Forget the fountain of youth, “human engineering” promises so much more

From cryogenics to mind uploading, futuristic science is the new fountain of youth. And none are more susceptible to the Siren’s song of immortality than those with the time and resources to dabble with the cutting edge — of course, we’re talking about the super rich.

In his new book, LLNYC contributor Adam Piore explores the potentially life-changing research coming out of fields like bionics, regeneration and augmented cognition in his new book “The Body Builders: Inside the science of the engineered human.” And in a recent interview with Worth, Piore explained that one of the first wonders of modern science the wealthy (and hopefully all of humanity) will enjoy are advancements in deep-brain stimulation.

“The things they will be able to do with [deep-brain stimulation] will increase dramatically,” Piore told Worth. “It’s already used for Parkinson’s. I watched someone perform brain surgery using the technique on a kid who had dystonia and was losing the ability to walk. By stimulating his brain with electricity, they reversed that. If we can develop deep-brain stimulation and figure out what’s associated with different thoughts, we could modify the brain even more.”

In his book, Piore also meets people who have regrown parts of their fingers and legs, scientists hoping to create “Viagra for the brain,” and doctors who hope to give mute patients the ability to communicate telepathically.

But Piore isn’t as utopian as so many would-be guinea pigs. He tells Worth that there are certainly ethical question and dangerous consequence raised by these advancements.

“There are challenges,” he tells Worh, “but the ability to help people overshadows concerns….We’ll have to live with the consequences. The benefits are too great.”