3D Photo by Sierra Deloach

By ANNIE WORSFOLD

In 2013 when we have such developed technology, it seems unlikely that anything new will come along to really blow the minds of the people. IPhones, tablets, Google glass even- have already incorporated themselves into the everyday lives of people. So, what about 3D printers and fax machines?

Scientist J. Craig Venter is looking into the invention of a machine to do the seemingly unthinkable- copying life on Mars. In an article by the New York Times, Venter explains that the genetic code that governs life can be stored in a computer and transmitted just like any other information. Such a system would transmit the information electronically, and the genome would by synthesized at the distant location by being inserted into what can be described as a “blank cell”.

Such a machine won’t be available for some time, and would only be available for scientific purposes as the costs would be enormous. However, in the far future, this tool may become available for the average consumer. The article explains that this kind of machine could be useful for medical purposes of the common man. For example, insulin for a diabetic could be just a click and download away.

What would a fax machine like this look like? “We’ll have a small box like a printer attached to your computer,” says Venter. Antibiotics would be able to be sent as emails, proteins could be constructed and sent in the flashiest of flashes- this is truly a monumental step in science technology.

When asked about a fax machine like this, Logan Reveil and Sam Draves had a few comments. “I like the idea,” said Logan, “I don’t know how practical it would be though.” Sam was ultimately against the idea of commercial use for the machine, but stated that “it may be useful medically for people who need quick access to medicines.” While the commercial use of this device could help people with medical conditions have quick access to medicines, it is unlikely pharmacies will stop doing their jobs a hundred years from now.

A similar machine, the 3D printer is already available for $1200+ from Staples. This can’t replicate life, but it can copy 3D objects such as tools for personal use and will in a way do for physical objects what MP3 files did for music. Instead of buying the physical object from the store or waiting for it to come in the mail after ordering it online, one can simply “print it out” of their 3D printer.

So while such an enormous step for technology as the life-replicating fax machine may be decades or centuries into the future, there are already gastronomical advances happening in this day and age. Sooner rather than later everything will be left up to technology, for better or for worse.


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