matthewd writes: "Hackers everywhere should be interested in this AP article about the gene that is the key to caffeine production in coffee being isolated. (I also found another article that's almost a year old that is very similar.) Of course hackers wouldn't even be interested in coffee sans caffeine. However, once the genetic basis for caffeine production is isolated, the obvious application besides removing it from coffee is to insert this genetic codes into the human body, so that your body can produce caffeine on it's own (perhaps even regulated by the body's circadian rhythm). Everyone ready to hack their bodies?"
There is a broader implication though: It's known that many drugs come from or are discovered in naturally occuring plants and then synthesized. If the genetic basis for these types drugs can be discovered and replicated, you could turn the human body into it's own pharmacy. Maybe synthesizing salicin internally could be as effective as taking aspirin? (and less irritating for your stomach) Or maybe if the fundamental genetic operations that synthesize chemicals/proteins is discovered (the microcode of cells?) you could even synthesize chemicals that don't occur naturally. Perhaps in the future a "pharmaceutical organ" will be hacked into the human body specifically for this purpose.
Of course there's the other side to this, where people will want to synthesize certain chemcials in opiates or marijuana ... Fun to speculate about, at least!"