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Reading Comprehension

$\blacktriangleright\;$ Thema:
Kostas Kostarelos, "Yes, nanoscience can enhance humans - but ethical guidelines must be agreed" (The Guardian,3th June, 2013).
#newspaper
$\blacktriangleright\;$ Aufgabenstellung:
1.
Sum up the information given about the potential benefits of nanotechnology.
#summary
2.
Analyse how the author conveys his attitude on the topic of "human enhancement". You should look closely at his use of language.
#analysis
3.
"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." (Isaac Asimov, Russian-born American writer, 1920-1992) Discuss.
#quotation#discussion

Yes, nanoscience can enhance humans - but ethical guidelines must be agreed

$\;$
People 'enhanced' into spider-climbing individuals with hugely projected breasts and Einstein-brains … Where will it stop?
Engineers are trained to try to figure out how to achieve things that humans cannot and in nanoscience and nanotechnology that challenge is no different.
5
Many of the most exciting advances in the field try to improve human incapacities with things such as memory, hearing, stamina or intellect. In my field of nanomedicine, the notion of human enhancement is, in a lot of cases, a way to deal with disease: enhancing vision, cognitive functions or improving a person's ability to move independently.
I have always found the relationship between technology and its use to "aid" or "enhance"
10
human capability intriguing because there is a fine line beyond which all kinds of ethical alarms go off. Where does human enhancement against true pathological conditions or disabilities end?
Thoughts like these were on my mind last autumn on a plane to Taiwan, when I watched the latest movie version of one of my favourite comic-book heroes, Spider-Man. The main
15
character, a very normal, scientifically talented and altruistic teenager (who truly wants to save the world) is bitten by an experimental transgenic spider, which results in his transformation into a man-spider hybrid. This concept is a classic method used in science fiction to explain the creation of characters with super-human powers. lnterestingly, the transformation almost always occurs after exposure to different agents perceived as "dangerous" - Spider-Man
20
with an unintended bite by a transgenic spider, the Hulk by intentional exposure to external beam radiation. lnteractions with human-machine interfaces have also been exploited in science fiction numerous times with the most recent example that of lron Man (or Robocop and Total Recall for those of a more distant era).
These tales are not only entertaining they also reveal many important aspects of our
25
relationship with medicine, science and technology. lt is now clear that "human enhancement" is a reality and not just a product of science fiction. Even more so, technological advances will imminently provide various devices that will interface with the human body in various ways. A recent article in Science magazine exemplified how machines can interact with living brains to allow wireless changes in behaviour by the implantation of devices directly into the brains of
30
mice. These devices could then be remotely controlled to activate different parts of the brain using light. Two recent articles by fellow bloggers for CNN and the Guardian have described chips implanted in the brain to enhance memory and other implants to allow connectivity between brains. These are just a few cases of how technology can allow transcendence into a hybrid human-machine neuronal system of higher capabilities.
35
People living with a wide range of disabilities will benefit immensely from these advances. But what is the ethical, legal and social framework that will result from the wide adoption of these technologies? New devices will shrink with the use of nanomaterials to allow implantation or grafting by a simple injection or tattooing. The first generation of such devices are expected to act as health monitors (temperature, blood pressure, glucose levels, etc.) able to connect
40
wirelessly with the patients' smartphones and their doctors' computers. The next generation will be more sophisticated, more capable and more functional, something like hi-tech hearing aids, vision aids or even memory aids. Would that constitute "doping" at a massive scale? Would people who will have brain implants to enhance their vision or intellectual capacities be treated differently to those of us who may choose to remain implant free?
45
How strict and how realistic would it be to regulate such procedures? Maybe l'm worrying too much and society at large will be less squeamish. But I have distant childhood memories (back in the 1970s, if you're asking) of how rare plastic surgery procedures were almost exclusively confined to patients in need. I recently came across statistics as to the popularity of modern plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures around the world to note that breast,
50
lip and buttock implants are now collectively termed "soft tissue enhancements". These non-medically driven "enhancements" constitute the majority of procedures undertaken. There are millions of them performed and they are on the rise. More disconcerting to me is the thought that our brain may one day fall into the category of "soft tissue" as well. Clearly, we need to allow disabled people and the various patient groups to benefit from advancements in
55
electronics, informatics and nanotechnology. And I must stress that in no way do I advocate that a possible solution could involve restrictions on a generation of new knowledge and technological advancement. Research work should (and will) not be affected by the possibility of misuse or exaggeration by certain individuals or organisations.
The challenge will be to draw a visible line that could be regulated and could not be crossed
60
globally, restricting "human enhancement" to only those who medically need it, irrespective of their financial or celebrity stature. I am not sure though whether such regulatory framework and its enforcement could be feasible at a global scale, given the levels of competitiveness and range of ethical principles that prevail. Alternatively, shall we just accept the fact that we will learn to live with fellow humans who will be "enhanced" either by selection from their
65
governments, armies, companies or by personal choice into spider-climbing individuals with hugely projected breasts, lips, buttocks and Einstein-brains?
(905 words)


