Making the fastest Human,

edited November 2015 in Everything else
i have had a question i'd like to pose some of you on this forum here, how would we go about making the fastest human possible? i don't mean attaching a human onto a get or anything but more so how would you make them faster genetically/chemically (through drug enhancement)/mechanically (implants/other)? 


  • Faster than the fastest current olympic sprinters.
  • The most practical way right now would be to combine a plyometric regimen, sprint training, and something like those "Blades", that give you a boost. 
  • mechanically is easy. Gimme 20 minutes with some steel and a few rockets and i'll have you be the fastest human on earth for like 10 seconds. or use an exosuit. There's lots of easy ways to do that. But to have it built into a person is significantly slower and short of a massive biological redesign and a fair bit of implantation it'd be difficult.
  • If you're willing to risk damaging things quite badly, you might try looking for several compounds, each doing one or more of the following: Accelerating fast-twitch muscle fiber actuation, Accelerating motor neuron impulses, supplying a very large amount of oxygen to muscle cells on demand, and processing the carbon and fatigue byproducts created by said muscle cells.

    In short, a very tricky, risky modification of the pre-existing system. Very likely that you'll do something horrible like tear a great many muscles, kick a hole in something while you're adjusting to the effects of the compounds, stop your heart. The usual business.

    Myostatin inhibition might be useful for this, if you take the genetics root.
  • myostatin inhibitors just makes more muscle. doesn't increase speed or strength. but may help with training.
  • Id start with a step by step analysis beginning with the pns innervating muscle. Acetylcholine is the ligand. There are tons of choline precursor supps.. do these affect transmission speed? If not, can an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor have this effect? I'm not sure.. but I'd say not to any really meaningful level or we'd already have seen this before.
    Well what about action potentials? Can we increase the amount of voltage gated channels or play with the myelin sheath to increase saltatory conduction? Maybe.. worth looking at anyhow but I can't think of anything off hand. I mean, not with a great enough effect that it would be meaningful.

    There might be ways to increase the likelihood of firing at the neuromuscular junction. Once again an ach esterase inhibitor comes to mind. Of course, uncontrolled muscle cramping might occur instead. We are talking about the same thing serin gas does.

    There might be something we could do to enhance how calcium is used and release during the cross bridge cycle. The mechanism of ca release from sarcoplasmic reticulum is well understood. Would a bigger diffusion gradient increase calcium moving to the myosin sites? How about more calcium gates?

    How about adding gap junctions between striated muscle fibers? Make each muscle all or none? Huge full muscle recruitment at the expense of fine motor control.

    Overall, this is what I think.. we don't see any animals using muscles alone to move significantly faster than we can. You might look into specialized structure s like the appendage on a spring tail etc. But speed is such an enormous advantage that species would most likely have evolved already if there is an easy biological solution. If you figure out an answer, you most likely also be answering how we can speed up the cns which is really a far more impressive grind.
  • Rant and actual commentary below the line

    I would start with a decent diet, some good sleep, and moderate exercise. After that, I'd move onto explosive movement training, and maybe some hand eye coordination work. From there, it's a pretty solid dedicated work regime. Daily, with breaks for recovery Sprints every day. After some time, you could break the plateau with blood doping (oxygen helps!), or a diet hack. Don't forget flexibility training!
    At this point, you're at the top of your game. Get some knee surgery for increased tendon strength and have someone cut your legs off at the shin to be replace with carbon blades. Chic and lightweight and fast. Zoom. 
    Now you're at the wall, you need to alter your nervous system. Sweet legs won't cut it. Well, we don't have a lot of ways to do this. You start with the meth but soon your system gets used to it and you crave a stronger rush. More speed! Pcp is where you turn to next. As you are out-sprinting cops with your carbon legs after flipping that car onto a baby, you feel the sweet joy of true chemical and physical enhancement. You are fast fast fast so fast. When they find you dead from an overdose in a boarded up house, they donate your legs to an orphan who decides to run for president. She opens up opportunities for enhanced and challenged people everywhere.


    Add this to the collection of "biology is not like your computer hardware". 

    One of the reasons that people get interested in grinding is that they feel "limited" by their body. That means far more than most people understand. 

