Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nano Man and Big Food

Space travel, visiting other planets, engineering healthy food...can we really put all of that in one sentence? The answer might be yes given the intelligence and new thinking from three experimenting minds.

One is Manfred Clynes, who coined the word cyborg more than 50 years ago, and the second individual is Craig Ventner, famous for sequencing the human genome. Combine these great accomplishments together and you have Arne Hendricks who wonders whether it might be possible to just re-design humans. The approach of altering mankind to be 19-inches tall and 4 pounds sounds crazy, right? Yet he has spent the past several years seriously researching the possibilities and implications of shrinking the human species. As he explains on his project website:

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a speculative design research about the consequences of downsizing the human species to 50 centimeters [19.7 inches]. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more energy, more food and more space. But what if we decided to turn this trend around? What if we use our knowledge to shrink mankind?

I know you are getting excited plus questioning the whole concept; however, imagine baby pineapple fruit, mini-cows, and more. From a scientific approach, this could translate into less energy requirements, less food, smaller footprints, and potentially less garbage. From an emotional and natural perspective, it sounds completely wacky. In today's age of complete out of control consumption, you have to give these guys credit for re-thinking our approach to food, genetics, and space technology.

If anything the Incredible Shrinking Man research project could yield evidence for improving farming and agricultural to medicine and technology. We know this small methodology has nano-lifesavers and the field of nanotechnology is expanding far and wide with nanobots, nanofabrics, nanochemistry and other nanomaterials. We are a small world after all, but we still have big problems to solve. Consume Less. Conserve More.

Source: Good, 2011

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