In 2045, human beings will achieve immortality through a mixture of genetics and various kinds of technology — so says inventor Ray Kurzweil, a leader of the transhumanist movement. The Boston Globe's Mark Baard reports that most transhumanists, excited by recent advances in technology, say that the moment of immortality — the "singularity" — is almost upon us. "All that most of us need to do, transhumanists say, is wait," Baard reports. But one transhumanist, Joseph Jackson, doesn't agree. Jackson fears the biotech industry is too interested in increasing revenue and, as such, runs away from risk, Baard says. Jackson's alternative to biotech's proprietary research and patents is an "open science" model whereby scientists freely share their data and use each other's discoveries to make discoveries of their own. "Jackson says open science will speed innovation in the same way the open source code movement revolutionized Internet applications," Baard reports. "He also wants transhumanists to support the thousands of backyard tinkerers, known as citizen scientists, who are already studying microbes, mapping genomes, and seeking cures for diseases." However, while many transhumanists are heeding Jackson's call, not all citizen scientists are convinced the "singularity" is at hand, Baard says.
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