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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Oct 17, 2014

Alchemy vs Networks: The cure for ageing will come — but it will not be something physical

Posted by in categories: aging, biotech/medical, complex systems, evolution, life extension, transhumanism

Since ancient times people have been searching for the secret of immortality. Their quest has always been, without exception, about a physical item: a fountain, an elixir, an Alchemist’s remedy, a chalice, a pill, an injection of stem cells or a vial containing gene-repairing material. It has never been about an abstract concept.

Our inability to find a physical cure for ageing is explained by a simple fact: We cannot find it because it does not exist. It will never exist.

Those who believe that someday some guy is going to discover a pill or a remedy and give it to people so that we will all live forever are, regrettably, deluded.

I should highlight here that I refer to a cure for the ageing process in general, and not a cure for a specific medical disease. Biotechnology and other physical therapies are useful in alleviating many diseases and ailments, but these therapies will not be the answer to the basic biological process of ageing.

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Oct 13, 2014

2014 Longevity and Genetics Conference – Keynote Aubrey de Grey

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, biotech/medical, DNA, events, genetics, life extension, science

Western Canada’s most futurist-oriented longevity organization, the Lifespan Society of British Columbia, has organized a first-class life extension conference, which will take place later this fall in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Longevity and Genetics Conference 2014 offers a full-day of expert presentations, made accessible to a general audience, with keynote on the latest developments in biorejuvination by Aubrey de Grey of SENS Research Foundation. The conference will be interactive, with a panel session for audience questions, and VIP options for further interaction with speakers.

ImageofAubreydeGrey

Aubrey de Grey

Who will be there? In addition to Aubrey de Grey, there are four other speakers confirmed thus far: Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, Head of Cancer Genetics at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency, Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, Board of Directors of the American Federation of Aging Research, and co-author of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging, Dr. Clinton Mielke, former Mayo Clinic researcher and founder of the quantified self platform “infino.me”, and lastly, one of futurism’s most experienced and dedicated radical longevity advocates, Benjamin Best, who is currently Director of Research Oversight at the Life Extension Foundation. This conference is a multi-disciplinary event, engaging several points of interest and relevance in the longevity space, from the cellular, genetic science of aging, to the latest epidemiological and even demographic research. You can also expect discussion on personalized medicine and quantified self technologies, as well as big picture, sociological and philosophical, longevity-specific topics.

All around, the 2014 Longevity and Genetics conference, set to take place Saturday November 15, has a lot to offer, as does the host city of Vancouver. A recent study has indicated that a majority of Canadians, 59%, are in favor of life extension technology, with 47% expecting that science and technology will enable living until 120 by 2050. The Lifespan Society of British Columbia is keeping that momentum and enthusiasm alive and growing, and I’m glad they have organized such a high-calliber event. Tickets are currently still available. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.

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Oct 9, 2014

Dying Twice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks

Dying Twice

Of course, Ebola can be stopped: By rigorously restricting locomotion for the population. But this presupposes heavy support networks. At the present moment in time, this strategy is still feasible. However, since the disease is spreading exponentially in both number and area, very soon the resources of aid-giving nations will be overtaxed. Then the Big Dying from Ebola will be accompanied by the Big Dying from hunger and thirst due to restricted locomotion without the necessary support services.

There exist institutions that could help. But they all do not know what “dying twice” means:
FIRST: from having become untouchable and unapproachable;
SECOND: from thirst, hunger and the pangs of the disease which are intolerably ugly and stenching.
Mothers do not mind. But where are all the mothers for the dying? Even Jesus’ mother was there at the cross.

Since the disease is doubling every 3 weeks (only at some places the rate is slowed due to restricted locomotion), someone must make a “war plan.” I am sure some wonderful organizations have already done so, but they must join forces, resources and above all: information.
One joint plan must be negotiated, maybe under the auspices of the Vatican?, or the CDC?, or Castroland? It need not be the money-stripped United Nations. Only: SOON!

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Oct 4, 2014

Organs-on-Chips emulate human organs, could replace animals in tests

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

By — GizMag

Emulate's lung-on-chip, seen here, is lined with human lung and blood vessel cells

The search for more efficient tests of pharmaceuticals without animal models is taking a stride forward, with a new technology being developed in the US called Organs-on-Chips. The new miniature platform and software, which mimic the mechanical and molecular characteristics of human organs, were developed by bioengineers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

The device, about the size of a small computer memory stick, is created using microchip-manufacturing techniques. It features a porous flexible membrane that separates two channels at the center of the device. The channels are filled with living human cells and tissues cultured in a fluid that mimics the environment inside the human body. Micro-engineering and automated instrumentation allows the system to perform real-time analysis of biochemical, genetic and metabolic functions within single cells.

Read more

Oct 1, 2014

The Abolition of Medicine as a Goal for Humanity 2.0

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, bionic, biotech/medical, ethics, futurism, genetics, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, medical, philosophy, policy, transhumanism

What follows is my position piece for London’s FutureFest 2013, the website for which no longer exists.