Aus: Kostas Kostarelos, "Yes, nanoscience can enhance humans - but ethical guidelines must be agreed"
(The Guardian,3th June, 2013).
https://www.theguardian.com/science/small-world/2013/jun/03/nanoscience-enhance-humans-ethical-guidelines
#newspaper
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Reading Comprehension

$\blacktriangleright\;$ Thema:
Kostas Kostarelos, "Yes, nanoscience can enhance humans - but ethical guidelines must be agreed" (The Guardian,3th June, 2013).
$\blacktriangleright$  Aufgabenstellung
1.
Sum up the information given about the potential benefits of nanotechnology.
Bei dieser Zusammenfassung sollst du die potentiellen Vorteile der Nanotechnologie wiedergeben. Lese den Text aufmerksam und markiere dabei die Vorteile in einer bestimmten Farbe. So behältst du den Überblick und kannst alle potentiellen Vorteile der Nanotechnologie die der Autor nennt aufzählen. Es zählt lediglich die Wiedergabe, du sollst keine persönliche Wertung einfließen lassen.
2.
Analyse how the author conveys his attitude on the topic of "human enhancement". You should look closely at his use of language.
Bei dieser Aufgabe geht es darum, dass du den Text analysierst. Lies dir den Auszug also nochmals durch und überlege dir,wie der Autor seine Meinung über Nanotechnology einfließen lässt.
Bei diesem Aufgabenteil kannst und sollst du direkten Bezug auf den Text nehmen. Baue in deine Anaylse also Zitate ein, um deine Argumente zu untermauern. Gehe besonders auf die Sprache des Erzählers ein.
Du solltest deine Analyse in Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schluss untergliedern.
3.
$\blacktriangleright$ "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." (Isaac Asimov, Russian-born American writer, 1920-1992) Discuss. Bei dieser Aufgabe musst du das gegebenen Zitat diskutieren, das bedeutet die Aussage aus verschiedenen Winkeln zu beurteilen und sie hierfür natürlich auch erklären. Dabei gehst du am besten wie folgt vor:
  1. Einleitung
  2. Die Einleitung soll die Neugier des Lesers auf deinen Comment wecken. Nutze aktuelle Themen oder kreative Beispiele, um den Anfang interessant zu gestalten.

  3. Hauptteil
  4. Im Hauptteil führst du nun die einzelnen Meinungen zu dem vorgegebenen Thema auf. Nutze dafür logische Argumente und Beispiele und strukturiere sie so, dass man deiner Antwort gut folgen kann.

  5. Schluss
  6. Fasse im Schluss nochmal alle deine Argumente kurz und bündig zusammen, damit der Leser den Überblick behält. Wichtig ist, dass du keine neuen Argumente mehr einbringst!
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Reading Comprehension

