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Study: Americans hesitant as science fiction becomes reality

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Much of the technology once though to be pure fantasy in our favorite science fiction books and movies is moving closer and closer to reality. Despite such potentially exciting news, many Americans are hesitating to embrace the changes, a Pew Research Center study reveals.

Among other advancements being made, replacement organs could be grown in labs, drones may deliver packages and scientists may figure out how to teleport small items.

Fifty-nine percent of those who responded to the Pew study were optimistic that scientific and technological changes will improve Americans’ way of life, CBS News reports, but 30 percent say the advancements will actually make life worse.

In regards to Google Glass and similar devices, 53 percent said they’re a change for the worse. Additionally, 63 percent are not looking forward to personal or commercial drones flying through the air. When it comes to driverless cars, survey respondents were split: 48 percent found the phenomenon interesting.

Americans were most pessimistic about scientific advancements that interfere with nature. When asked if prospective parents should be able to alter the DNA of their children, 66 percent responded that such an advancement would be a change for the worst. Additionally, 72 percent said they would not get a brain transplant to improve their mental capabilities, and a mere 20 percent had any interest in eating meat from a lab. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents did not want to see lifelike robots replacing caregivers for the elderly or sick.

As far as Americans’ expectations, less than 40 percent expect teleportation to happen within the next half-century, and only 33 percent think humans will begin living on other planets in that time.

Short of these forthcoming inventions, Pew asked what they are more interested in. The top three responses were improved methods of transportation, like flying cars; time travel; and health improvements to extend longevity and fight disease.

The survey was based on 1,001 telephone interviews of adults 18 and older conducted from Feb. 13-18.

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