Let’s start with health, noting that the global society will further diverge into separate groups: those with health options and those with health limitations. Let’s table global politics surrounding that concept and focus on changes to Western Societies.
Chimeras & Cyborgs
Most of the current millennials will become a blend of chimeras & cyborgs in 5O years. By that I mean that they will be a blend of machines, which incorporate their own artificial intelligence, and humanized organs and body parts created in labs using a blend of 3D printing and stem cell technology. These “Chimeras” will use their own DNA or those of close relatives, to create organs and explants in labs. This will be routine. In essence, once an organ, say a liver, takes on the appearance of wear and tear it will be removed and replaced.
Another way of thinking of it is that managing aging-related organ damage will be akin to an oil change in your car, or replacing the battery. These new organs will still be you, just constructed with your own DNA & stem cells and fashioned into an organ or tissue using 3D printing. That will include vanity & cosmetic surgery where you can ask for a smaller, straighter nose, for example.
It will also include frank use of machine parts, with heightened functionality based on sensory enhancement. Imagine eyes that “see” beyond the visible spectrum.
Finally society will appreciate that bacteria can be our friends. No longer are they “germs”. We will have a personalized array of bacteria taken as a daily supplement every day, and they will expand from gastrointestinal to site specific for skin, lungs, urogenital and basically all points in between.
So routine supplementation of your microbiome will become a daily feature as brushing your teeth. But monitoring will be the feature that truly advances actions in the future. Smart toilets will give feedback as to your gastrointestinal microflora in real time, and by the time you reach the kitchen robots will have created your own supplement cocktail to balance your current microbiome. At the same time a report will be sent to your centralized “cloud-based” health compendium. Similarly for microbial assessments from other sites, “smart” devices will be constantly watching what species are populating you along with their metabolic activity. Watches will do more than time, but constantly monitoring your metabolism from your own cells and the microbiota that lives on and in you.
If there is a major microbial imbalance then a series of bacteriophages (bacteria-killing viruses) will be included in this cocktail to achieve balance. Antibiotic drugs will be considered as horrid and inappropriate as we consider “blood letting” in the Middle Ages.
Included in this daily supplement package will be a mixture of prebiotics to nurture and feed the good bacteria as well as “diversifiers” which are natural chemicals that interact with bad bacteria to limit their adhesion or function, either directly or indirectly through metabolites (revealed in the growing science of metabolomics that emerged in the 2020’s). Examples may include polyphenols originally derived from wine and the Mediterranean diet.
Sources of food constituents will become very blurry. The early 21st century movement against genetically altered food and genetic engineering petered out in 2030 after the famines following world military conflicts and antibiotic-resistant infections plagued global commerce early in the 21st Century. From that point onwards demand combined with technological advances in production, quality, phytochemical optimization and purity led to public indifference. In essence, with technology food tastes better, transports better, looks better and so people became indifferent after the long periods of inadequacy.
Going to the supermarket will be largely a thing of the past. Drones will deliver virtually all food to you. Selections will be based on personal preferences, shopping history and linked to your genome. Protein will be largely insect-based. Land available for meat production will be limited, and meat will be only affordable when you use certain Corporate Coupons that are achieved by sticking to an adequate program validated by monitoring. These insect proteins will come formed to look like meat if and so desired. Indeed, flavoring and textural science will make it largely indistinguishable from real meat so most are happy with the cheaper source of protein.
Food will be produced from tightly regulated renewable processes – algae & fungi – will be the routine. These will be grown in cultivars under high growth rates and negligible carbon footprints. Some will be made in “orbiting farms”, earth orbiting cultivars using the constant energy from the sun. Specialty plants for food will be grown in each home reflection an allowance for self-farming. This allows some freedom of choice in the process of nutrition. Micro-production fun will be designed to keep creativity ongoing. Nevertheless nutrition will be still dictated by the extensive monitoring programs. Self-farming hydroponics will earn more “Corporate Coupons” for other specialty items like certain more expensive food and supplements, or alternatively vacations on orbiting cruise ships. Can anyone say Fhlostan Paradise?
Health & Supplementation
Health monitoring, done daily as Personal Health Reports or PHRs, will be intimately tied to supplementation and merged with an understanding of dietary choices made in the drone-delivered food. Imbalances are collated, reported, and corrected with supplements. Everything will be personalized based on your PHRs. Compliance will determine how many Corporate Coupons you earn for High Level products, organ renewal or vacations. Chronic abusers may become ineligible for organ renewal chimeras or cyborg implants. Conformity leads to longevity. Those who struggle with adaptation to change and loss of choice will not do well. But hey this is a projection 50 years into the future so the discussion will not include them (or me).
The Genome & Epigenome
Your genome will be assessed annually, but the more flexible and adaptive epigenome, the software of your genome, will be assessed continually and also linked to supplements, food and microbiome analysis, and documented along with occupational hazards. Metabolomics will measure microbial metabolism and used to adjust epigenetic tags & switches as necessary. Antioxidants will be appreciated with substantially greater sophistication than 2017, and linked to the epigenome, transcriptome & metabolome (concepts that will be routinely discussed and appreciated in 2067). With space travel and its burden of cosmic radiation antioxidant supplementation will not only be more important but vital. Emerging from that heightened understanding of radiation and free radicals will be the new science of mitochondrome, which is the specialty science of the cellular powerhouses, the mitochondria. Given that mitochondria have their own DNA (inherited from mothers only) it forms a specialty science of great reverence.
Cleaning your genome for mutations, or the milder polymorphisms, will be routine and easy. Detected errors, noted on annual assessments, will be removed by advanced CRISPR technology that emerged in 2017. Erroneous DNA code will be removed and replaced with the correct code or a superior code.
The result of all of these programs is that most “disease” will be eliminated. Your health and longevity is linked to your ability to sustain the programs of nutrition, organ renewal & replacement. Longevity is linked to Conformity.
In essence, death follows your inability to generate “Corporate Coupons” necessary to keep you running like a Chevy in Cuba. Failure could result in your body being transformed into a cyborg for work programs on other planets and sundry orbiting celestial items. At this stage humanity is staring at the abyss of when the machines rule and biological systems become enslaved.