    Biological systems work the way they do because that is the way things work. This isn't a flippant reply, I'm really just paraphrasing the two previous comments. Most if not all systems work in trade off. Being a human is like being a great multi tool. Useful in most situations, but if you really just need an excellent screwdriver, not ideal.  Now, everyone knows why this is. Overspecialize and you breed in weakness.

    Also, the laws of physics and chemistry. It's always a trade off. We don't at this point, know how to circumvent that. It's a combination of what Cass and Chironex are saying.  You need a whole system alteration to do a hack like this because being fast is not just one thing. Your body is an organic system, not a machine. Even if one were to "graft muscle" or do a myostatin hack, you are smacking a racercar engine in a family car frame. Want that explosive energy to run like a cheetah? How does your skeletal system feel about that? 

    I'm not saying there isn't anything that could be done, only that everything that we do comes with a price or isn't significantly amazing.

    What kind of ideas did you have in mind?
  • Long term:
    Remove brain, place in life support system and use radio link to control various different bodies depending on task.
  • Which still doesn't overcome the issue of speed. There is a high end of nervous system transmission speed. It's around 120 meters per second.. and that's specifically the fastest we know of. The speed of electricity? 299,792,458 meters per second or so. I don't geek out on the idea of uploading really. It just seems so reductionistic.. I'm not saying we won't ever figure it out but there really has been a lot of examples of "we'll have all of physics figured out within 10 years" which is then followed with the discovery of relativity or whatnot. I'd seriously be surprised if any of the current approaches actually work such as neuron emulation etc. Maybe. I mean it seems cool enough.

    My point however is that a nervous system interface to electronics really is step one.
  • A brain linked to a computer that can do the high-speed processing required would work.
  • edited November 2015
    That's been discussed in one thread awhile back on electromuscular stimulation. Using electrodes implanted in certain sites and triggered by a precision micro-controller to take over tasks like walking and running. Don't remember where though.

    At a fundamental level, the nervous system is a molecular computer, yes? The movement of the ions creates your action potentials, which trigger the muscles. The question with this system really is, which piece of the puzzle is the limiter? Is it the "conductor"(Axon) or the Synaptic process? And are the nerves you dealing with utilizing chemical synapses, or electrical ones?

    On the note of interfacing with the nervous system using electronics, I was doing some reading on Google Glass(specifically their use of Liquid Crystal on Silicon) and it struck me that you could probably do something similar with nerves. Grow a layer of nerve cells interfacing with specific junctions on the chip, and then apply chemicals to the implant site and the chip itself to encourage the body to connect to the nerve cells on the chip. Or just "suture" the two together. We have chips with nanometer-scale pathways. Neurons, as far as I know, are in the micrometer scale. No problem.

    @glims I'm a bit confused on the mechanism by which PCP accelerates the nervous system. Could you explain?
  • the problem is, it doesn't port to electronics well. See the issue is this, biological system work on lots of levels with lots of different parts doing different jobs to make something happen. It's not just neuron 1 connect to neurons 2 and 3 and that makes a things happen. Each neuron can have different amounts of channels and pumps and that will vastly change how quickly it responds to signals and transmit signals but that variability is also how some data is stored. then there are genetic changes to individual neurons which will vastly change how they behave. Also neurons aren't binnary, at best they're sort of unary and that makes it all more complicated. so based on how they wire can generate a variety of different signal. Also the various levels of neurotransmitters in any part of the brain at that particular time can change how things wire and behave.

    That's a clustefuck but my point is that just making one piece go faster wouldn't help. You'd have to rengineer everything from the ground up, literally from a molecular level up. You'd basically have to reinvent life to make it significantly faster. 

  • I was more thinking about "Connecting Junction one to neuron 1 and dump x amount of current into it" An electrodeless neural interface, so to speak.
  • wont work the way you want. It's not current and voltage the way electronics work. there's more layers to it and they all encode information in some form. a straight electronic pulse is a really blunt tool as it were

  • if you just amplify some signals on neurons you won't get fast, but you may be able to kick stuff incredibly hard and break your toes/foot as consequence.
  • I doubt glims meant it literally. Stimulants do speed up your cognition or at least perception of time. There are some rather interesting studies as to how even thc does this. Now if someone could demonstrate something like doing a complicated time intense mental math problem in their head during these supposed periods of slowed time perception I'd be very interested. Pcp, meth etc. Doesn't speed up nerve transmission rates.