Medicine is a very ancient practice. In fact, it is so ancient that it may have become obsolete. Medicine aims to restore the mind and body to their natural state relative to an individual’s stage in the life cycle. The idea has been to live as well as possible but also die well when the time came. The sense of what is ‘natural’ was tied to statistically normal ways of living in particular cultures. Past conceptions of health dictated future medical practice. In this respect, medical practitioners may have been wise but they certainly were not progressive.

However, this began to change in the mid-19th century when the great medical experimenter, Claude Bernard, began to champion the idea that medicine should be about the indefinite delaying, if not outright overcoming, of death. Bernard saw organisms as perpetual motion machines in an endless struggle to bring order to an environment that always threatens to consume them. That ‘order’ consists in sustaining the conditions needed to maintain an organism’s indefinite existence. Toward this end, Bernard enthusiastically used animals as living laboratories for testing his various hypotheses.

Historians identify Bernard’s sensibility with the advent of ‘modern medicine’, an increasingly high-tech and aspirational enterprise, dedicated to extending the full panoply of human capacities indefinitely. On this view, scientific training trumps practitioner experience, radically invasive and reconstructive procedures become the norm, and death on a physician’s watch is taken to be the ultimate failure. Humanity 2.0 takes this way of thinking to the next level, which involves the abolition of medicine itself. But what exactly would that mean – and what would replace it?

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Sep 30, 2014

Dr. Ken Hayworth: What is the Future of your Mind?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism, neuroscience, singularity

We live in world, where technological advances continually allow new and provocative opportunities to deeply explore every aspect of our existence. Understanding the human brain remains one of our most important challenges– but with 100 billion neurons to contend with, the painstakingly slow progress can give the impression that we may never succeed. Brain mapping research unlocks secrets to our mental, social and physical wellness.

In our upcoming releases for the Galactic Public Archives, noted American PhD Neuroscientist and Futurist, Ken Hayworth outlines why he feels that mapping the brain will not be a quixotic task. Through this, he reveals his unconventional plan to ensure humanity’s place in the universe—forever.

We admit to teasing you with the below link in preparation for the main events.

Sep 29, 2014

Shape the Future of Medicine at the Exponential Medicine Conference, November 9–12

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, medical

Singularity University

exponential-medicine-61

In the last century, breakthroughs in modern medicine have driven big gains in quality and length of life. Antibiotics, immunization, imaging and radiology, complex surgery, minimally invasive surgery—and more. It’s a long, impressive list.

But what will the next hundred years bring?

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Sep 13, 2014

Why the Ebola fire can almost not be stopped anymore

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

It needs an effort dwarfing all past peace-time and war-time efforts to be launched immediately, which prospect appears almost infinitely unlikely to be met in time.

The outbreak has long surpassed the threshold of instability and can only be spatially contained any more by the formation of uninfected (A) areas as large as possible and infected areas (B) as small as still possible. Water, food, gowns and disinfectants must be provided by international teams immediately in exponentially growing numbers and for whole countries. A supportive industry must be set in motion in a planet-wide action.

Diseased_Ebola_2014

The bleak prospect that the quenching of the disease is close to a point of no return stems from chaos theory which is essentially a theory of exponential growth (of differences in the initial conditions). “Exponential growth” means that a level that has been reached – in terms of the number of infected persons in the present case – will double after a constant number of time units for a long time to come. Here, we have an empirical doubling every 3 weeks for 5 months in a row by now with no abating in sight. See the precise graphs at the end of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_epidemic_in_West_Africa

Sep 13, 2014

Neuromodulation 2.0: New Developments in Brain Implants, Super Soldiers and the Treatment of Chronic Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, defense, transhumanism

Written By: — Sigularity Hub

neuro-modulation

Brain implants here we come.

DARPA just announced the ElectRX program, a $78.9 million attempt to develop miniscule electronic devices that interface directly with the nervous system in the hopes of curing a bunch of chronic conditions, ranging from the psychological (depression, PTSD) to the physical (Crohn’s, arthritis). Of course, the big goal here is to usher in a revolution in neuromodulation—that is, the science of modulating the nervous system to fix an underlying problem.

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Aug 29, 2014

Open Source SynBio?

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, genetics, open source, posthumanism, transhumanism
If the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) tells us something indisputable, it is this: GMO food products from corporations like Monsanto are suspected to endanger health. On the other hand, an individual’s right to genetically modify and even synthesize entire organisms as part of his dietary or medical regimen could someday be a human right.
The suspicion that agri-giant companies do harm by designing crops is legitimate, even if evidence of harmful GMOs is scant to absent. Based on their own priorities and actions, we should have no doubt that self-interested corporations disregard the rights and wellbeing of local producers and consumers. This makes agri-giants producing GMOs harmful and untrustworthy, regardless of whether individual GMO products are actually harmful.

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