The Future of Humans Living Underwater

Future humans with algae implants could breathe underwater.

Ever wonder how we're going to create humans who can breathe underwater? Of course you do. A study published about how algae insinuate themselves into salamander embryos (and DNA) could provide the beginnings of an answer. We know that viruses can invade an organism, and eventually wind up integrating into that organism's DNA permanently. Human DNA is packed with all the virus DNA we've absorbed over the past few hundred thousand years. But could other microbes do the same thing? A group of biologists decided to find out, by studying the relationship between algae and salamanders. They knew that algae often snuck inside salamander embryos, but the question that nagged was what happened next. Now it seems likely that some salamanders are literally part algae. And this odd situation could be the foundation for biological tweaks that might help future post-humans live underwater. Basically, it appears that algae sneak into developing salamander eggs, and become part of the salamander fetus as it grows. And the algae doesn't leave, either - some adult salamanders have algae DNA, which they are likely passing on to the next generation. That's right: Salamanders are part-plant.


So, according to the authors of this study, we are now certain that algae can live within vertebrate tissues, which means, why not in humans? We're vertebrates.


Kemo D. 7

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