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Demosthenes

Can Working Wings Be Grafted on a Human? [Answered: NO]

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Wings on a human?

 

i was thinking, we could graft wings on a human with enough commitment and research... i have accounted for all the weight loss needed, lung and muscle expansions(including the heart), the traebuclae (i think thats how you spell it)

the neural mapping (connecting of nerves and waiting for the brain to map that limb), the energy requirements,skin engineered to be able to accept feathers, etc etc. but i need more info on what would be required as it would be extremly difficult to make an enzyme and a restriction enzyme to do all of this. it would take many years of perseverance and hardship, the personal ethics problem wouldn't help and it would require massive funding. im sure many of you would wish to be able to have wings (or a tail!) but i need more info and critisicm.

 

phew!

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Impossible. So many changes would be necessary that it'd honestly just be easier to genetically engineer a huge bird and transplant a human brain into it. Birds have modified literally every aspect of their anatomy in order to fly, and still no bird has ever weighed even half of what a small adult human weights. The largest extant bird is 10% of my weight. Ditto for the pterosaurs, especially since it's been suggested that some of truly huge ones were flightless.

 

Mokele

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yes i know, i accounted for the weight when i said muscle reconstruction. flight has been limited to anything 20kg or under so we would need to modify most aspects of a human, but still easier as it would be the most difficult thing to transplant a human brain.

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How is modifying every single aspect of one body *easier* than moving a single organ to a new body? None of this is possible today, so we have no way of assessing the actual difficulties involved, but in general, one procedure is easier than 200.

 

I think you're seriously underestimating the level of modification birds have undergone. Have you ever dissected one? They're all air.

 

Mokele

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Birds have especially adapted bones so they are very light and i believe for humans to fly, we would need some daft sized breast bone.

 

I'm sure we would need huge changes, so big that the resultant being might not be technically human anymore. :eek:

 

But i'd love to have wings, so if you find a way to do it let me know, no more traffic jams! :)

 

Perhaps looking more at the ways birds are adapted to be able to fly, would answer some of your questions. It is fun to wonder though

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... the energy requirements...

Really? Have you worked that out? If so, I'd really appreciate if you explained that in more details, becuase I assume it would require a lot of energy.

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Impossible. So many changes would be necessary that it'd honestly just be easier to genetically engineer a huge bird and transplant a human brain into it.

Actually, probably not. The human brain is geared to command a network of bodily structures and functions in a human body, not an avian one. Therefore something might not "compute" (or a bunch of signals get crossed :D).

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The same could be said of modifying the external aspects of the body - either way you go, you have to learn to control a new body. Plus, the brain seems to do well in this regard, and displays quite a bit of adaptability.

 

I'm also not *really* suggesting transplating the human brain into a bird body, but rather using the example of such a procedure to show how incredibly difficult the alternative would be.

 

Mokele

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As part of an ongoing campaign to make our threads searchable by everyone interested in an answer to the same question, I have retitled this thread. I hope the OP doesn't mind.

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If you could match blood and tissue types (and a good many other things I can`t think of right now), you probably could, however they would be totally Useless, and provide extra stress on the heart and skeletal system.

 

in a nutshell, the most expensive Halloween costume Ever.

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1. with better tech we could

2.the bones are airy so weigh less but have beam like structures in them that provide support.

3. we would still be a biped and be capable of abstract thought

4. the energy would be imense as the heart is bigger it would require twice the input for bodily functions to work and we have the extra function of flying on top of that.

5. i agree with both topics, the brain won't function in a new body but can adapt to new limbs very easily.

6.thank you for changing the title, i appreciate it.

7.thats where the engineering comes in....:eyebrow:

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IMHO The only way humans will ever fly with their own wings is if somebody figures out a way of grafting a nerve and muscle system onto a carbon fiber infratructure, this *might* make you light enough to fly. It would still require a tremendous amount of energy for even a short flight (how many of us can run as far as 100 meters without pretty severe shortness of breath by the end?). Of course this is after figuring out how to graft your vitals into the infrastructure. I think I will be not attempting any of this ever.

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But i'd love to have wings, so if you find a way to do it let me know, no more traffic jams! :)

 

 

Just a thought but here's a possible alternative aproach. I have never been caught in a serious traffic jam while walking (Except once, in Hamley's toy shop, about 2 days before Xmas, 15 years ago).

