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Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Jun 25, 2015

OS Fermentation Salon Series — By EcoArtTech

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, food, health

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“OS FERMENTATION events have included installations, workshops, prints, and tastings. The installation includes digital prints created by custom electronics and software that allow microbes to take their own “selfies” and add image manipulation effects to their images based on the shifting pH levels, oxygen, and color values of the fermentation process.”

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Jun 9, 2015

World’s first biolimb … By Akshat Rathi | Quartz

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, DNA, education, ethics, futurism, genetics, hacking, hardware, health

The idea is simple. First, they take an arm from a dead rat and put it through a process of decellularization using detergents. This leaves behind a white scaffold. The scaffold is key because no artificial reconstructions come close to replicating the intricacies of a natural one.

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Jun 7, 2015

CRISPR, the disruptor — Heidi Ledford | Nature

Posted by in categories: biological, DNA, environmental

“Researchers are considering how CRISPR could or should be deployed on organisms in the wild. Much of the attention has focused on a method called gene drive, which can quickly sweep an edited gene through a population. The work is at an early stage, but such a technique could be used to wipe out disease-carrying mosquitoes or ticks, eliminate invasive plants or eradicate herbicide resistance in pigweed, which plagues some US farmers.” Read more

May 26, 2015

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Selects 2015 Investigators

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, computing, DNA, education, genetics, life extension, neuroscience, science, scientific freedom


“The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced today that 26 of the nation’s top biomedical researchers will become HHMI investigators and will receive the flexible support necessary to move their research in creative new directions. The initiative represents an investment in basic biomedical research of $153 million over the next five years.”

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May 23, 2015

Experimental Architect Explores Biology’s Role in Urban Design — By Henry Grabar for Next City

Posted by in categories: architecture, biological, complex systems, futurism, habitats, health, science

ARTICLE: “My own contribution has been to take the avant-garde ideas of architecture into a laboratory space.”

Bütschli Dynamic Droplet System in Summer/Fall 2013 issue of Artificial Life

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” »


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

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