Listening to Lee Hood describe his futuristic visions of immunology-nay, of biology-it is easy to feel like a cripple in the midst of Olympic sprinters. DNA sequencing, for example, will be entirely automatized: In the future, you will simply drop a tiny speck of tissue into one end of a machine and then collect the data, digested for your convenience by a computer, at the other. The scale of work will be reduced to picogram quantities, a mere nothing compared to the scale you work on now. You will hardly need to spend any time in the laboratory; you will just stop by in the morning to turn on the robotics, and while you are on a lecture tour or fishing in the bay of Baja California, they will slave away for you like zombies in a third-rate horror movie. You won't even need to think; artificial brains will do that for you. And when it comes time to write a paper, there will be a computer program for that too, with standardized columns like those on a tax-return form. The word processors of the nth generation will actually be data processors: They will know what to do with experimental results much better than you, and they will turn out fool-proof manuscripts above the criticism of any reviewer. Correction: Actually, in the future, there will be no manuscripts, no papers, no journals; all communication will be via computer. At some point communication may even be strictly amongst computers, and then you will have nothing to say to all this at all.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy