In today’s world, workers around the world fear being replaced by a machine or robot. It is a reasonable fear. Grocery stores are moving towards self-checkout lanes. One Amazon store in Seattle has less than that, sporting no employees. Manufacturing is on the brink of being totally robotic in fashion. Even cab and Uber drivers aren’t safe as self-driving cars are becoming the new normal in places such as Pittsburgh.
But have we now come to a point in time where we might not even need one another to create life? As terrifying as that statement may sound, it might not be far from reality.
UK researchers and embryologists at the famed University of Cambridge have successfully grown mouse embryos using nothing but stem cells. This means there was no egg and no sperm present. They merely used cells which were taken from another embryo.
The researchers observed, over several days, cells communicating and eventually becoming a mouse embryo. According to TechnologyReview.com, even the researchers were a bit surprised.
“We know that stem cells are magical in their powerful potential of what they can do. We did not realize they could self-organize so beautifully or perfectly,” the head researcher Magdelena Zernicka-Goetz said.
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Now, as a measure of clarity, Zernicka-Goetz also says she isn’t sure these synthetic embryos could have grown into mice. But that’s not the point. The point is, we are close to creating life without using life and that’s a scary concept.
Next on the slate for Zernicka-Goetz is to make an embryo derived from human stem cells.
Do you see where this is going?
At a minimum, this is the beginning of gene editing. Far worse, this is the beginning of laboratory created humans. At some point, we’ll be able to skip indoctrination programs and simply create “likeminded” humans. If the job market needs to produce better equipped Amazon factory workers, well, there should be a recipe somewhere.
Someday we can have pre-vaccinated humans in the world. Or humans created for the specific purposes of war and conflict. And worse, potentially, we create our own masters.