 

Anyway since humans don't have anything like the lung capacity to "feed" wings the best you could do would be glide.

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About the brain being able to adapt better to new limbs then a whole new host, I'd think it would be the contrary. If you transplanted the brain of a new born, or shortly thereafter, and wire up the connection to the 'most likely spot' (over simplification yes) the brain would probably adapt to the incoming signals much better than creation of new pathways due to the transplanted wings.

 

Then being young it has a greater ability for compensation, so the brain would change shape compared to that of a normal humans. Then again, this may also cause the lack of human like behaviors due to the morphing.

 

a nice dream though.

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I asked google on "the largest flying bird" and the answer is...hopeful for you, Demosthenes.

 

699750340_89c123e306_o.jpg

Argentavis magnificens. The nature is just marvellous.

 

Despite their 7-meter wingspan, their weight was only 70 Kilograms(try rack and diet :eyebrow: ). Read through this, there are some interesting things especially their taking off problems and expert ability of riding on thermals and updrafts.

 

Some pages about this: National Geographic

Wiki: Argentavis

Takes off problems (freerepublic.com)

 

By the way, a few years ago a read an article about Angles and there was quotated one aviation engineer that the "classic angels" (i.e. wing on back) couldn't be able to fly. They have to have wings instead of arms..

 

Pq

 

edit: I forgot, o really don't know how ia get used to 3,5-metre long things on my back....

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yes but what about artificial muscles? they could reduce weight and have 4X the power, with less energy requirements.... it could work.

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yes but what about artificial muscles? they could reduce weight and have 4X the power, with less energy requirements.... it could work.

 

AFAIK, there are no artificial muscles that don't have some sort of serious flaw that makes them effectively useless - long relaxation, weak strength, requiring large external power supplies, etc.

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I guess it would make more sense to try and fly like a bat, since they are mammals also? I'm guessing there is a reason we don't have huge bats though.

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Flapping flight of any sort pretty much runs into the same problems. Different animals have different morphologies for it, but in all cases we run into the same problems when applying it to humans - we'd need huge wings and muscles to deal with the lift and power requirements, massively reworked respiratory systems, etc.

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is it possible to genetically engineer a human egg so that the human grows wings when it is born?

Edited by griveous666
I had something to add

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Not with our current level of knowledge. We could induce the arms to form bat-like wings, but we don't know enough to induce enough muscular growth to make them functional.

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How is modifying every single aspect of one body *easier* than moving a single organ to a new body? None of this is possible today, so we have no way of assessing the actual difficulties involved, but in general, one procedure is easier than 200.

 

I think you're seriously underestimating the level of modification birds have undergone. Have you ever dissected one? They're all air.

 

Mokele

 

What about their mitochondria count?

If I remember correctly, there is a large count in their breasts.

 

For humans to have wings and fly, I suspect they would flap with great force and speed and consume large amounts of food for the aerobic activity. Lung activity might be different, too. I think it's a little more details than adding wings and motor control. The metabolic activity of the human would have to changed. The legs are considered a primary form of motility. Human genetics would have to be changed so that a person's development allows the wings to be the primary form of motility. With that in mind, the way energy is used in the wings and travels through the body would radically change.

 

Perhaps accomplishing these goals is possible.

A lot of deaths would occur before finding the right molecular programming.

Edited by Genecks

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We could probably graft some bat wings to someone and stuff them with immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection, but they would be useless appendages. Getting a human capable of flight would be pretty much impossible with anything close to the current technology or retaining anything like the human anatomy. Birds are incredibly adapted for light weight/high efficiency: hollow bones, huge lungs, specialized mitochondria, most everything except the wing and breast muscles atrophied, nitrogen excretion, a single opening for poop/pee/sex, balls shrunken when not mating season, etc. These are not simple changes, and definitely not limited to anatomy.

 

I'd have to agree with Mokele that it would be easier to modify a human brain to fit into a bird, than to modify every other human body part into a bird-like body.

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My knowledge in ornithology is very limited so are there any difrences between gliding birds and the others in anatomy and muscles activity during flight?

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Well, I suppose the real problem is really one of physics, even more so than anatomy. Technically it is possible to fly anything, even a brick, given enough lift.

 

It could work if you can also modify how fast humans can run at (say 150 km/h or so), otherwise it is not enough to merely graft wings on them for them to fly...

 

A very large wingspan would also work (although probably not very practical for humans).

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