$\blacktriangleright\;$ Thema:
Kostas Kostarelos, "Yes, nanoscience can enhance humans - but ethical guidelines must be agreed" (The Guardian,3th June, 2013).
1.
$\blacktriangleright$   Sum up the information given about the potential benefits of nanotechnology.
Tipp
Bei dieser Zusammenfassung sollst du die potentiellen Vorteile der Nanotechnologie wiedergeben. Lese den Text aufmerksam und markiere dabei die Vorteile in einer bestimmten Farbe. So behältst du den Überblick und kannst alle potentiellen Vorteile der Nanotechnologie die der Autor nennt aufzählen. Es zählt lediglich die Wiedergabe, du sollst keine persönliche Wertung einfließen lassen.
Bei dieser Zusammenfassung sollst du die potentiellen Vorteile der Nanotechnologie wiedergeben. Lese den Text aufmerksam und markiere dabei die Vorteile in einer bestimmten Farbe. So behältst du den Überblick und kannst alle potentiellen Vorteile der Nanotechnologie die der Autor nennt aufzählen. Es zählt lediglich die Wiedergabe, du sollst keine persönliche Wertung einfließen lassen.
Text
Nanotechnology is currently one of the most promising fields of research. In the following, I will list the potential benefits of nanotechnology as they are presented in Kostas Kostarelos article.
Einleitung
One of the biggest benefits of nanotechnology will be the possibility to improve human capacitites. Developments in this area might bring about solutions to improve one's memory, hearing, stamina or intellect.
1. Behebung menschlicher Einschränkungen
If people are sick and suffering from lack of vision or are not able to move independently anymore they can look for a potential cure through nanotechnology. Many people could benefit from these developments, especially with our growing community of older people.
2. Unterstützung bei Krankheit
Researchers have already found ways to implant nanotechnology. There is now the possibility of transcending into a hybrid human-machine neuronal system of higher capabilities.
3. Gesteigerte Fähigkeiten
We are talking not about super strength or the ability to fly, but about hi-tech hearing aids that would restore your ability to hear. Another point where nanotechnology can improve our lives are memory aids, just think about the millions of people suffering from dementia.
4. Hightech Hör- und Sehhilfen
Especially disabled people or various other patient groups could benefit from new developments in the field of nanotechnology.
5. Hilfe für behinderte Menschen
#summary
2.
$\blacktriangleright$ Analyse how the author conveys his attitude on the topic of "human enhancement". You should look closely at his use of language.
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe geht es darum, dass du den Text analysierst. Lies dir den Auszug also nochmals durch und überlege dir,wie der Autor seine Meinung über Nanotechnology einfließen lässt.
Bei diesem Aufgabenteil kannst und sollst du direkten Bezug auf den Text nehmen. Baue in deine Anaylse also Zitate ein, um deine Argumente zu untermauern. Gehe besonders auf die Sprache des Erzählers ein.
Du solltest deine Analyse in Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schluss untergliedern.
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe geht es darum, dass du den Text analysierst. Lies dir den Auszug also nochmals durch und überlege dir,wie der Autor seine Meinung über Nanotechnology einfließen lässt.
Bei diesem Aufgabenteil kannst und sollst du direkten Bezug auf den Text nehmen. Baue in deine Anaylse also Zitate ein, um deine Argumente zu untermauern. Gehe besonders auf die Sprache des Erzählers ein.
Du solltest deine Analyse in Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schluss untergliedern.
Kostas Kostarelos's article addresses how in the future humans can enhance their abilities through the application of nanotechnology. Even though Kostas Kostarelos is a scientist and should therefore, try to display scientific objectivity, you get a sense of how he thinks about the topic of human enhancements.
Einleitung
He works in the field of nanomedicine and makes it clear to everybody that the purpose of nanotechnology is "to deal with disease" (Text, line 7) at least "in a lot of cases" (Text, line 7). This wording lets us understand that the use of nanotechnology has already changed from curing the sick to helping the healthy.
Hauptteil
Neue Anwendungsfelder für Nanotechnologie
To Kostarelos the difference in the application of nanotechnology comes down to "its use to aid or enhance" (Text, line 9). Because the two types of usage are closely connected to each other, for him "all kinds of ethical alarms go off" (Text, line 10 f.).
Ethische Bedenken
Here we can see skepticism in his language. If he would be all pro "human enhancements" he would not mention the ethical dimension at all.
Skeptik
His ethical alarm might be set due to the mainstream portrayal of human enhancements. He mentions several comic-book heroes, namely the Hulk and Spider-Man, and stresses that their transformation happened only because of "exposure to […] agents perceived as 'dangerous'" (Text, Zeile 19).
In Literatur als gefährlich dargestellt
Kostarelos mentions these examples because of the negative side effects that went along with the transformation of the fictional characters. As we are not yet aware of the long-term effects of human enhancements, Kostarelos calls for ethical guidelines.
Ungewisse Langzeitwirkung
Very important for Kostarelos is the question of how one will be able to compare the performance of the enhanced humans and of those who "remain implant free" (Text, line 44). He is already predicting these cases and is posing the question "how realistic would it be to regulate such procedures?" Text, line 45). The most important word here is "realistic". Will society be able to set limits to the use of nanotechnology and especially, can we enforce these limits?
Beurteilung Leistungsunterschiede "normaler" und "erweiterter" Menschen
One reason why Kostarelos wrote this article is because he is of the opinion that the application of nanotechnology will mimic the spread of plastic surgery. Painting a picture in which nanotechnology is nothing special, but ordinary. What describes his attitude best is Kostarelos usage of the word "squeamish" in this relation.
Wird Nanotechnology so alltäglich wie Schönheits-OP's?
His squeamishness stems from the fear that the brain could "fall into the category of 'soft tissue' (Text, line 53). With "soft tissue" he means the most popular plastic surgery procedures as "breast, lip and buttock implants" (Text, line 49f.).
Even though Kostarelos warns about the possible "misuse or exaggeration by certain individuals or organisations" (Text, line 57 f.) he does not want to stop or put restrictions on nanotechnology research. He is aware of the positive effects, but at the same time scared that the usage will get out of hand and how we will then deal with "spider-climbing individuals with hugely projected breasts, lips, buttocks and Einstein-brains" (Text, line 65 f.).
Forschung nicht behindern
Umgang mit veränderten Menschen
Kostarelos makes us aware of the tremendous possibilities that lay in nanotechnology. Parallel to his praise for the technology he calls to mind that there are no far-reaching, universal ethical guidelines established yet. Therefore he is skeptic about human enhancements. Especially because they could be dangerous in the long run. We might even enter a phase in mankind's history where we will have two types of people: enhanced and implant free. No one can tell how such a society would work. What he is definitely warning us about is the possibility that the use of nanotechnology could become as ordinary as plastic surgery. A brain surgery is more far-reaching than a breast enlargement.
His main point is that even though we need ethical guidelines, they should not restrict research. Restricting research could truly harm sick people in need of help.
It's up to us to make rules and conventions regarding this technology.
Schluss
#analysis
3.
$\blacktriangleright$ "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." (Isaac Asimov, Russian-born American writer, 1920-1992) Discuss.
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe musst du das gegebenen Zitat diskutieren, das bedeutet die Aussage aus verschiedenen Winkeln zu beurteilen und sie hierfür natürlich auch erklären. Dabei gehst du am besten wie folgt vor:
  1. Einleitung
  2. Die Einleitung soll die Neugier des Lesers auf deinen Comment wecken. Nutze aktuelle Themen oder kreative Beispiele, um den Anfang interessant zu gestalten.

