic prehensile tails, like howler monkeys--we'll have thought up a thousand uses for it by the end of the first day. Or build a prosthetic horse and turn us into a damned centaur. No, we're not handicapped. We'll make up a reason, just do it anyway.
We have the technology--or will soon. It's time to start taking this shit to the next level.
More Fortey can be found at ScenicAnemia.com.
Check out some people who have real superpowers right now, in 7 People From Around the World With Real Mutant Superpowers. And then check out their soon-to-be mortal enemies, in 8 Animals With Real Superpowers.