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Archive for the ‘biological’ category

May 21, 2015

The International Flag of Planet Earth

Posted by in categories: alien life, astronomy, cosmology, evolution, futurism, geopolitics, gravity, sustainability, time travel, treaties

“A flag, in short, for all of earth.”

May 11, 2015

Read This Before You Freak Out Over Gene-Edited Superbabies — Nick Stockton | WIRED

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, DNA

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“The point being, science needs room to figure out exactly what this technology is capable of doing. Right now, researchers have a ton of potential on their hands, but not a lot of agreement about how far that potential reaches.”  Read more

May 8, 2015

Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, genetics

David Cyranosk & Sara Reardon  - Nature.com

In a world first, Chinese scientists have reported editing the genomes of human embryos. The results are published1 in the online journal Protein & Cell and confirm widespread rumours that such experiments had been conducted — rumours that sparked a high-profile debate last month2, 3 about the ethical implications of such work. Read more

Apr 29, 2015

Robotic EQ

Posted by in categories: evolution, homo sapiens, robotics/AI

Can an emotional component to artificial intelligence be a benefit?

Robots with passion! Emotional artificial intelligence! These concepts have been in books and movies lately. A recent example of this is the movie Ex Machina. Now, I’m not an AI expert, and cannot speak to the technological challenges of developing an intelligent machine, let alone an emotional one. I do however, know a bit about problem solving, and that does relate to both intelligence and emotions. It is this emotional component of problem solving that leads me to speculate on the potential implications to humanity if powerful AI’s were to have human emotions.

Why the question about emotions? In a roundabout way, it has to do with how we observe and judge intelligence. The popular way to measure intelligence in a computer is the Turing test. If it can fool a person through conversation, into thinking that the computer is a person, then it has human level intelligence. But we know that the Turing test by itself is insufficient to be a true intelligence test. Sounding human during dialog is not the primary method we use to gauge intelligence in other people or in other species. Problem solving seems to be a reliable test of intelligence either through IQ tests that involve problem solving, or through direct real world problem solving.

As an example of problem solving, we judge how intelligent a rat is by how fast it can navigate a maze to get to food. Let’s look at this in regards to the first few steps in problem solving.

Continue reading “Robotic EQ” »


Apr 26, 2015

Crypto-Info Approach to the Ethics of Genetic Engineering

Posted by in categories: alien life, biological, biotech/medical, cyborg, DNA, evolution, genetics, homo sapiens, open access, science, scientific freedom

I just read Wired’s America Needs To Figure Out The Ethics of Gene Editing Now, by Nick Stockton.

We are naïve to think that a moratorium would work because there are countries out there who are determined to supersede the US. Therefore, the focus should not be to halt research but to make it safer – for everyone, not just us. Recall how AIDS became a major health consideration in the US. Therefore, making this research safer for everyone makes it safer for us, too.

According to this Wired article, there are two scientific perspectives on this, need for open discussion (these include, George Q. Daley, R. Alta Charo, Steven Martin, Jennifer Doudna, Hank Greely, Mike Botchan) and temporary moratorium of “baby making” (Edward Lanphier, R. Alta Charo, Steven Martin).

In my opinion it is not correct to restrict scientists’ research to “safe” research but we have to weigh that against the benefits of progress. Learning, experimentation and research are all part of the process of making progress. “Safety” is something that we discover with hindsight – airplanes as weapons came to our national consciousness with 9/11. And for Christians who believe this is wrong, see Genesis 1:26.

Continue reading “Crypto-Info Approach to the Ethics of Genetic Engineering” »


Mar 20, 2015

DNA Editing of Human Embryos Alarms Scientists

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, DNA

By David Cyranoski — Scientific American

Amid rumors that precision gene-editing techniques have been used to modify the DNA of human embryos, researchers have called for a moratorium on the use of the technology in reproductive cells.

In a Comment published on March 12 in Nature, Edward Lanphier, chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine in Washington DC, and four co-authors call on scientists to agree not to modify human embryos — even for research.

“Such research could be exploited for non-therapeutic modifications. We are concerned that a public outcry about such an ethical breach could hinder a promising area of therapeutic development,” write Lanphier and his colleagues, who include Fyodor Urnov, a pioneer in gene-editing techniques and scientist at Sangamo BioSciences in Richmond, California. Many groups, including Urnov’s company, are already using gene-editing tools to develop therapies that correct genetic defects in people (such as by editing white blood cells). They fear that attempts to produce ‘designer babies’ by applying the methods to embryos will create a backlash against all use of the technology.Read more

Mar 6, 2015

Singularity? Reality? Humanity? Are there sophisticated Barbarians in Silicon Valley? Linking the Human Brain to the Computer — Exciting, or Frightening?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, complex systems, cyborg, evolution, futurism, human trajectories, posthumanism, singularity, transhumanism

Quoted: “Once you really solve a problem like direct brain-computer interface … when brains and computers can interact directly, to take just one example, that’s it, that’s the end of history, that’s the end of biology as we know it. Nobody has a clue what will happen once you solve this. If life can basically break out of the organic realm into the vastness of the inorganic realm, you cannot even begin to imagine what the consequences will be, because your imagination at present is organic. So if there is a point of Singularity, as it’s often referred to, by definition, we have no way of even starting to imagine what’s happening beyond that.”

Read the article here > http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/silicon-valley-mordor/

Feb 16, 2015

The Rise of Supranational Governance

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, evolution, governance

If we were to assume that eventually, some sort of world government configuration will take the place of individual, fragmented sovereign states, what would it look like and how would it operate? Will it be a communion of our wisest political leaders under one flag and all people agreeing upon the laws which govern in a democratic vote? Will we all tune in right around suppertime to watch the ‘president of the world’ elections and root for the party with which we most closely relate to? Will we finally be among a utopian society where true democracy is the staple ideology?

More than anything, the average individual will do away with their notion of nationalism and adopt the ideology of a world citizen. A new supranational governance will take hold, one where individual rise above national boundaries. Not confided to artificial borders or boundaries, these individuals will have the opportunity to experience unprecedented wealth accumulation. Unlike any time before in history, they will be subversive to judicial taxation strategies due to the very nature of digital money which will continually offer alternatives for increased security, functionality, and anonymity – although it is quite likely these payment systems will be under surveillance to a degree previously unmatched.

Read the full post on Diginomics.

Jan 2, 2015

The Immortalists Official Trailer

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, biotech/medical, genetics, human trajectories, life extension

Dec 1, 2014

Do gut bacteria control your mind?

Posted by in category: biological

Kurzweil AI

http://blog.operationreality.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/bacteria1-e1315094637183.jpg

Bacteria within you — which outnumber your own cells about 100 times — may be affecting both your cravings and moods to get you to eat what they want, and may be driving you toward obesity.

That’s the conclusion of an article published this week in the journal BioEssays by researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico from a review of the recent scientific literature.

Read more

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