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‘Hey Bill Nye, Could Scientists Today Create Frankenstein’s Monster?’ #TuesdaysWithBill


Hi Bill Nye. My name is Lauren. First off I’d like to say that you’re my favorite
person ever in the world. But my question is do you think we can build
our own modern day Frankenstein sewn together body parts and somehow reanimating it, do
you think it’s possible because you seem like the person to ask this. Anyway, thank you so much. I hope to see you on Big Think. Lauren, reanimating people from different
body parts. Probably not, but something even more amazing
is about to happen in biology and genetics. One point of clarification, Dr. Frankenstein
created what came to be called Frankenstein’s monster. The monster himself was not really called
Frankenstein. Just a little science fiction point of interest
there. So what will probably happen in your lifetime,
just judging how old you appear on Big Think, is people like you will be able to regenerate
parts of your body using your own cells that technologist in medicine and genetics are
finding ways to get your own body to create more cells that it didn’t used to be able
to create. Like if you need a new pancreas you’ll be
able to grow your own pancreas. And I don’t know about complex mechanical
systems like hands and fingers, but it doesn’t seem beyond the technology that’s being developed
right now. Because in my lifetime people came to appreciate
the significance of stem cells. These are cells that have plenta potential. They can be anything when you’re a blastocyst
before you take on the form of a human or what have you. So the Ackerman is CRISPR and I know the P
there is palindrome, palindromic, which is the same at both ends, the same backwards
and forwards. And so people are finding ways, geneticists
are finding ways to get cells to do whatever they want, whatever they want them to do. And it’s presumed that instead of making a
monster akin to Dr. Frankenstein’s fictional great creature by assembling pieces from disparate
other humans, instead you’d get each person’s own cells to regenerate body parts or maybe
in the womb create extraordinary people extraordinarily smart with extraordinary skills at dunking
basketballs or what have you. But the idea of taking your consciousness
and putting it in another device or another system or another person, another biological
system is something that’s been around for a long time. Science fiction has got it for a long time. And I’m always charmed by the singularity
when computers are going to be as complex and sophisticated as a human brain. And this moment in history is called the singularity
and then you’ll just download all of your memories and all of your experiences into
this is presumed electronic storage system and then you would live as long as you’re
plugged in, as long as you have electricity, what have you. It just seems way more complicated and not
something I would ever count on. And I don’t think you can really be a whole
person in the way that you seem to be here on camera without your senses, without your
eyes, ears, nose and so on feeling the world around you your so called central nervous
system, which is part of your brain. I don’t think it’s that simple to put a brain
in another body and carry on or put your consciousness in an electrical receptacle and carry on,
but you may be living at a time when extraordinary things will be done with your own cells that
will far surpass anything that Dr. Frankenstein in the story was able to do. It’s exciting. Carry on.

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