Ted Talks – How Can Technology Transform the Human Body

It is crazy how advanced technology has become and this Ted Talks I watched proves there really is no limit and almost how scary it can be! Lucy McRae defines herself as a “body architect” and she is working towards merging biology with technology. She wants to explore if technology can coexist with raw human emotion and has developed this pill which can re-program a human’s biology, more specifically re-program a human’s body odour.

She has created a swallowable perfume. This is a pre-programmed cosmetic pill that when digested, the new scent comes off your skin when you perspire. Lucy is investigating whether by having control over one’s bodily scent if we can possibly change the way we communicate with one another and even “control” the way we attract sexual partners. This technology could redefine the purpose of skin.

I do know that we all have a certain kind of scent that attracts others. I read a study about how girls are attracted to a certain male scent at different points in their life. When they are younger, females tend to prefer guys who have a more “reckless” or “dangerous” scent (whatever that may mean) but as they get older, often prefer guys who have a more “stable” and “committed” scent. It is amazing in itself that technology and science has brought us to the point where we can even categorize those smells; but Lucy’s research pushes that even further. She has developed this pill which could give the human control over what he or she wants to smell like and potentially use it to their advantage to attract a certain kind of individual! It sounds crazy that this is even possible, and quite scary to me. As cool as it sounds, there are those individuals out there who could take advantage of this science. Sexual predators for one, come to mind.

Furthermore, Lucy is investigating whether such a technology could change the way we interact with other humans – i.e. would our interactions with others become more animalistic. This is an interesting hypothesis because it is true that plants and animals commonly interact with one another on the basis of smell. Overall, I applaud Lucy for the gains that she has made in her research as it really is groundbreaking. To think that she is on a mission to possibly advance the possibility that skin could accomplish more than we already know it can.

The video also shows some of Lucy’s research methods which look to be quite unconventional. I’m sure to achieve such a breakthrough in science and technology requires power from both sides of one’s brain – the divergent and convergent. To come up with a goal to create a swallowable perfume is the definition of thinking-out-of-the-box! It would be interesting to learn more about her and her team’s thinking process around the creation of this swallowable perfume. I’m sure there’s a ton of analytical and mathematical calculations involved but surely the divergent side of the brain was activated. I think the visuals below speak for itself –

Here’s the link for the video if you’d like to check it out – http://www.ted.com/talks/lucy_mcrae_how_can_technology_transform_the_human_body.html


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