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Subject: Mutation Good or Bad for Soldiers
Miles    8/22/2007 4:55:13 PM
Do you think it would be bad to use bio engineering to mutate soldiers into super soldiers for war combat only? How would it affect them, and what would people think about them? I'm talking about different kinds of mutations. Turning a soldier into a killing machine monster, turning them into cyborgs, super strenght enhancement, and more. Would you lose your humanity to protect and serve your county or space coloney? What do you think?
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Treadgar       8/23/2007 10:45:22 AM
Those are some pretty broad questions Miles. It's a topic that has been well explored in science fiction. As for mutations, they happen all the time, and mostly they're bad news, yet here and there they offer some advantages. A great majority of the time these advantages also come attached with disadvantages as well.

 Your question about losing your humanity is a deep one, it begs an exploration of human identity, and how much difference we can tolerate. I just read a trilogy that I borrowed from a friend by John Skalzi. The first was "Old Man's War", or something like that. Here old people volunteered to join the military. Their conciousness would be lifted from their aging bodies and somehow transplanted into new enhanced bodies. 

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andyf       8/23/2007 4:46:16 PM
well, it seems an experiment was done a while ago.
they took mice < who have bi chromatic vision- I think, yellow/blue? > and they added the gene for the red colour receptor us primates have,
it worked, when the mice were grown they could see red as well- it seems that the mouse brain organized itself to use the extra ability
that means that ith a bit of embryo tweaking you could give a human the colour receptors for the extra visual colours that birds can see, or insects.
near IR and UV vision anyone?
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Treadgar       8/25/2007 10:23:20 AM
I believe some insects already have UV vision, so it's not an unreasonable question. And the Germans managed to link up electric circuits with nerve cells without frying them. There is work under way with DNA computers, who knows where that might lead. The brainpals of "Old Man's War" may not be too far into the distant future. As for augmenting human performance? This is also a work in progress. Of course we have steroids already, and despite the risks people will do that. I don't think there would be any problem getting volunteers for physical augmentation. 

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