Better . . . Stronger . . . Faster . . .

‹‹‹‹‹ Popular Science introduces the engineered human ›››››

Brain chips that enable us to control machines with our thoughts. Kidneys and lungs built to order in the lab. Pills to make you smarter and more creative. An implant that gives you a tan and protects against skin cancer. All these innovations are in development; some are already being tested on human subjects.

The next technological frontier will be our own bodies. Genetics, materials science, tissue engineering and nanotechnology are already yielding products to help the sick and injured, including a Band-Aid-like heart patch and the C-leg prosthesis for amputees. But we are entering a century in which medical science will go beyond treating disease to create enhancements that will make us “better than well.”

In this special issue, PopSci explores the breakthroughs that will make it possible to manipulate the body in novel (and sometimes disturbing) ways. What will it be like when athletes can augment themselves with artificial muscles and ordinary people can opt for implants that let them see new colors or never forget a thing? What will it be like when medications can make a person more monogamous-or religious-and babies can be brought to term in artificial wombs? Read on to learn scientists´ plans for altering everything from your bathroom medicine cabinet to your own brain.


PopSci introduces the engineered human

Will we merge with machines?
Advances in medical science may well lead to more-than-human abilities

Will You Be Able to Predict-and Prevent-Your Demise?
The future of diagnostics. By Michael Rosenwald

Will Drugs Make Us Smarter and Happier?
The coming cosmetic-neurology revolution. By James Vlahos

Will We Grow Babies Ourside Their Mothers´ Bodies?
Making an artificial womb. By Gretchen Reynolds

Will Your Bathroom Be the Examining Room?
A tour of the tech-enhanced medicine cabinet.

Will Artificial Muscle Make You Stronger?
The first-ever human-robot arm-wrestling match. By Dan Ferber

Can We Cure Everything?
Science fights five intractable illnesses.

Is Any of This a Good Idea?
A scientist muses on the furture of enhancements. By Robert Sapolsky

Headlines From the Future


13 Ways to Discover Your Fate
The genetic tests our writer took to determine what kinds of illnesses he might have


Male Pregnancy: A Dangerous Proposition
PopSci introduces the engineered human


Girl vs. Robots: The Match
In the first-ever public test of artificial muscle, in March a high-school girl arm-wrestled three devices powered by the material. See how well she fared


The Soundtrack
A musical perspective on biotech. By Johnathan Coulton