Everybody loves superheroes because it lets us suspend our disbelief and wonder – could that really happen? In most cases, the answer is unfortunately no. There’s no way we could accrue the disposable income and rock hard body to become Batman. Likewise, there’s no way we could gain new abilities just by being bitten by a genetically modified spider, or is there?
The latest video from the amazing guys over at AsapSCIENCE look into the possibility of somebody actually becoming Spiderman. It turns out that a lot of it is theoretically possible, but don’t expect to start climbing walls after a spider bite anytime soon.
The main problem stems from the fact that a genetically modified spider doesn’t have the ability to change our DNA on the level seen in the comics or movies. As the video explains, the retrovirus passed on by the spider would have to infect and change every single cell in the human body. That’s a daunting task even for a small amount of change to DNA.
It’s sad to realize that we’ll never be a superhero, but maybe it’s for the best. If superheroes were real, they would have more in common with The Watchmen or Kick-Ass. As we all know, those kind of stories never turn out good for the heroes. Let’s stick to the fantasy of flying through the air attached to an impossibly small string of spider silk. I don’t really feel like becoming a spider pancake today.