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The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Cyborg in 2017

What is a cyborg you might be wondering? This incredible new technological advance is definitely worth finding out more about.

A new technological trend of becoming a “cyborg” in 2017 comes with pros and cons. That’s why knowing more about this intriguing phenomenon is a must.

Cyborg Definition

A cyborg is simply somebody with a mechanical or electronic device in (or attached to) their body that enhances physiological functioning. Cyborgs are sometimes known as “bionic” men or women.

More about Cyborgs

Cyborgs have advanced physiological capabilities as part of enhanced body functions (from bionic implants or limbs, for example). The world’s first human cyborg was Johnny Ray, a Vietnam war vet who suffered a stroke. His body received an embedded implant (a neurotrophic electrode) near his brain so he could regain normal body movements.

Other cyborg applications include prosthetic limbs containing sensors that stimulate the natural human gait, and aid in walking or grasping. And cochlear, retinal and magnetic implants may enhance senses in people with damaged or malfunctioning senses (like hearing or sight, for example, says Harvard University). Medical devices placed inside the human body (like heart defibrillators) may also classify you as a cyborg in the year 2017.

The Cyborg Foundation, created in 2010 by cyborg enthusiasts, helps fund the creation of projects related to enhancing human body functions with technological advances.

Pros

Enhancing human senses and body parts is a pro in itself, whether or not you have a disability. The main pros of becoming a cyborg in 2017 include:

  • Walking with bionic limbs when you wouldn’t otherwise be able to (as in the case of paraplegics); even being able to complete in the cyborg Olympics, says a 2016 issue of the journal Nature.
  • Improved senses (sight, smell, hearing, etc.).
  • A better chance of surviving certain heart conditions (as in the case of a defibrillator), which can increase your life expectancy.
  • Improved mood and lower rates of depression for paraplegics who can now walk as a result of bionic limbs.
  • A better quality of life with new bionic limbs or heightened senses.

Cons

While becoming a cyborg with bionic body parts comes with definite perks, potential drawbacks exist as well. These include:

  • Bionic body parts and implantable devices are expensive.
  • Implanted devices in the body could malfunction.
  • The body might negatively react to implantation.
  • There are medical risks involved in any type of surgery.
  • Other devices like metal detectors or anti-theft systems may interfere with cyborg devices’ (pacemakers, for example) ability to function properly, says the American Heart Association.

Weighing Pros and Cons

Figuring out if becoming a cyborg is right for you is a conversation you can have with your doctor. If a new device placed in or attached to your body will improve your life expectancy or quality of living, it might be worth a shot (even though risks are involved).

[Image via Shutterstock]

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