Professor, author, and comic book enthusiast E. Paul Zehr looks at how near term technology could be used to create Marvel’s Captain America. Chasing Captain America explores what the real limits of being human are, how far we should bend those limits, and how we may be forced to reshape human biology if we are to colonize planets like Mars.
Chasing Captain America is an entry-point to a brave new world of science, no longer limited to the realm of fiction.
* Captain America has improved memory and learning ability. One compound called NSI-189 has shown promise in providing Cap-like memory
* CRISPR Gene therapy could be used to increase muscle strength, endurance, metabolism, intelligence, fearlessness and performance
* myostatin and activin A work to suppress excessive muscle growth in humans. If they could be turned off with the help of genetic editing, something close to super-strength might be possible.
* Salamander genes are being investigated for activating regeneration in humans.
* Biolux Research’s Osseo Pulse Bone Regeneration System uses lasers to deeply penetrate cells and influence the mitochondria, increasing blood flow and the cell’s energy supply. The process has been shown to speed up healing by 50 percent, and it’s currently being used by dentists
In 2011, Paul Zehr looked at how Iron Man could be made real with new technology.
Icelandic powerlifter Hafthor Bjornsson was crowned 2018 World’s Strongest Man on Sunday after winning three of the final weekend’s six events in Manila, Philippines. Hafthor Bjornsson also plays the role of “The Mountain” on Game of Thrones.
Bjornsson is 6 foot 9 inches tall and weighs 420-440 pounds.
Hafthor Bjornsson personal records
Squat – 440 kg (970 lb) raw
Bench press – 230 kg (507 lb) raw
Tire deadlift – 460 kg (1,014 lb) raw with wrist straps
Deadlift – 472 kg (1,041 lb) Elephant bar, raw with wrist straps (Arnold Classic 2018, World Record)
Log press – 213 kg (470 lb) (Europe’s Strongest Man 2018)
Log carry – [5 steps] 650 kg (1,433 lb)
Keg toss – 7.15 m (23 ft)
Zehr looked at Batman and Iron Man
In 2008, Paul Zehr looked at what the odds that an ordinary billionaire like Bruce Wayne could acquire the physique and hand-to-hand fighting skills to defeat supervillains? Zehr, a Canadian neuroscientist and martial arts black belt, looks at the science of the body’s capability to respond and adapt to… extremes. The author draws on Batman comics and movies to glean clues on how Wayne chiseled his body into a fighting machine. As a study of human physiology, this detailed and accessible discussion could appeal to Batman fans and those interested in intensive physical training who are prepared for serious science rather than fantasy. But Batman is only the scaffolding on which Zehr hangs his detailed look at the role of genetic makeup, diet, strength training and development of motor skills in attaining the outer limits of physical performance. Surprisingly, the discussion barely mentions the training of real-life people who need many of the same skills as Batman: special ops forces.