27 June 2012

Human 2.0: Surviving On 1 Oz of Water a Day

This article was previously published on Al Fin Potpourri blog

How could you re-design your body so that instead of requiring over 2 litres per day of water, you suddenly need only about 30 ml to survive in good health?

Such a radical reduction in daily water requirements suddenly opens up large areas of the planet for human habitation -- from the deserts to the poles to the open ocean and more.

Reducing human water requirements also makes it easier for humans to live in outer space habitats and on long-distance spaceships. The video below describes one approach to the problem.

Video via Takram (h/t Popsci)

The video describes the Shenu Hydrolemic System, which works to limit water losses through perspiration, urination, and feces through multiple body implants and prostheses.
We were given a vision of cathartic future. A world in which humanity experiences a cataclysmic sequence of events that will bring us to the brink of annihilation. Afflicted by manmade causes, the rising sea level, radioactive emissions and release of hazardous materials into the environment, art and culture cease to exist. This provides an opportunity, not lament, to re-evaluate what constitutes art, design, culture and the quality of life itself when all prejudices and preconceptions vanish.

With this premise, takram was tasked to design a water bottle.After a period of thorough research and analysis, takram reached an uncanny solution. Our conclusion was that it would make more sense, in fact, to regulate how much water the human body can retain and recycle in this dire environment. This revelation resulted in the Hydrolemic system, a set of artificial organs. _Takram

Watch the short video, and follow the link above for more information.

The human body is in for some radical re-design, as humans attempt to expand their activities into more and more extreme environments. From the polar regions to the deep seas, to high altitude atmospheric regions, to the many environments available off-planet -- humans are looking to extend their reach and expand their practical vision.

We were not evolved for most of those environments, however. We can compensate for some of these evolutionary deficiencies by creating artificial environments around us. Submarines allow us to live and work at depth undersea. Spaceships can protect us from vacuum and temperature extremes in space, with partial protection from radiation hazard. Pressurised capsules could allow us to live at high altitudes either on mountaintops or in large high altitude lighter than air habitats.

But we are the naked ape, and we would rather be able to face these exotic environments with a minimum of artifact between us and the environment -- if we could do so safely.

That is why reducing the daily water requirement is just the beginning for the grand project of re-designing humans for the challenges ahead of us.

Much more on this topic in future postings.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Stephen said...

It would be nice if they could alter the human body to require less food or have less of an appetite or, better yet, be able to digest starches and bread easier without putting on so much weight. This would all be tremendously helpful with the obesity epidemic in the West.

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes. There are ways to do all of that, but since each person's metabolism is unique, the trick is to find broadly applicable approaches that do more good than harm, for (virtually) everyone who uses them.

If the human body could be designed to require less food, less water, less sleep, less recuperation time after sustained or strenuous exercise, less time to learn new skills, etc. we would have more time to get things done.

Some of the problems may not be as difficult to solve as we believe.

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012  
Blogger Matt M said...

We can already survive on much less food and water. We have an epidemic of obesity because we choose to over indulge.

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012  

Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts