tiny people

Novel methods for reducing the human footprint

tiny people

Image of tiny people from londonist.com

LONDON — In an innovative approach to combating a suite of environmental challenges, a consortium of researchers is exploring ways to reduce the impact of humans on our planet.  If successful, the new strategy could eliminate global warming, dramatically reduce demand on natural resources, and increase food security.  The international and interdisciplinary research team from universities in Britain, Germany, the United States and China is collaboratively exploring multiple techniques to achieve a global reduction in human body size, thereby reducing the environmental impact of people.

“If we are to shrink the human footprint on planet Earth, we need to shrink the human foot,” said project director Dr. N. Mac Feegle.  “This will be an extremely small step for people, but a giant leap for the planet.”  Shrinking the average size of humans will raise the carrying capacity of Earth for the human population exponentially.  The team is exploring two main pathways toward making smaller people: genetic modification and particle beam reconstruction.

The group of molecular biologists is using CRISPR gene editing to incorporate DNA found in fossil remains of Flores People, diminutive humans who stood one meter tall and lived 18,000 years ago on an Indonesian island, into modern humans.  “From there we will edit the genome further with a goal of reducing body volume by 90%,” said geneticist Dr. Gulliver Swift of the University of Lilliputia.  “In my travels I’ve often dreamed of such tiny people.”  Manipulating human DNA for this purpose creates opportunities for other genetic improvements as well.  “While we have the human genome cracked open we might throw in some genes for wings and pointy ears, too.  That could only help,” said project collaborator Mab Faeri at today’s press conference.

The second group of researchers includes biophysicists who are developing a high energy particle ray to scan human tissue at the molecular level and convert it into pure energy, then recompile the matter at a much smaller scale.  According to one physicist associated with the project, Dr R. Moranis, “We’re shooting for super small humans, nano-people who could walk on your nose.”  The shrinker ray could be used on pets and livestock, as well as smart phones, so humans arrive at their new diminutive size equipped for survival. “I said to my spouse this morning, ‘Honey, we could totally shrink the kids!’” said Moranis.  “It turns out she’s not entirely on board with the idea yet.”

The international research team is betting that at least one of these methods works, and they hope to roll out the new technology by 2024.  But it could be longer.  They’re taking baby steps.

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