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INFORMATION ABOUT THE ISSUE:

The date of the publication:
2022-03-20
The number of pages:
43
The issue:
11:1
Commentaries:
0
The Authors
Rauf Sharpe, Martin Braddock, Ben Cahill, Ayşe Meriç Yazıcı, Jacob Haqq Misra, Michael Huemer,

CURRENT ISSUE:

Sustaining Resources for Homo Martis: The Potential Application of Synthetic Biology for the Settlement of Mars

The recent success of the Mars 2020 project and the high quality images relayed back to Earth have provided further impetus and expectations for human missions to Mars. To support space agency and private enterprise plans to establish a sustainable colony on Mars in the 2030s, synthetic biology may play a vital role to enable astronaut self-sufficiency. In this review, we describe some aspects of where synthetic biology may inform and guide in situ resource utilisation strategies. We address the nature of Martian regolith and describe methods by which it may be rendered fit for purpose to support growth and yield of bioengineered crops. Lastly, we illustrate some examples of innate human adaptation which may confer characteristics desirable in the selection of colonists and with a future looking lens, offer potential targets for human enhancement.

Back to the Future: The Rise of Human Enhancement and Potential Applications for Space Missions

Rapid advances in biology, electronics, computer and data science have turned invention into products, changing the lives and lifestyles of millions of people around the world. This mini-review will describe some remarkable progress made over the last 10 years which serves both healthy individuals and patients alike. With a forward looking lens towards long term space missions and the potential colonisation of the Moon and Mars, we discuss three technologies under development. We conclude with a distant looking perspective on the prospect of gene mediated human enhancement and highlight the importance of aligning benefit for people on Earth with goals for future space missions and the need to establish regulatory and ethical guidelines.

Predictions and Possible Solutions for the Sustainability of Mars Settlement

With the end of the Cold War, political and ideological competition has decreased as a stated reason for space exploration. The possibility of establishing a settlement on Mars is being seriously evaluated by state and commercial space agencies, which includes objectives to expand human civilization and ensure the continuity of the human species. The technological challenges associated with space settlement continue to receive significant attention, but the success of space settlement will also depend on other human factors. This study presents a high-level overview of some potential issues that could arise with the development of a permanent populationand a space economyon Mars. This study highlights some of the anticipated problems of overnance, trade, production, and proliferation that will need pragmatic solutions to ensure the sustainability of a martian settlement. This paper is intended to instigate further discussion and research regarding human and economic factors that could enable or constrain future settlements on Mars.

On Liberty and Cruelty: A Reply to Walter Block

The Author: Michael Huemer,
A standard argument for ethical vegetarianism contends that factory farming – the source of nearly all animal products – is morally wrong due to its extreme cruelty, and that it is wrong to buy products produced in an extremely immoral manner. This article defends this argument against objections based on appeal to libertarian political philosophy, the supposed benefit to animals of being raised for food, and nonhuman animals’ supposed lack of rights.