For those who think manipulating the human body and its organs to create something resembling the undead belongs solely to the realm of Science Fiction, it might be time for a reevaluation of that assumption.
A remarkable breakthrough in the field of biology comes with the creation of a ‘modular body’—a seemingly living entity that isn’t quite alive. Biologist Cornelis Vlasman envisions a human body that functions in a manner similar to the LEGO blocks we grew up with. Consequently, Vlasman developed OSCAR, a living, organic system composed of his own cells combined with the capabilities of technology. OSCAR’s distinctive feature is its interchangeable system, reminiscent of LEGO blocks, that allows for the formation of specific configurations. Moreover, Vlasman demonstrates how his electric brain module connects to a lung module, enabling interaction between the two synthetic ‘organs.’ The process continues as he attaches additional modules, such as a kidney and limbs. A bloodstream and nerve signals course throughout the connectors of this modular body.
Though Vlasman notes that OSCAR is merely in its prototype stage, it is evident that the system manages to convert the human body from a closed system into an open-source one. This modification indicates the potential for a damaged organ to be readily replaced with a new module. Additionally, with the attachment of supplementary modules, the human body could be ‘upgraded,’ allowing adaptability to various situations. Nonetheless, more work lies ahead for Vlasman, as merely using cells is not enough to ensure the experiment’s success and readiness for practical application.