Why Pandemics May Be A Thing Of The Past
Post-apocalyptic stories have long preyed on the concept of a pandemic sweeping through the world’s population. But with new developments and scientific research into the field of genetics, we may soon see an end to these apocalyptic-like scenarios.
While doing research on possible new dystopian stories ideas I came across this Origins Project video:
It shows some of the world’s greatest scientists and their views on where humanity is headed in the future. It’s all worth a watch, but for the purposes of this post, feel free to skip to 9 minutes and you’ll see a guy called Craig Venter talking about genetic sequencing.
Venter is currently working on creating faster ways to sequence genomes – not just human ones, but all living things. You might well ask, Why would he do something like that?
One upshot is that pandemics will no longer be possible, or at the very least, we’ll be able to stop them in their tracks and stop them from being quite as devastating as they currently would be.
In 2014, the world went crazy when Ebola broke out in Africa. Nations were woefully slow and ill-equipped to deal with it. [It was even (part of) the inspiration for my Z-Minus series.]
But with new genetic sequencing technology a vaccine could be synthesized before a virus had the chance to spread. Imagine an outbreak in my sleepy home county of Norfolk, in the UK. British scientists could sequence the virus, and then upload it into the cloud. Genetic sequencing companies all over the world could then download it and begin creating vaccines.
Even with the speed of air travel the virus takes time to spread. So, although Norfolk's future isn't too bright, by the time the virus gets to a country armed with the vaccine, the virus would already be ineffective.
But there is still that gap - the one between when the virus is discovered, sequenced, and uploaded, and the time the companies have to come up with a vaccine. And that’s the space where I'll be writing Z-Minus 4.
If Z-Minus sounds like your kind of thing, you can start reading it free by clicking below.