This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
With the help of science and technology, mankind stepped out of the earth, marking the beginning of a new era of human civilization – the space age. I believe everyone knows that in the future, human beings will inevitably expand to the interstellar and develop into space. Interstellar navigation, interstellar colonization and space mining will become the main theme of human beings in the future.
For example, Mars, the most explored planet on earth, may become the first planet for human migration in the near future. Although space exploration is very attractive, but through the research of scientists, it is found that the human body is too weak, and it is easy to be hurt in the complex space environment.
The space environment is a microgravity environment, and there are all kinds of strong radiation, and the human body will be affected even if it stays in such an environment for a short period of time. If you stay for a long time, there will be gene mutation, bone problems and other aspects, which will seriously damage human health. Therefore, astronauts perform missions in space for a period of time and need to recuperate for a long time after returning to earth before they can enter space again.
For example, Yang Liwei, China’s first Aerospace man, went to space only once, but later he was unable to enter space again due to physical reasons. It can be seen that the impact of space environment on human body is relatively large. At the same time, it also shows that the human body’s ability to adapt to space radiation and microgravity environment is quite wrong.
If human beings don’t have a strong physique to adapt to the space environment and the outer planet environment, then the future space exploration plan of human beings will be greatly affected. Even the future migration plan to Mars will be greatly affected. Although Mars is similar to the earth, its environment is very different from the earth. First of all, the gravity is lighter than the earth, the atmosphere is thinner, and there is no magnetic field.
Even if human beings can make a series of modifications to Mars in the future to meet the initial living conditions of human beings, they will not be able to make it completely the same as the earth. At least, Mars’ magnetic field is difficult to activate again, and Mars’ atmosphere is also difficult to make it as thick as the earth. Without the protection of magnetic field and thick atmosphere, the solar radiation on Mars would be very strong. With the present physical quality of human beings, it is very dangerous to be directly exposed to solar radiation without wearing space suits.
Therefore, if human beings want to achieve large-scale migration in the future, so that people can live freely and safely on the surface of Mars, it is necessary to improve and strengthen the quality of human body, so how do we strengthen the quality of human body? The physical quality of human beings is gradually developed after a long period of evolution. In order to strengthen the human body’s physical fitness to adapt to the more complex space environment, only at the genetic level, that is, human evolution.
There are only two aspects of the impact of space environment on human body, one is strong radiation, the other is gravity. Therefore, scientists’ research on human genetic modification mainly focuses on these two aspects. One of the main health problems of space travel is radiation exposure. If scientists can find a way to help human cells resist the effects of radiation, astronauts will be able to live healthier in space for a longer time. In theory, this technology can also be used to reduce the effects of radiation on healthy cells during cancer treatment.
What does it mean to modify some genes of the human body through genetic engineering so as to make a person better survive in space or other planets? What are the feasible methods? One way is to “turn on or off” the expression of certain genes through epigenetic engineering. In other words, in order to adapt to the space environment or the environment of other planets, some genes in human body can be turned on or off artificially.
However, this method may have a disadvantage, that is, once some specific genes in the human body are turned on or off, it may be more adaptable to the space environment or the environment of a specific planet, such as Mars. However, it is possible that this person will not be able to adapt to the earth’s environment after operation, that is to say, it may not be able to survive on the earth.
In fact, this is also very easy to understand. Human gene expression is formed after millions of years of evolution and evolution in order to adapt to the earth’s environment. Every form of genome is adapted to the environment of the earth. But if a genome is shut down, it may adapt to the environment of Mars, but it will not adapt to the environment of earth. This is not a perfect solution.
So some scientists put forward the second method, which is to combine the genes of other living organisms with the genes of human cells to form a new and stronger cell, so as to improve the quality of human body, which can not only adapt to the environment of the earth, but also better adapt to the environment of space and other planets. So what kind of living gene can combine with human cells?
Some scientists think of the water bear. Some people may not know about the water bear. The water bear is very small, with a minimum size of 50 microns and a maximum size of 1.4 mm. It can only be seen with a microscope. The surface of the body is covered with a water film, which is used to avoid dryness and breathe oxygen in the water film.
Water bears are the most powerful creatures known on earth, and can survive in outer space without protective measures. The reason why scientists choose it is to see its ability to survive in space, which is also the only life that can survive in space without any protective measures.
If we can perfectly combine the gene of water bear with human cells, and cultivate a stronger cell, then the human body may have the strong ability to survive in space. Even if we can’t survive in space like the water bear, as long as we can effectively resist the strong radiation in the universe and the influence of different gravity environments, it will be a huge help for human beings.
If human beings are not afraid of all kinds of strong radiation in the universe and the low gravity environment in the universe, then human beings will not have to worry about the harm caused by the space environment to human health, and will naturally be able to better adapt to the Martian environment. Maybe human beings will be able to survive only by making some modifications to Mars. Unlike now, Mars may need to be very close to the earth to survive.
Of course, it’s not easy to realize the combination of water bear genes and human cells. This is a very bold idea, and whether it can be realized is still unknown. Scientists should first carry out a series of research and Exploration on the genes of water bear, and then combine them with human cells to see whether they will cause some harm to human body.
In any case, with the rapid development of science and technology, it is inevitable to carry out human transformation through genetic engineering in the future. On the one hand, it is to enhance the quality of human body, so that people can live longer and healthier. On the other hand, it is also for the future human space exploration and space migration program. Even without the combination of bear worm gene and human cells, there will be a new direction of genetic transformation in the future.
It is possible that in the near future, there will be a kind of gene enhancer. By injecting this kind of gene enhancer, people can have stronger physical fitness, better adapt to the space environment, and better survive in different planetary environments. It is possible that humans in the future can live in space without any protection, just like water bears.
If there is such a day, all human beings may be Superman, and the era of human space hegemony may come. As long as human beings continue to work hard and science continues to develop, one day we will be able to become the overlord of the universe and the gods in the eyes of other civilizations.
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