Theme C Summary

Panel: J. Bonadio, L. Cauller, B. Chance, P. Connolly, E. Garcia-Rill, R. Golledge, M. Heller, P.C. Johnson, K.A. Kang, A.P. Lee, R.R. Llinas, J.M. Loomis, V. Makarov, M.A.L. Nicolelis, L Parsons, A. Penz, A. T. Pope, J. Watson, G. Wolbring

The second NBIC theme is concerned with means to strengthen the physical or biological capabilities of individuals. The panel's work dovetailed with that of the first panel in the area of human cognition, especially the exciting and challenging field of brain performance. The brain, after all, is an organ of the human body and is the physical basis for that dynamic system of memory and cognition we call the mind. An extremely complex brain is the feature of human biology that distinguishes us from other animals, but all the other tissues and organs of the body are also essential to our existence and overall performance, and they thus deserve close scientific and technological attention.

The convergence of nano-bio-info-cogno technologies is bound to give us tremendous control over the well-being of the human body. In turn, it will change the way we think about health, disease, and how far we go to treat a patient. These new technologies will enable us to decipher the fundamental mechanisms of a living being, yet at the same time, they raise the fundamental questions of what life is and how human capability is defined. The panel gave highest priority to six technologies for the improvement of human health and capabilities in the next 10-20 years. In realizing these priorities, it will be essential to keep a "healthy" balance on human issues while seeking technological and social solutions.

0 0

Post a comment