Supervisor: Mrs.. McKenzie & Mr.. Michael Contents Could the future Hold Super Immune Humans? 1 Abstract 3 Literature Review 3 Introduction 3 Immunity 4 Immunity in Animals Immunity in modern age 5 Medicine vs.. Placebos 6 The World at large 7 Conclusion 7 Bibliography 8 Abstract The subject of my essay is the plausibility of the future holding super immune humans. The scope of my investigation was widely based, as there are was so many roads one could take that would lead to the ultimate goal of super immunity.
The paths I focused on were; Immunity in animals and how we can learn from them, the hark and the bat were the animals chosen as they have the most advanced system is terms of immunity. Genetic modification or therapy, with the use of viruses segments of genes or instructions to make said genes can be introduced to the body. Advancements in technology, mainly focusing on nanotechnology and the doors opened from research in the area. Medicine and placebo, the great controversial theory of mind over matter, could this placebo effect be used at a large scale to induce immunity?
All these avenues proved to have potential but lack completed and tested trials leaves a lot of these theories as Just that, theories. Also when discussing a subject such as super immunity in the future, one must also take into consideration the effects super immunity would have on the world. With the death rate decreasing more pressure would be put on a world that’s currently struggling to sustain its present population. So another question comes into play, if super immunity could occur would it be the right decision to allow it.
Fortunately in the conclusion it was deduced that the future would not hold super immune humans. Literature Review Often when one is confronted with the idea of a superhuman, the image of Superman or Spenserian comes to mind, but is there a plausible possibility of there being a real life, non-fictional superhuman? Is there a possibility of there being humans who can run faster, longer and not be hampered by fatigue. Or could there be those who could lift ten times their own weight. Maybe there could even be a superhuman who has ultimate immunity and could never get sick.
The ideas are plentiful but can they can they be supported by tact’ I will be researching the plausibility of the superhuman having super immunity besides the questions of whether or not the future will produce super humans, the how is yet to be answered. WSDL this huge evolutional step be one of natural selection or occurrence or perhaps genetic modification? In super immunity, ideas of genetic modification will be discussed (Sleaze, 2012) and super immunity because of a disease (Roberts, 2011). After the pandemic of Swine Flu, nine patients who had caught the disease were studied.
And it was found that the infection had triggered the production of a wide range of antibodies which are normally seen after seasonal flu infections. Five antibodies they isolated could have fought against all the seasonal flu strains from the last decade (Roberts, 2011). The possibility of a universal vaccination has now come in to play and it is now Just a race to see who makes it first. Perhaps in the future we are not completely immune to all diseases but immunity to the flu is plausible. Bats carry many diseases but very few make them sick.
They age incredibly slowly for an animal their size and leading cause of death by external causes. The bat is also the only mammal capable of flying long distances. Extra energy is required to do this. The by-product of producing this much energy are molecules that damage the bats Deoxyribonucleic Acids (DNA). To avoid DNA damage which leads to cancer and early deaths, bats have adapted and modified their DNA to rectify this error (Sleaze, 2012). Now the idea is that if humans can manipulate and modify our DNA to have the same traits of the bat, in terms of immunity and DNA repairing genes.
We could also have the bats heightened immunity. And ultimately become super immune to most diseases. The plausibility of there being Superhuman in the future is very high. With there being a pro-active attitude towards creating the superhuman, manipulation of DNA will be a leading factor in discovering the superhuman. Perhaps over time humans may evolve and “new’ adoptions and features could classify us as “super” The avenues are plentiful, but which road will lead to the objective? Introduction Rephrasing of question. The question is: could the future hold super immune humans.
There is indeed a possibility, but it is the meaner that poses the problem will this new found power be one of natural occurrence or will it be medically or scientifically induced? If so, how often will inoculation or treatment have to proceed? In addition will this immunity be universal or strand specific. Definition of Super Human. Superhuman can be described as above or beyond what is human; having a higher nature or greater powers than humans have and also exceeding ordinary human power, achievement, experience (Dictionary. Mom). Definition of Immunity. Immunity can be defined as the condition that permits either natural or acquired resistance to a disease or virus (Dictionary. Com, 2008). Immunity What is immunity? Immunity is the ability to remember foreign substances previously encountered and react to them (Carter, 2004). Animals more specifically humans have developed measures to obtain immunity, some of it developed durably and over time I. E. : evolution and other methods scientifically induced.
