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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.
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.
"[…] shall we just accept the fact that we will learn to live with fellow humans who will be 'enhanced' either by selection from their governments, armies, companies or by personal choice into spider-climbing individuals with hugely projected breasts, lips, buttocks and Einstein-brains?""
Comment on the implications of such enhancements and those responsible for deciding them.
#quotation#comment

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.
Comment on the implications of such enhancements and those responsible for deciding them.
Bei dieser Aufgabe sollst du einen Comment zu "acceptance of human enhancements" schreiben. Beziehe dich dabei auf den Text sowie auf Informationen aus dem Unterricht.
Sammle deine Gedanken auf einem Notizpapier. So kannst du deine Gedanken klar strukturieren und dein Comment ist schlüssig. Eine Struktur von Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schluss ist für diese Form des Comments notwendig.
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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.
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
2.
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.
"[…] shall we just accept the fact that we will learn to live with fellow humans who will be 'enhanced' either by selection from their governments, armies, companies or by personal choice into spider-climbing individuals with hugely projected breasts, lips, buttocks and Einstein-brains?""
Comment on the implications of such enhancements and those responsible for deciding them.
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe sollst du einen Comment zu "acceptance of human enhancements" schreiben. Beziehe dich dabei auf den Text sowie auf Informationen aus dem Unterricht.
Sammle deine Gedanken auf einem Notizpapier. So kannst du deine Gedanken klar strukturieren und dein Comment ist schlüssig. Eine Struktur von Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schluss ist für diese Form des Comments notwendig.
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe sollst du einen Comment zu "acceptance of human enhancements" schreiben. Beziehe dich dabei auf den Text sowie auf Informationen aus dem Unterricht.
Sammle deine Gedanken auf einem Notizpapier. So kannst du deine Gedanken klar strukturieren und dein Comment ist schlüssig. Eine Struktur von Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schluss ist für diese Form des Comments notwendig.
Think about your weekend. Did you watch a movie or a series with characters that were not "normal"? Not normal in so far as these characters are people like you and me who had some superior skills. Would you like to go to a doctor and tell him that you want the same skills? Does this sound like science fiction to you or just like a matter of time until this becomes reality?
Einleitung
As intelligent human beings, it is important to prepare ourselves for tasks in the future. If the described scenario sets in, how will we live and interact with the "enhanced" part of the population?
Hauptteil
All in all, human enhancements should primarily be used to cure chronic diseases. The application in the workplace, military or by private individuals should be restricted until it is foolproof. If we ever reach this stage, clear rules are needed. As Kostas Kostarelos, the author of the quote puts it "the challenge will be to draw a visible line that could be regulated and could not be crossed globally" (Text, line 59 f.).
Beschränkung der Verbreitung
Our society is based on liberal values and defined laws. Tt is an honorable achievement that we already display acceptance to all kinds of people, but we still lack rules for engaging with the enhanced.
Akzeptanz
An employee of a car company accepts the offer of his employer to have his stamina improved through nanotechnology. After some years the treated areas of his body develop cancer. Who will now settle this employee's hospital bills? Is the car maker responsible or the government?
Nebenwirkungen
In my opinion, the car maker has to regulate all effects of a nanotechnology treatment. If they want their employees to be "enhanced", they have to take care of them. The same should be valid if we are talking about enhanced soldiers or enhanced private individuals. Whoever initiates it, pays for it.
Verantwortung übernehmen
Furthermore, I think the enhanced part of the population should integrate themselves into the existing society and not develop parallel institutions. This is one step we definitely need to worry about. Our society needs to remain its cohesion and increased fragmentation must be prevented.
Gesellschaftliche Geschlossenheit
Because of their enhanced skills, it will be a challenge to make them suspect to the same rules. Does an enhanced individual deserve a higher wage, if he is more productive and is this fair? I would argue, that they should indeed earn more. First of all, because of their performance and second of all because they bear the risks of possible side effects.
Lohngerechtigkeit
Our way of tackling the challenge of enhanced people living among us should start with the restriction of its use because nanotechnology has not yet reached a stage where it can be considered foolproof. Still, the basic rule must be acceptance and tolerance, for example for those whose illness could be cured by nanotechnology.
Additionally, a system of responsibilities must be put in place. It has to be standard procedure, that the employer or one's superior authority are obliged to take care of those people who became "enhanced" for the sake of their job. Then it is also justified, if these people earn more, because of the possible side effects and their increased performance. Their workload should be acknowledged and welcomed, but they should try to be part of our "ordinary" society and not start parallel institutions.
Schluss
As stated earlier, I am pro-enhancements. The starting point should be the medical use and later on, it could be expanded to other areas. If fixed rules are in place and are being enforced, mankind can benefit from enhancements.
Persönliches Statement
#comment
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