Re: A Race of humanoid drones for labor.

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 2 Sep 1996 14:32:42 +0200 (MET DST)

On Sun, 1 Sep 1996, Chris Hind wrote:

> >Currently, _any_ tinkering with
> >human DNA is a strong no no since the yield is so low. Site directed
> >mutagenesis or DNA snipping/insertion is easy on bacteria where you
> >select automagically e.g. by ampicillin resistancy, but just try this on
> >human embryos. 99.999 % nonviable. Hoo, boy.
> So far they have been able to nearly cure hemophillia and that "bubble boy"
> syndrome. One kid was a hemophilliac and the other had that syndrome. So
> they infected them as a fetus and allowed the virus to spread through their
> system, replacing a single gene in each cell.

Well, the efficiency of gene therapy is still a bit uncertain (problem:
get a virus into *every* relevant cell, insert the gene and don't do any
damage to them). In the above cases it is just a single gene fix.

Creating the mindless drones could plausibly be done by mimicking some
natural birth defect; I would be very surprised if there are no genes
that could be toggled to cause the development of higher cortices to
stop. The problem is to do this well, without creating either a
decerebrated being (at best vegetable, at worst incongruently violent)
or a very dull person (a victim). This is one reason I think there are
better ways to solve work problems.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y