TINKERING WITH DNA – SHADES OF GEORGE ORWELL

From:  http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/4437/is-there-any-likely-reason-why-personal-dna-tinkering-machines-would-become-wide/4443#4443
I noticed a while ago that DNA sequencing and sequence construction machines were being sold in magazines like Scientific American, with standard one-page glossy adverts (“For all your sequencing needs!”). They have snappy names, like mobile phones – e.g. “NextSeq500”. The move from lab-built-prototypes to off-the-shelf industrial machinery has already happened . . . – Neil Slater Nov 23 ’14 at 10:54

 

MORE BELOW  [Wouldn’t  Trump like to play with this!]

 

Sure! Imagine a home device that lets you create a self-replicating solar or sugar powered autonomous intelligent mobile life form capable programmed to do exactly what you want? Customize your food, customize a pet, make a wasp that will hunt down that annoying fly in your room. The only limit is your imagination. I think it would have a lot of the same appeal as programming for yourself and 3D printing for yourself. Of course all this would require some pretty impressive tech behind it, but assuming it’s there I think people would love the kind of creativity and power that such a device would provide.

Here are some more examples of various uses I could foresee people using.

Food: Customize the flavor profile, texture, and nutritional content of any plant, animal, or other organism. Also, synthesis of virtually any organic compound.

Pets: Customize the size, shape, color, and behavior of your own completely unique pet.

Art: Living art. Slime molds that sculpt themselves and other living, thinking, responsive art.

Gardening: Related to art, imagine making your own flowers and other decorative plants. Any color and any pattern you can imagine. You can also customize animals to maintain your garden for you, kill any weeds or pests that show up, while watering and fertilizing.

Cleaning: Keep your house clean with patrolling insects that dust and mop and automatically clean up any spills, (and of course keep out of sight while you are looking.)

Hygiene: We have trillions of bacteria living inside of us and on us. Imagine a strain that will help whiten your teeth instead of yellowing it and give you nice breath while it’s at it. A living perfume or antiperspirant would be a great replacement for our stinky armpits cultures. Even living makeup would be possible.

Pest control: with all this rampant engineering some people are bound to make mistakes or play pranks. Unwanted organisms from the next door neighbor might be annoying and how else are you going to get rid of them but with organisms of your own?

Communication: What better way to get a message out than with a mobile self-replicating living billboard? Something as simple as a pigeon with a company’s logo or an anarchy symbol.

These ideas would require an incredibly complete knowledge of how organisms work. But with that knowledge I see no reason why any of these possibilities are impossible. With complete control over the DNA sequence and a complete knowledge of what changes to that sequence will do the possibilities are endless.

About Nan Mykel

At 79, I was just about to stop keeping a journal, but that felt like accepting that growth was finished. I don't want to be finished, yet! I'm 80 now, and struggling to communicate with you, if you'll come and set awhile. P.S. My how time flies! I'm 82 now.
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