Top 3 Health Concerns of Americans Revealed in Surprising New Poll


By Jason Erickson

No, it’s not about cancer, heart disease or respiratory disease – which statistically comprise nearly half of all deaths. Surprisingly people are beginning to fear science itself, if a recent poll by Pew Research is any indication.

The dual nature of science is a topic frequently covered on this site, with the area of human enhancement being one of the more controversial. While we all naturally want to extend our lives in the healthiest way possible, what does it mean to fully give over the reins to technology? Are we prepared to become cyborgs? Have designer genes and babies? Eat genetically modified and cloned food? Permit the rise of super athletes and super soldiers?

Our world appears to becoming increasingly synthetic as tech, biotech and nanotech companies are looked to by some as harbingers of the next stage of human evolution. Luckily, it seems that the general public might be starting to wonder about the key topics that alternative health has cautioned about for some time – namely, how close is science to becoming science fiction?

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The top three health worries covered include:

  1. Gene Editing
  2. Brain Implants
  3. Synthetic Blood

Pew Research details their findings (emphasis added)

The nationally representative survey of more than 4,700 U.S. adults centered on public views about: gene editing that might give babies a lifetime with much reduced risk of serious disease, implantation of brain chips that potentially could give people a much improved ability to concentrate and process information, and transfusions of synthetic blood that might give people much greater speed, strength and stamina.


A majority of Americans would be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ worried about gene editing (68%); brain chips (69%); and synthetic blood (63%), while no more than half say they would be enthusiastic about each of these developments. While some people say they would be both enthusiastic and worried, overall, concern outpaces excitement.

“This study suggests Americans’ are largely cautious about using emerging technologies in ways that push human capacities beyond what’s been possible before.”

When Americans are questioned about the prospect of three specific kinds of enhancements for healthy people, more greet these possibilities with wariness than enthusiasm. Among the key data:

  • Majorities say these enhancements could exacerbate the divide between haves and have-nots. For instance, 73% believe inequality will increase if brain chips become available because initially they will be obtainable only by the wealthy. At least seven-in-ten predict each of these technologies will become available before they have been fully tested or understood.
  • Substantial shares say they are not sure whether these interventions are morally acceptable. But among those who express an opinion, more people say brain and blood enhancements would be morally unacceptable than say they are acceptable.
  • Opinion is closely divided when it comes to the fundamental question of whether these potential developments are “meddling with nature” and cross a line that should not be crossed, or whether they are “no different” from other ways that humans have tried to better themselves over time. For example, 49% of adults say transfusions with synthetic blood for much improved physical abilities would be “meddling with nature,” while a roughly equal share (48%) say this idea is no different than other ways human have tried to better themselves.

Researchers claim to have made three key observations about the specific categories of people who appear predominantly concerned:

  1. Views about these human enhancements are strongly linked with their religiosity – the more religious Americans are, on average, less likely to embrace these potential types of enhancement.
  2. People are less accepting of enhancements that produce extreme changes in human abilities. And, if an enhancement is permanent and cannot be undone, people are less inclined to support it.
  3. Women tend to be more wary than men about these potential enhancements from cutting-edge technologies.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, researchers also found that people who support current enhancements or alterations that have become “routine” such as cosmetic surgery, fertility therapies, and laser eye surgery are more likely to support the next generation of enhancements.

Do these findings line up with the views of people in your life? Do you think more people will become acclimated to the role of technology the more widely available these therapies become? What are your top health concerns? Please leave your comments below…

*To read the full Pew Research report, please visit, where this information first appeared.

Jason Erickson writes for This article (Top 3 Health Concerns of Americans Revealed in Surprising New Poll) may be republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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