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Science: Genetic engineering
Human Horn   (+3, -1)  [vote for, against]
Oh no, more GM.

Yup, that's right, this involves a little tinkering with the human genome (catches fishbone, 'thank you madam'), but bear with me.

Many of science fiction's cyberpunk ideas involve fusing computers (hardware) with the human body (wetware). While many of these devices are self contained (artificial joints, muscles, eyes), some require a connection to the outside world. This is often in the form of a jack plug located on the forearm, back of neck, base of spine, whatever. The trouble is, getting the skin to heal around the socket. Whatever happens, it's going to be prone to infection.

Now, we already generate material that grows through the skin without (too much) infection -- nails and hair. Many animals grow horns, which are more of less the same thing, but a little thicker and harder.

The human horn would be a set of genetically engineered cells that would be grafted onto bone and would grow through the skin forming a small horn. For cyberpunk requirements this horn, once decently sized would be filed down and have the connections put into its surface, making the connection between interior and exterior electronics safer. Every couple of years, the sockets would be removed, the horn filed down, and the sockets replaced.

(can also be used for growing horns)

[Jan 29 2003: Deleted some off topic rambling (including my own)]

[Nov 4 2003] There is another, less frivolous, less futuristic, application for this virtual and maybe impossible technology: prosthetic limb attachments.

As I am still in possession of the same quantity of articulated limbs that I had when I was born, I haven't had much occasion to see the full spectrum of prosthetics currently available. From what I *have* seen, they generally attach to a cup which is, not to put too fine a point on it, shoved hard onto the end of the remaining stump.

The cup makes a firm, but not rigid point to which the prosthetic attaches. I imagine that there are problems with the cup shifting during exercise, along with bedsores from having a plastic device against the skin for extended periods.

Extending the bone through the skin by using a grafted section of human horn could solve both of these problems. It would add the some niggles of its own. Not least that the whole idea might be impossible.
-- st3f, Dec 30 2002

Enigma, the puzzle tattoo man
Note implanted horns [thumbwax, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

GM that's actually solving a problem without creating ten more, whoa, that's a first here. Might be painful during labor, though.
-- RayfordSteele, Dec 30 2002

..enter darth maul.

Have you been reading 'Palace' by Katharine Kerr? Good book innit, pity the sequel is garbage. Biologically this is fairly implausible through GM but it's a cute image (= neutral vote).
-- madradish, Dec 30 2002

I get one every morning, but stay away from me with that DIN plug.
-- FloridaManatee, Dec 30 2002

Rayford: I wouldn't go that far. It's a possible solution to a problem that currently only exists in SF.

madradish: No, but I'll put it on my list of things to read. Regarding the implausibility, I won't defend the idea, you're probably right, but I would be interested in your take on which bit is the weakest. Or is it the whole thing?

thumb: nice link, but I bet those are latex.
-- st3f, Jan 02 2003

I haven't done a <wilful title misunderstanding> anno for ages, so here goes:
Ithoughtthisideawasgoingotbeabout fitting a klaxon to the human body. "Keep death off the roads - bring road rage to the pavement". Or even "kick road rage to the kerb".
-- egbert, Jan 02 2003

[st3f]: Teflon actually. That guy was on TV in UK recently, along with some even weirder(!) people.
-- angel, Jan 02 2003

And here I thought that this was going to be an idea for an implanted noisemaker to facilitate pedestrian traffic movement. (beep beep)
-- Pharaoh Mobius, Jan 02 2003

This smacks much of "Tails for All". I never much liked that idea, and this human genetics modification doesn't do anything for me, either. I've no doubts, however, that there are many who have such a fetish. The former is one of the top HB annotations of all time, so there must be some sort of genuine interest about it. Perhaps this one too.
-- cswiii, Jan 02 2003

I added another application to the idea: as an attachment point for prosthetic limbs. I didn't think that it was worthy of a separate post so just thought I'd bump the original idea to the top of the stack again.
-- st3f, Nov 04 2003

random, halfbakery