Books et al.Space Colonization

The biologically optimized spacefarer

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Science  30 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6541, pp. 469
DOI: 10.1126/science.abh0098

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Summary

Humans have the capacity for very long-term thinking, yet we are often careless about the welfare of Earth and reckless when it comes to our destructive abilities. As such, we may eventually be confronted with the necessity of colonizing the Universe. In such a scenario, might it be possible to genetically modify humanity to optimize ourselves for the new environmental challenges we will face on other planets? In his new book, The Next 500 Years, geneticist Christopher Mason argues, "It is no longer a question of 'if' we can engineer life—only 'how'" and "Engineering is humanity's innate duty, needed to ensure the survival of life."

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