    In terms of bci interfacing for something like this.. you have the equivalent of a digital cerebellum. The cerebellum functions to control the specifics of movement. The frontal lobe and other structures just kind of determine when to activate a programmed sequence. This is why leaving to drive takes effort.. but after a while it's a pre programmed sequence like shoe laces.

    You d have a program moving a structure like contract muscle to shorten the angle of joint 30 degree s. You'd simply think go over there.. much how it works now.

    I agree that the cns is a rather complicated web of connections. The pns on the other hand is somewhat straight forward. Efferent and afferent signals are as uni directional as wires and easily mapped. Usually you only have a couple neurons involved really.. brain to spinal, spinal to target.. or sensory neuron to spine, spine to brain. It's more complicated than this with glial cells and spinal reflexes etc. But not too bad.
  • Wow, hang on, what are we talking about again? I thought this was about making a human run as fast as they can, not making brains run faster.

    Because the "putting the brain with its life support machine in a car and hook up the controls with bci" would work. Though how's that much different from me getting in a car and drive it I have no idea, unless you define your body as simply just something that interfaces with your nervous system directly.
  • that's sorta the point we're making. it's easier to just get in a car or plane. to try and make people significantly faster would require a redesign of both the body and mind and likely of life. 
  • Well, where's the fun in that? :P. And it isn't like that brain controlled vehicles are even that hard to do. There are people who have done that now.

    It's just the same old question: does that count as an extension of your body?
  • Well I'll bite. Do you want to work on max speed or long term cardiovascular speed?
  • If we are talking about speeding up the nervous system, Semax has been shown to increase response time. It also increases Brain Derived Nuerotrophic Factor (BDNF) which works in with long term memory storage. I wonder what would happen over time if you trained while taking it.
  • edited November 2015
    There is no drug that can speed up the propagation of action potentials (the limit @Cassox is referring to, around 100m/s in mammals for well-myelinated axons). That limit is imposed by the time it takes 1. Voltage-gated sodium channels embedded in the neuronal plasma membrane to open and 2. Sodium ions to subsequently diffuse down their concentration gradient across the neuronal membrane. You. Can't. Just. Speed. It. Up. You want to re-engineer the voltage-gated sodium channels to open faster? Great. Do a PhD in protein engineering and spend the next 50 years of your life working on it. Maybe you'll figure it out. Otherwise, please understand what you want to do is not within your abilities.
  • BTW, I would just like to point out that according to Glim's rant, Ferraris cannot go to their top speed either because they wouldn't be able to survive a crash at > 200 km/h. In fact, we probably shouldn't drive because our reaction time means that we would be crashing into walls and seriously damaging cars and ourselves because of our reaction time.
  • edited November 2015
    ... Please close this thread.
  • -shrugs- I'm not the one here who interprets "making the fastest human possible" to mean "making humans so fast that they break the sound barrier and crash into walls and use their speed irresponsibly!"

    If you take a thread to a silly direction, it will go to a silly direction.
  • I apologise for bringing up the longterm stuff.

    Practically speaking, I think this thread was about making the natural human muscles as fast as possible in terms of running - correct?

    That's still mostly a question of training, with some possible enhancements to make it easier to gain the muscle strength and endurance.
  • Once again, I don't think glims meant it literally. The reason it goes to a more extreme end of the spectrum is because the intermediate has been done. Training regimens have been well studied and established for those trying to run fast.
  • A direction that might be fruitful.. how do pistol shrimp and mantis shrimp strike so fast? I mean damn.. they strike so fast it makes a flash of light. That is some Barry Gordy shit right there.
  • To anyone who took the first half of my post seriously, please get some sleep and think about your life choices.... :P

    I was farcically pointing out that there is little to be done about the situation. The question is simultaneously tremendously openended while referring  to an area that has been studied to death. It falls under the category of full system redesign. This is biology. There are no quick and simple hacks with amazing results.

    The mantis shrimp has a set of locks on it's arms that keep them tremendously flexed. When the locks are released, the tension lets go in one explosive movement. Basically, it's like smacking someone with ruler.
Sign In or Register to comment.