Last month, an article was published in the interdisciplinary journal Langmuir titled, "Patterning of Antibodies Using Flexographic Printing," which read like a chapter out of a science fiction novel:
This concept - and now reality - of creating plastic antibodies and associated (pseudo)biological components, to be used for "medicinal purposes" within the human organism, is technically a form of cybernetics; that is, the combining of artificial technologies and biological systems to create human-machine hybrids (i.e. cyborgs) with enhanced abilities.
While the trans-humanistic ethos which subtends this sort of cybernetic technology is, for lack of a better word, creepy, the successes of synthetic antibodies have recently been lauded in both the experimental literature and mainstream media, alike.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society titled,
...reported on the ability of plastic antibodies to effectively neutralize a toxic peptide in the bloodstream of mice:
The unintended, adverse effects of injecting plastic antibodies into animals or humans in order to improve on, optimize or replace natural immune processes, are likely beyond our present ability to comprehend, but nonetheless immense.
Plastic, after all, is a derivative of crude oil, and despite these exuberant researchers' claim to the contrary lacks biocompatibility with most living systems (being xenobiotic), excluding rare forms of bacteria and fungi. Nevertheless, it is likely that if we continue to see positive reports such as this in the animal model, it will only be a matter of time until human clinical trials begin, and FDA approval becomes a very real possibility.
With the anticipated future adoption of artificial body parts and cellular components into mainstream medicine, we will also begin to see widespread implementation of organ printing. The technology uses modified inkjet printers, capable of rendering 3-dimensional living biological structures.
In 2011, a review published in the journal Current Opinion and Biotechnology titled, "Organ printing - From bioprinter to organ biofabrication line," discussed the Frankenstein-like technology already in the developmental pipeline:
Organ biofabrication is only one aspect of the increasingly God-like power the biotechnology industry is assuming for itself.
We have already seen this industry unleash upon a good portion of the arable surface of the earth the irrevocable juggernaut of genetically modified organisms.
Things did not seem like they could get much worse, until in 2010, the journal Science reported on the "Creation of a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome":
If cells themselves are now being created through the insertion of synthetic genomes, and these cells are capable of self-replication, and can be manipulated into forming tissue intended to be implanted into human beings, there is little doubt remaining that the myth of Frankenstein has found living and breathing expression in the form of today’s no less horrific incipient technologies.
At what point do we call technology which intends to blend plastic and human systems together into a more perfect union by its proper name:
The reality is that there are a wide array of natural methods to stimulate bodily regeneration, which are foods, spices and nutrients [view our recent article on the topic: 6 Bodily Tissues That Can Be Regenerated Through Nutrition] but which do not lend themselves to proprietary commodification within a medical system governed by economic forces and motives far more powerful than intellectual or moral ones.