The Frontier Channel returns today from a remarkable new setting for observing the frontiers of science and technology: the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being one of the premier centers for planetary science research in the United States and home to the upcoming Phoenix mission to Mars, UA is home to ophthalmologist Jim Schwiegerling. Dr. Schwiegerling is currently at work on a new generation of corrective laser eye surgery that should result in vision enhancement superior to current human abilities, by the end of this decade.
Rather than simply treating or correcting human medical conditions and diseases, research is poised to bring to the public technology to enhance human abilities. Bionic ears that are superior to the best biological ears, corrective laser eye surgery that results in 20/10 or better vision, drugs that decrease our dependence on sleep, and life-extension compounds are just some of the technologies that are expected in the next five years to begin confusing our definition of what it means to be human.
Meanwhile, I will be working on degrees in Physics and Astronomy and may volunteer as a human guinea pig.