6 forbidden questions about bio-technology

Last week in Cambridge, the conference was held from Medialaboratorii Massachusetts Institute of technology called “Forbidden technology.” There was compiled a list of the hazardous process: there came the topic of sex robots in the form of a child, the genetic drive and a simple but highly controversial solution to the problem of global warming.

Each of these forbidden questions ultimately relate to issues of morality or of the law and causes ethical issues.

Medialaboratorii biologist of the Massachusetts Institute of technology Kevin Esvelt calls to publish a list of scientists who plan to do advanced genetic engineering.

Can we control the climate?

Solar engineering could be the most important technology of the XXI century. If high in the atmosphere to spray sulfur dioxide, it could reflect some of the sunlight that would have led to a drop in the temperature on Earth. According to David Keith, a Harvard University Professor, it would be simple, cheap and reliable way to reduce the overall temperature of the planet to the level that existed before the emergence of the industry. However, the question arises — will it upset the ozone layer? To find the answer, you need to test on a small areas of the atmosphere. But any test is not carried out: scientists are concerned that they are trying to solve the problem of global warming, throwing out into the atmosphere more pollution.

“In the end we all decided to just leave this idea. To implement it we need a serious, open and robust international research program, and we do not. And all because of the cowardice of politicians,” says Kate.

Why not give pedophiles the sex robots as children?

Some researchers (very few) believe that sex robots in the form of children or virtual reality would help them learn more about the psychology of pedophiles and offer them a safe way to deal with that stuff. But the thing is, what about pedophiles, little is known, and to study them is quite difficult.

“Wonder if these robots are to help these people, asks Kate darling, a specialist in the ethics of robotics medialaboratorii from the Massachusetts Institute of technology. But we’ll never know because we can’t do that kind of research because of the social stigma imposed on this issue.”

What medical technology do cost money?

The US spends a lot of money on health care, and drug prices only grow. In fact, almost impossible to determine how the budget is one or the other of medical technology. Under health care reform, the U.S. government opened a new Federal research Institute, which last year spent $491 million on the determination of the most effective methods of treatment. The study was conducted with a small disclaimer: any calculations of the cost of treatment.

Why scientific knowledge should not be available to any interested person?
Why not give everybody access to research conducted by the state? This idea came to mind Alexandra Elbakyan, a student from Kazakhstan and author of a pirate site SciHub. On SciHub posted about 55 million scientific papers. Many of them before you could read, just by paying the authors, but SciHub they are freely available. For the creation of this site, Alexander is now banned entry to the territory of the United States and Europe, but to block SciHub failed.

Is it possible to genetically modify whole species?

“Genetic drive” is a new way of using the technology of genetic modification CRISPR to spread genetic trait among wild populations of animals. Imagine mosquitoes that cannot carry malaria or parasites and destroyers of themselves. Sounds great, but scientists are against this technology. Some of them believe that this method is impossible to test in laboratory conditions. At least, such tests should be conducted under careful supervision and in public. Researchers fear that if the experiments something goes wrong and the test subjects will be nature, people will forever cease to trust the scientists.

Does the phone radio?

Whether your computer and smartphone only does what you tell him? Or they are full of code, cookies and notices that trigger on someone outside will? New iPhone models continue to transmit radio signals even while in airplane mode — it says Edward Snowden, a fighter for the truth, which drew public attention to the fact that the NSA monitors all American phones. Together with engineer Andrew Huang he is currently working on a special device that you can attach to your iPhone to determine whether or not the radio or not. Snowden believes that technology truly secure communication in practice prohibited by law.