One facet of enhancement that is not controversial but is widespread is vision enhancement. In the further reading section, I refer to my past articles on other methods of enhancement which are being developed such as regeneration, life extension and cognitive enhancement. I believe the most important and likely enhancements are those that provide a economic benefit and boosts individual and group productivity or reduce costs such as superior health.
McGwire’s custom-designed lenses improved his vision to 20/10, which means he could see at a distance of 20 feet what a person with normal, healthy vision could see at 10 feet. Think what a difference that makes in hitting a fastball. Imagine how many games those lenses altered.
Tiger Woods, who had lost 16 straight tournaments before his [LASIK] surgery, ended up with 20/15 vision and won seven of his next 10 events.
In 2004, 69 percent of traditional LASIK patients in a study had 20/16 vision six months after their surgery, and new “wavefront” technology raised the percentage to 85. Odds are, if you’re getting LASIK, you’re getting enhanced.
To the refractive surgery patient in year 2000, achieving an uncorrected visual acuity of 20/20 after refractive surgery was considered a success. Ongoing research in this field is focused on further improving these results. Realizing that 20/20 does not represent perfect vision is important because many young healthy adults have visual acuities of 20/15 to 20/12. If optical aberrations in the eye could be eliminated, the theoretical limit of foveal acuity would be 20/12 for a small pupil and up to 20/5 for a dilated pupil.
In 100 eyes with 3-months follow-up, postoperative UCVA of 20/15 or better was 45.0%, 20/20 or better was 89.0%, and 20/40 or better was 99.8%. These compared favorably with those completed with conventional ablation, which showed postoperative UCVA of 20/15 or better was 29.0%, 20/20 or better was 84.0%, and 20/40 or better was 99.5%. Some other studies have achieved 29% with 20/12.5.
There is a reversible and correctable LASIK treatment in development called pai-lasik which uses a photoablative inlay The plastic inlay is sculpted by the excimer laser and, then, left in between the flap and the underlying stroma.
Gene therapy status
January 2007, there are 1,260 gene therapy clinical trials in progress.
Millions will get gene therapy for disease treatment. Gene therapy, RNA interference and RNA activation will be used to restore vision to the blind, help control obesity and it will be used to enhance people so that everyone who so chooses can have what today are superior physical and mental gifts.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.