Most future sex tech forecasters, along with the media in general, focus on the coming of the sex robots and ever increasing sophistication of virtual and augmented reality porn. This has already led to the young adult generation of today being termed ‘digisexuals’ by some of these pundits. The future of sex and dating is apparently digital. When two people fall in love in the year 2050 (if the concept of love hasn’t died a quaint death by then), rather than jump into the conjugal bed with each other, they will fuck each other using haptic sex toys whilst wearing augmented reality glasses. But hold on. The digitization of sex has many forms. As biology itself becomes digitzed, and medical science subject to Moore’s law of exponential computing power, then humans themselves will be upgraded. In a recent post, I pointed out that gene editing technology has already led to a subculture of ‘biohackers’ injecting themselves with DNA to give themselves bigger muscles, bigger penises, or to turn back time and restore their youthful looks. One day not so far off it might even be possible to change your face as easily as changing your hairstyle. Researchers from leading universities in the USA and the Netherlands have discovered 15 key genes that are responsible for the shape of your face. They do correctly point out the caveat that genes alone are not responsible for a person’s facial appearance – even the underlying structure. Environment also plays a huge part.
The scientists were able to identify fifteen locations in our DNA. The Stanford team found out that genomic loci linked to these modular facial features are active when our face develops in the womb. “Furthermore, we also discovered that different genetic variants identified in the study are associated with regions of the genome that influence when, where and how much genes are expressed,” says Joanna Wysocka (Stanford). Seven of the fifteen identified genes are linked to the nose, and that’s good news, Peter Claes (KU Leuven) continues. “A skull doesn’t contain any traces of the nose, which only consists of soft tissue and cartilage. Therefore, when forensic scientists want to reconstruct a face on the basis of a skull, the nose is the main obstacle. If the skull also yields DNA, it would become much easier in the future to determine the shape of the nose.”