History of immunity Before establishing the possibility of there being super immune humans one has to take our current immunity into consideration and make note of the positives and negatives. In Regards to the positives our immune response is g DOD. Our TLS line to defense is the skin. It is extremely important in preventing the entry of germs into our system (Bayle, 2012). Our secondary line of defense is post infection; the body tries to destroy germs and attempts so by inflammation and fever. These two ethos of immunity are known as non-specific defense mechanisms.
If the methods listed above fail, your immune system is activated and it is now becomes aware to the new threat and reacts. This third line is known as specific defense mechanisms and as the name implies it is effective against specific pathogens (Carter J. S. , 2004). The two main types of specific defense mechanisms are the humeral immune system and the cell-mediated immune system. The humeral immune system consists of a-cells which produce antibodies at the exposure to a foreign antigen. A-cells originate in the bone marrow.
Humeral immunity can be conferred upon non-immune individuals by administration of serum antibodies from an immune individual. So non-immune individuals injected with serum antibodies from an immune individual would have immunity to said pathogen. The other type of specific defense mechanisms is cell-mediated immunity which consists of T-cells originating from bone marrow. T-cells, more specifically, killers T-cells, also known as exotic T cells destroy body cells infected by viruses (Carter J. S. , 2004).
At an interview regarding super immunity with Kinds, a master’s student in HIVE and Immunity at the University f Pretoria, this is here opinions on the matter. Taking in all factors including technology, progressing diseases, attempts to find this cure, Sins’ had decided that the combined increase of variance if antibodies and of exotic T-cells this would provide sufficient protect to withstand any viral onslaught (Sins’, 2013). But there are flaws in this idea, with the increased amount of Killer T-cells and antibodies friendly bacteria in the body would be destroyed.
This would result in a whole chain of negative effects for us humans such as certain vitamins and minerals we previously obtained though these friendly bacteria now become unobtainable. Secondly and more importantly there is no current method on increasing amount and variance of Killer T-cells and antibodies. Research on this topic is also limited, so plausibility of this happening is very unlikely. Immunity in Animals Most immune animal. There is great debate on this topic but the two animals Vive highlighted with the greatest immunity is the shark and the bat.
Both animals have been chosen for having exceptional immunity in extreme and normal conditions. How do they do it? The secret behind the shark and bats is relatively simple. Firstly the shark, possesses only one broad-spectrum serum antibody. Similar to the kind find in human babies. In a human baby this broad spectrum serum antibody is replaced by more specific antibodies as the child grows and is exposed to more and more pathogens, whilst sharks retain this simple, non-specific immunity their entire lives.
Unlike specific immunity, prior exposure is not needed with the sharks immunity. So sharks are able to detoxify many potentially harmful compounds and pathogens quickly without any usual ill effects (Martin). Bats on the other hand have a different method for their Super-immunity. As previously stated, the bat is missing a gene segment that causes extreme immune reactions to said infection. In other mammals this reaction to a pathogen which called a “cytokine storm” is what actually kills the animal, not the actual virus (Bayle, 2012).
Also considering the size of bats and they’re extensive physical activity to tiling, they live incredible long lives to twenty to forty years. Bats have developed large amounts of DNA repairing genes. These mutations helped bats maximize the metabolism and help then during flying, aging, and with diseases such as cancer. Environmental Adaptations. Unlike all other gill-breathing vertebrates, sharks have a something extra. Without long bones to serve as a site leukocyte development, Sharks have had to develop an extra organ called the optional organ.
The optional organs are involved with blood cell-forming and it is also the site of T-cell differentiation. The optional organ is only found in the electromagnets species of which the shark also belongs to (Martin). Bats adaptations have already been stated, the lack of certain gene segments, resulting in the lack of an inflammatory result. Also the over development of DNA repairing genes resulting n the increase of life span and resistance against age related diseases and cancer. Immunity in modern age Efforts to cure diseases.
Although there have been great leaps in the technology and research around the immunity field. There hasn’t been any major breakthrough that would lead to the ultimate result of super immunity. Current efforts to provide super immunity can be divided into two major plausible avenues; the alternation of genes (gene therapy) and Nanotechnology. Gene Therapy: Currently there are many methods being used to alter genes, but the ones coherent are the methods involving modifying genes through the use of viruses. An example of this method is a new clinical trial being tested on patients suffering from Parkinson disease.
The virus that causes the flu has been engineered to be harmless; this new virus can then be used to carry genes into the body which then create vital brain chemicals to cure Parkinson. If viruses full with genes, which send messages that force the body to react faster and more aggressive to pathogens, are introduced to the body. Super immunity could be produced or at least improver immunity would occur (Chapman). Technological advancements: indeed there have been great advancements on genealogical front of medicine and immunity, but the foremost of those advancements being nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology in medicine involves the induction of inappropriate into ones system to make repairs at the cellular level (Nanotechnology in Medicine). Inappropriate are engineered so that they are attracted to diseased cell, for instance a cancer patient going through chemotherapy. The chemotherapy drugs target all cells in his body, which result in side effects felt during the therapy treatment. But with the aid of nanotechnology the chemo toxins could be delivered only to diseased or mutated cells. That is Just one of the many uses of nanotechnology.
This type of technology could be used to defeat viruses, not by destroying virus molecules but by rather delivering an enzyme that prevents the reproduction of virus molecules. To Track the progress and movement of diseases in one’s system, to absorb toxins and remove them from blood stream etc. The possibilities for nanotechnology is limitless and the plausibility of them being the cause of human super immunity is high indeed (Phillips). Medicine vs.. Placebos Which actually prove to be more effective?
Medication plays a huge role in the progression of human immunity. Besides providing necessary serums during times of illness, they are also used to provide immunity (vaccines), to boost it with needed vitamins etc. But there instances where the use to medication is not needed where other practices could be used to heal said person. An example of an alternate healing practice is the use of placebos. ” A placebo is a stimulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient” (Placebo, 2013).
So in simpler words the recipient of the treatment is deceived into believing they are receiving medical treatment but in actually they aren’t. Sometimes patients given the placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition; this phenomenon is simply known as the placebo effect. Medicine is the applied science or practice of the diagnosis treatment, and prevention of disease. The practice we’ll be focusing on is pharmaceutical drugs and medication. Over the years medication has evolved greatly to its current standard and capabilities.
Its velveteen has resulted in the eradication of diseases such as small pox and polio. Medication is prescribed for almost every infection, virus or bacteria that affect humans. The lives saved from declined are unfathomable and although some medications prove to be unhelpful the vast majority complete their duty, therefore proving their efficiency and help in the human immune system. Although the placebo effect has been proven to be effective, the end results still do not measure to those whom are being treated in the tradition medicinal fashion.
Medication is ultimately superior but there is still room to grow the placebo concept, and the end result in the future could be overwhelming. The idea of mind over matter could lead creation of the “wonder pill” a pill that provides immunity to all known diseases, hypothetically speaking. This mass induction of the placebo effect could result to the curing of millions and provide “super immunity’ to all the consumers of the pill. But in a hypothetical world we live not, and the progression of medicine more specifically more aggressive medicine in terms of concentration and effectiveness is where current study for future immunity lies.
The World at large Over population. Over population is occurring and without changes being made it will persist and eventually be the cause of the human race’s downfall. The current world population is estimated to be 7. 084 billion. The population will be growing at the steady rate of 1 . % that being 134 million people annually and 367 thousand daily and deaths being 56 million per year, 153 thousand daily. Future projections show that by 2050 the world population could exceed 10. 5 billion (World Population, 2013). As the population increases, so too does the pressure applied to the world.
By finding a cure or by future humans obtaining super immunity there would cause a huge spike in world populations, and the pressure applied to the world would be incalculable. The result would be the demise of humans’ . The current need for cures or super immunity may be great, but the end result isn’t in our best interests. Incurable viruses. Often incurable diseases cause pain and heartache to those infected and to those associated with said person. The gravity of the loss of a human life could never be put into words.
But if we look at death in a purely scientific way, death and disease moreover is a meaner of population control. Conclusion * The question is could the future hold super immune humans. Taking all the tattoos into consideration, it is quite impossible to supply a definite answer, so rather I’ll list two answers and reasons as to why I chose them both and from there deduce the most probable answer. So firstly yes the future could hold super immune humans. With the current amount of input being applied to the research for “the universal cure” and “Gene Modification” the output could only prove positive.
Also with the advancements in technology occurring and other alternative practices being used, the human race is taking one step closer to that goal of super immunity. Secondly, no the future could not hold super immune humans for one simple reason. This reason being the current dilemma doctors are dealing with today and have been dealing with for decades; The ever changing nature and structure of viruses. Several rues have been found for diseases such as HIVE and cancer but viruses have evolved and adapted. Different strands occur once one has been killed off.