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'Scientific Breakthroughs' … of Doom!

With the rapid advancement of science and technology, it might be useful to stop and ask ourselves whether some breakthroughs should be made at all. Putting the serious ethical issues aside for a bit, asked its readers to consider that question using their Photoshop skills. Contributors came up with the "14 Inevitable Scientific Breakthroughs the World Will Regret." Among them: an at-home vasectomy kit, several instances of robotic technologies gone wrong, and an animal-language translator that could result in the abandonment of thousands of pets — once their owners found out how 'sassy' and 'sarcastic' they actually are. But readers say that the best instance of science gone wrong is represented by the top-ranked entry: a mockup of an August 2011 Scientific American cover, proudly proclaiming that "the empathy gene" has been "found and cured!" The simulated cover also teases feature stories about "orphan blood biodiesel" and a novel method for migraine relief. Let that be a warning to you, science.