As kids, many of you may have dreamed of becoming a superhero, maybe some of you still do. But is it actually possible to become one? What does it take to fly around and have superhuman strength? Becoming a superhero does not seem too far-fetched if you look at it from the technological point of view, but science and biology may not be on your side. It is possible for you to build a mechanical suit which enhances your strength but modifying your genes to make you superhuman is very challenging. According to experts, here are the things that would happen to you if you went through the things superheroes went through when they got their superpowers.
1. Getting Bitten By A Radioactive Spider
Michael Dennin, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of California, Irvine, says that getting bitten by a radioactive spider would be the safest way of becoming a superhero. Don’t go looking for such spiders just yet. If you do come across one, its radioactivity will be relatively low. So its bite will not give you spider reflexes overnight. In fact, the meager amount of radioactivity transmitted to you would do almost nothing to you, apart for some random genetic mutations in isolated genes. You have better chances of becoming a superhero if you get bitten by a normal spider that was carrying a retrovirus. The virus would multiply in your body and make lead to a noticeable difference. You just need to hope that those differences include the ability to swing from webs, ability to climb walls, and spider senses and not a disease or a disability.
2. Being Exposed To Gamma Radiation
What if you were exposed to a lot of gamma radiation? Would that transform you into a giant, angry, and green superhuman? To your disappointment, it would not. Radiation is known to create some mutations which are quite useful for humans, like those in chemotherapy. It can also completely transform you by changing the genetic makeup of your cells. Don’t go breaking into nuclear plants just yet. Even if only a few cells of your body are transformed by harmful radiation, you can die.
3. Changing Your Muscle Mass
People do take steroids to change the mass of their muscles, but does that give them unbelievable strength or is there a limit to how far they can go? There are endless possibilities to what science can achieve, but the human body can only be altered to an extent. If a pill that gave you super strength is created, it may work when it is administered to a child. The cells in the child’s body will not be stable like those of adults. They will be constantly developing and will be able to handle the effects of the pill better, but doing so is unethical and is not recommended.
Gene therapy is another way of altering your genetic makeup. Instead of using drugs or undergoing surgery, genes are inserted into someone’s cells and they do the rest. Such experiments are going on to treat diseases currently. Using genes to induce muscle growth is very complicated but being immune to diseases sounds like a great superpower too.
4. Building A Mechanical Suit
There have been quite a few advancements in the field of prosthetics. A paralyzed man was able to move his hands and fingers because of a chip inserted into his brain. And many people who have lost their limbs have been able to hold things and walk again because of prosthetic limbs. These limbs are much more advanced than they used to be and can be controlled by the brain. Even brain-controlled exoskeletons have been built, which help people with disabilities to walk again. It does seem like we are headed toward a future with people in robotic suits flying around, as constructing such suits has a lot of challenges. A suit like that would require a lot of power and would generate a lot of heat. Getting a light-weight energy source and having an efficient cooling system in place seems to have a lot of fundamental limits. However, as technology advances, who knows what possibilities lie ahead.
Having superpowers does seem like a great idea, but in the end what matters is that we live healthy lives. We should all strive to use our knowledge and experiences to make our ordinary selves the best that we can be. If you think of it, a world full of superheroes will have its share of supervillains, who sound cool in comic books and movies but not so much in real life.