Real-life Captain America Josiah Zayner is now one step ahead in his experimentation with the human genome, also known as biohacking. He says that he wants to help human beings become perfect versions of themselves. He also believes genetic mutation is the modern-day answer to all health problems. Although major equipment supplying companies remain aloof from him, he plans to keep on reinventing humanity.
The former NASA scientist previously made news when he edited his own DNA with the CRISPR tool to remove myostatin, which restricts muscle growth. After live-streaming the experiment online, Zayner received worldwide attention and became the face of the biohacking movement. His company, THE-ODIN.com, makes DIY gene-editing kits and believes that the human race deserves to reach beyond its limitations.
In an interview with The Guardian, "the mad pirate king of biotech" says genetic hacking is the key to improving our species. If genetic engineering is carried out properly, human beings can evolve into an altogether new and more powerful species.
According to him, there is no harm in self-experimentation if a person knows the science behind it. However, he discourages risky experiments such as injecting one's eyeballs. Being aware that editing one gene can lead to adverse changes in the entire gene sequence, Zayner is willing to take the risk for the sake of mankind.
"If we're going to do these experiments you have to balance two things: how many people can possibly die from testing their own products or making them available prematurely, versus how many people have genetic disorders and are just dying because they don't have access to them," the biohacker tells The Guardian.
He believes that choosing to be overprotective due to the fear of side-effects is foolish as we could be withholding opportunity from millions of other people who are dying of genetic diseases as we speak. According to Zayner, being able to control our genes is the ultimate form of equality that any democracy can provide.
Asserting his vision of a world where human beings are able to genetically modify themselves, he talks about a Blade Runner-like scenario where people would walk into a "back-alley science lab" and "instead of getting a tattoo they pick out some DNA that makes them muscly, or changes the colour of their hair or eyes."
The scientist with a vision has recently been voicing his disappointment with companies who refuse to work with him after realising what his firm does. He believes that his company is fully 'legit' and deserves access to 'cutting edge science'.
Although his ideas sound risky and far-fetched, not much different from a sci-fi thriller, it remains to be seen whether his vision actually translates into a global change. After all, every great invention was made by a mad scientist who dreamt of a world no one else could imagine.
Check out this video of Josiah Zayner and his genetic tricks: