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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Mar 28, 2015

The Feel-Good Switch: The Radical Future of Emotion

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

By — SingularityHubhttp://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/nerve-cells-1000x400.jpg

For most of the last century, the study of emotions was not considered serious science. The problem was subjectivity. Science is objective, rigorously objective. Emotions, though, are internal states, so the only way to study them is through subjective inference (essentially asking people to report how they feel). But — because people lie, because we often misinterpret our emotions and because comparisons between subjects, that is the depth of my anger versus your anger, is impossible to measure—there’s no objective data to be found.

Thus, until recently, the topic was taboo.

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Mar 27, 2015

Italian Researchers Expect 3D Printed Eyes by 2027, Providing Enhanced Vision & WiFi Connection

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical

by — 3Dprint.commainThere’s one thing you may have begun to notice about digital design and 3D printing: whatever you think might happen in the future is probably going to advance far beyond whatever you envisioned or thought might be a cool idea.

And literally, one day you may be envisioning your entire world, and recording it as well, through completely artificially constructed, 3D printed eyeballs. You may be able to say goodbye to prescription glasses and contact lenses — and even your camera, as your original retina is replaced by a new and digital network contained inside your head, and even able to be swapped out for different versions.Read more

Mar 23, 2015

DARPA thinks it has a solution to Ebola (and all other infectious diseases)

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

by Alexis C. Madrigal — Fusion

http://i0.wp.com/fusiondotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/fusion_ebolaantibodies.gif?resize=1400%2C788&quality=80&strip=all

Saving the world from Ebola suddenly sounds so simple, as the solution spills from Colonel Dan Wattendorf’s mouth, up on the stage in the windowless banquet hall of this Marriott hotel south of San Francisco.

“We’re going to take the genetic code and put it into a format where you go to your drug store or doctor and get a shot in the arm,” Wattendorf told a room full of medical researchers and technologists. “There’s a low-cost of goods, no cold chain, and we would produce the correct antibody in [any] individual directly.”Read more

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 10, 2015

Big Data Helps Find the Achilles Heel of Each Individual Cancer

Posted by in categories: big data, biotech/medical

By Kat McGowan — Nautilus
gene data
In January, the pharmaceutical company Roche paid more than a billion dollars to buy about half of a small company called Foundation Medicine. Foundation has not invented any new drugs or life-saving devices. Most insurance companies won’t pay for its main product, and like a lot of biotech companies, it loses money.

The big bucks are for Foundation’s information. Roche, Foundation, and many other cancer researchers now believe that thinking about cancer in terms of data is going to be the way to beat the disease. The deal gives Roche access to Foundation’s database, which holds the DNA sequences of the tumors of 35,000 cancer patients, along with information about what kinds of drugs they were treated with and how good those drugs were at beating back the cancer.
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Mar 7, 2015

Scientist claims that human head transplants could be a reality by 2017

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

By — Gizmag
A woman's severed head awaits a new body, in the 1962 film The Brain That Wouldn't Die
Transplanting a human head onto a donor body may sound like the stuff of science fiction comics, but not to Italian doctor Sergio Canavero. He has not only published a paper describing the operation in detail, but also believes that the surgery could be a reality as early as 2017.

Canavero, Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, initially highlighted the idea in 2013, stating his belief that the technology to successfully join two severed spinal cords existed. Since then he’s worked out the details, describing the operation in his recent paper, as the Gemini spinal cord fusion protocol (GEMINI GCF).
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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 6, 2015

This Drone Ambulance Is Totally Wild, And Totally Inevitable

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones

Mark Wilson — FastCo

“Obviously, it’s not a thoroughly vetted concept, but I think it’s extremely intriguing where drones might show up,” says Mark Rolston, founder of argodesign. “It would be nice to see them used this way, rather than another military function or more photography.”

The idea was born from a team brainstorming session around how health care could become more accessible. The designers first thought about how they could build a better ambulance, and the rise of autonomous vehicles inspired them to consider a self-driving ambulance. Then they thought of helicopters and drones, and the rest developed from there.

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Jan 29, 2015

Dr. Ken Hayworth, Part 3: If we can build a brain, what is the future of I?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, entertainment, existential risks, futurism, neuroscience, particle physics, philosophy, physics, quantum physics, science, singularity

The study of consciousness and what makes us individuals is a topic filled with complexities. From a neuroscience perspective, consciousness is derived from a self-model as a unitary structure that shapes our perceptions, decisions and feelings. There is a tendency to jump to the conclusion with this model that mankind is being defined as self-absorbed and only being in it for ourselves in this life. Although that may be partially true, this definition of consciousness doesn’t necessarily address the role of morals and how that is shaped into our being. In the latest addition to The Galactic Public Archives, Dr. Ken Hayworth tackles the philosophical impact that technologies have on our lives.

Our previous two films feature Dr. Hayworth extrapolating about what radical new technologies in neuroscience could eventually produce. In a hypothetical world where mind upload is possible and we could create a perfect replica of ourselves, how would one personally identify? If this copy has the same memories and biological components, our method of understanding consciousness would inevitably shift. But when it comes down it, if we were put in a situation where it would be either you or the replica – it’s natural evolutionary instinct to want to save ourselves even if the other is an exact copy. This notion challenges the idea that our essence is defined by our life experiences because many different people can have identical experiences yet react differently.

Hayworth explains, that although there is an instinct for self-survival, humanity for the most part, has a basic understanding not to cause harm upon others. This is because morals are not being developed in the “hard drive” of your life experiences; instead our morals are tied to the very idea of someone just being a conscious and connected member of this world. Hayworth rationalizes that once we accept our flawed intuition of self, humanity will come to a spiritual understanding that the respect we give to others for simply possessing a reflection of the same kind of consciousness will be the key to us identifying our ultimate interconnectedness.

Continue reading “Dr. Ken Hayworth, Part 3: If we can build a brain, what is the future of I?” »


Jan 26, 2015

A Brain-Computer Interface That Works Wirelessly

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborg, neuroscience

By Antonio Regalado — MIT Technology Review

http://www.singularityworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/emotiv.jpgA few paralyzed patients could soon be using a wireless brain-computer interface able to stream their thought commands as quickly as a home Internet connection.

After more than a decade of engineering work, researchers at Brown University and a Utah company, Blackrock Microsystems, have commercialized a wireless device that can be attached to a person’s skull and transmit via radio thought commands collected from a brain implant. Blackrock says it will seek clearance for the system from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so that the mental remote control can be tested in volunteers, possibly as soon as this year.

The device was developed by a consortium, called BrainGate, which is based at Brown and was among the first to place implants in the brains of paralyzed people and show that electrical signals emitted by neurons inside the cortex could be recorded, then used to steer a wheelchair or direct a robotic arm (see “Implanting Hope”).

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