  3. Hauptteil
  4. Im Hauptteil führst du nun die einzelnen Meinungen zu dem vorgegebenen Thema auf. Nutze dafür logische Argumente und Beispiele und strukturiere sie so, dass man deiner Antwort gut folgen kann.

  5. Schluss
  6. Fasse im Schluss nochmal alle deine Argumente kurz und bündig zusammen, damit der Leser den Überblick behält. Wichtig ist, dass du keine neuen Argumente mehr einbringst!
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe musst du das gegebenen Zitat diskutieren, das bedeutet die Aussage aus verschiedenen Winkeln zu beurteilen und sie hierfür natürlich auch erklären. Dabei gehst du am besten wie folgt vor:
  1. Einleitung
  2. Die Einleitung soll die Neugier des Lesers auf deinen Comment wecken. Nutze aktuelle Themen oder kreative Beispiele, um den Anfang interessant zu gestalten.

  3. Hauptteil
  4. Im Hauptteil führst du nun die einzelnen Meinungen zu dem vorgegebenen Thema auf. Nutze dafür logische Argumente und Beispiele und strukturiere sie so, dass man deiner Antwort gut folgen kann.

  5. Schluss
  6. Fasse im Schluss nochmal alle deine Argumente kurz und bündig zusammen, damit der Leser den Überblick behält. Wichtig ist, dass du keine neuen Argumente mehr einbringst!
We people of planet earth are currently battling many decisive bouts. There is climate change, massive urbanization, lack of access to clean water and mass hunger to just name a few. Fitting to all of our problems is a quote by Isaac Asimov:
"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."
On one hand, I agree with Asimov and his phrase. It is true that the accessibility to knowledge increased and therefore also the amount of theories about many topics. Parallel to this development there is not enough time available for the intended audience to soak up all these new findings. Especially because true wisdom is only created through experience, which takes some time to build.
Hauptteil
1. Pro-Argument
On the other hand, one has to say that through the prevailing interconnectedness of this world's nations the spread of knowledge has increased and at the same time new impulses have been brought into action quicker than ever before. The capacity to produce and distribute a new product, a tool or a machine is in our hands.
Argumente im Wechsel
1. Contra-Argument
A point that speaks for Asimov is that right now more people in colleges than ever before, still nations are waging war and people are killing each other. There has been enough time and many opportunities for mankind to learn from its mistakes, but they are still being made. So we are far away from wisdom indeed.
2. Pro- Argument
In general, one has to say that Asimov's quote is a bit too old to really be poignant and meaningful. As the writer died in 1992, the quote is at least 15 years old. Since then lots of progress has been made and now nearly everyone has a chance to browse the web for information, so the playing field has changed entirely.
2. Contra Argument
In contrast to this one has to say that most of the knowledge, science gathers, remains in a small circle of educated, upper-class people. So only a fraction of society has the chance to gather wisdom.
3. Pro-Argument
Weighing the pros and cons, I come to the conclusion that Asimov's quote is wrong. Mankind is on a good way to fix the important problems of our time. Science is gathering wisdom and more and more people have the chance to gain wisdom. It has never been so easy to get access to the latest research results and therefore I believe that society is getting smarter than Asimov ever thought it could.
#quotation#discussion
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