6 Scientific Advances That Could Make You A Superhero, Or Villain

You’ve already been born, so being a solar powered alien is out of the question. Radiation has so far disappointingly failed to give anyone superhuman abilities, unless we’re going to start counting painful death as a superpower. Luckily the unbounded forward march of science has you covered. Want to live in your underwater fortress with your robot army, we’ve got you covered! Use these technologies at your discretion. I look forward to reveling in your victories/ cowering in fear at your tyrannical reign!

1. Crystals Act As Artificial Gills

Science has created a crystal that acts very similarly to the hemoglobin in your blood that carries oxygen to your muscles and organs. It absorbs huge amounts of oxygen in high oxygen environments and releases it in oxygen starved environments.

Since it can absorb oxygen from air, water, or any other oxygen rich environment, it could be the most compact underwater breathing apparatus yet. Without bulky oxygen tanks, divers could be more agile and unencumbered than ever before. They could also stay underwater indefinitely.

But there’s no reason to stop at the individual diver. For those looking for a secretive hideout this substance could provide oxygen for an entire underwater facility. It would act as a set of gills for an entire, submerged facility. Whether you have nefarious plans that must be hatched in secret or need a discreet place to monitor the world for possible threats, there are few places more discreet or private than the ocean floor.

2. You Can Download Knowledge

Comic book and movie scientists are often specialists in capital S Science. They know everything about everything. There is a bewildering lack of barriers between disciplines in the world of superfolk. Scientists have discovered a way to enhance the way that short term memory is turned into long term memory. In rats who have had their ability to create long term memories chemically interrupted they can insert a chip that can overcome that deficiency. In a rat with normal brain function the chip can enhance the memory abilities of the rats. It’s not much of a leap to chip that could give a regular person photographic memory on demand.

Textbooks, instructions and manuals could be memorized in a single sitting. There’d be no reason to study notes or consult reference books. Now, reading a book or browsing online will not necessarily immediately create a skill. What it will do is immediately cement the background knowledge necessary to build a skill upon. Teaching someone, or yourself, can immediately progress to practice and building the physical habits that allow us to turn knowledge into actions. It’s not quite Neo learning to fly a helicopter, but it’s a serious step up from our current system of repetition.

There’d be no reason for tests that make you repeat labels for all the bones in the body or significant dates. You’d never have to recite dates again. Analysis and integration will still need to be taught. Nothing, yet, will replace expert experience and physical practice, but you could very well be on your to being a true know it all.

3. You Can Beam Your Thoughts Directly To Your Robot Army

We can already transmit our thoughts to robot arms and screen pointers. Combined with the wireless implants also being perfected by Braingate it’s not much of a leap to complete mental control of any machine within Bluetooth range. At this point we’re essentially working on fidelity; how accurately can we interpret brain activity and turn it into actions?

As far as physical actions go, we’re running down the golden brick road. Complete and total control of a mechanical body of almost any description isn’t that far off. Anthropomorphic android bodies and mind controlled war machines are easily within our reach. It’s now a matter of refinement rather than creation.

4. You Can Have Your Own Robot Army

What do you mean you don’t have a robot army? Well, here’s thirteen boats that can all be controlled by a single operator. The little fleet is a mix of auntonomous and remotely controlled boats. They share information with each other for maximum situational awareness. That single operator could be you, and instead of using clunky keyboards and joysticks you could control them with your mind!

In this video you can see the ships moving in formation to escort a larger ship, as well as executing a coordinated attack on an “enemy” vessel. And yes, they are fully armed. The boats are outfitted with .50 caliber machine guns and microwave weapons in order to cope with differing targets and objectives. The Navy assures us that there is always a human in the loop when weapons are involved, but let’s be realistic, a robot army is much more a villain thing than a hero thing.

5. On Demand Ammunition Manufacturing

Okay, an obvious piece of technology that I have to address is 3-d printing. Sufficiently miniaturized 3-d printing is the kind of technology that comics are likely to abuse for years and years to come. It’s the kind of thing has tech visionaries slavering at the mouth and talking about revolutions. The idea by itself has already given rise to micro-manufacturing facilities and services. People have created everything from toys to guns. It would have been easy for me to make up a dozen far fetched 3-d printing driven ideas. That would have been cheesy, but I also couldn’t ignore it. Then I saw this:

That’s right it’s a self contained paper airplane gun. It accepts paper in one end and then folds and fires its very own armada of paper planes all on its own. What does this have to do with 3-d printing? Well, substitute a more varied pool of resources, install a micro-manufacturing plant and you could have a weapon that fires on demand ammunition. Press a button and fire a high explosive round. Another button and you get knock out gas. The possibilities are endless.

6. Become A Drug Fueled Human Juggernaut

Picture being able to ignore pain, fatigue and injury. Picture recovering from even the most debilitating injuries in a matter of days. Some of this technology is already with us. Some of it needs time to develop, but often the difference between medical or military efficacy and superhuman ability is the willingness to accept negative side effects. If you’re willing to sacrifice the physical body you can essentially ignore its limits.

We already have implantable medical pumps for morphine. They inject a steady stream of morphine directly into the spinal fluid, offsetting many of the side-effects of extremely high dose narcotics. That system could be applied to any drug, like, say, methamphetamines. I don’t want to say that amphetamines can turn you into an ultra-aggressive supersoldier, but it did help a single freedom fighter outrun the South African military. By “outran” I mean he covered almost 230 miles on foot in five days. By “the South African military” I mean some of the nastiest, toughest soldiers in Africa with Casspir off road vehicles and helicopter support. He ran 5 days essentially without sleep until he reached a road and was either picked up by a car or stole one.

Both nanorobots and stem cells are also becoming realities. I can imagine a system that monitors the body and delivers pain relief on demand. It could pump you full of aggression enhancing amphetamines just before a fight. Nanorobots could be used to ferry performance enhancing oxygen into muscles and scrub out lactic acid. They could report injuries to a central system and inject fast healing stem cells to injury sites. Is it going to make you Wolverine? No, but it might make you Bane!


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