Špela Petrič (SI) & Robertina Šebjanič (SI) - Towards the (in)Human Spore

Prague - December 8, 2012

Špela Petrič & Robertina Šebjanič present their paper within the panel Blueprints for the Unknown at International conference MutaMorphosis in Prague, Czech Republic.

In light of the possible but unpredictable environmental changes on Earth, the thesis proposes a biotechnologically engineered post-technological vehicle, which would provide humans with a better chance of survival while preserving the human phenotype. The proposal is to genetically hybridize humans and algae, which are evolutionarily the oldest and implicitly most resilient living eukaryotes. The human and algal phases would remain morphologically distinct and xenogenetically alternate as sexual and asexual generations, similar to the life cycle of jellyfish (medusa and polyp). Beside discussing the biotechnological feasibility and conceptual implications of this proposal, the paper explores the (human) instinct to survive as a species, assesses the project within the current ecological anxiety, considers the implicated bioethical issues and envisions future scenarios involving the humalga.

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