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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category

Jan 25, 2020

The biohacker who wants to become cyborg to be more perfect

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, life extension, neuroscience, transhumanism

New transhumanism and biohacking story out by one of Asia’s most influential newspapers: South China Morning Post:


From brain supplements to chip implants to nootropics, humans are using technology, medicine and extreme diets to improve their brainpower, health and longevity.

Continue reading “The biohacker who wants to become cyborg to be more perfect” »

Jan 21, 2020

Why Gene Editors Like CRISPR/Cas May Be a Game-Changer for Neuroweapons

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, governance, health, neuroscience, policy, surveillance

This year marks the Eighth Review Conference (RevCon) of the Biological Toxins and Weapons Convention (BWC). At the same time, ongoing international efforts to further and more deeply investigate the brain’s complex neuronal circuitry are creating unprecedented capabilities to both understand and control neurological processes of thought, emotion, and behavior. These advances have tremendous promise for human health, but the potential for their misuse has also been noted, with most discussions centering on research and development of agents that are addressed by existing BWC and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) proscriptions. In this article, we discuss the dual-use possibilities fostered by employing emergent biotechnologic techniques and tools—specifically, novel gene editors like clustered regular interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)—to produce neuroweapons. Based on our analyses, we posit the strong likelihood that development of genetically modified or created neurotropic substances will advance apace with other gene-based therapeutics, and we assert that this represents a novel—and realizable—path to creating potential neuroweapons. In light of this, we propose that it will be important to re-address current categorizations of weaponizable tools and substances, so as to better inform and generate tractable policy to enable improved surveillance and governance of novel neuroweapons.

Keywords: : CRISPR, Gene editing, Neuroweapon, Neurotherapeutic pathways, Dual-use neuroscience, Biosecurity policy.

T his year marks the Eighth Review Conference (RevCon) of the Biological Toxins and Weapons Convention (BWC), the purpose of which is to ensure that the convened parties’ directives continue to be relevant to and viable for prohibiting the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons in the face of newly emerging scientific advancements and biotechnologies. Apropos of issues raised at previous RevCons and elsewhere, there are growing concerns about current and future weaponization of neurobiological agents and tools (ie, “neuroweapons”1–6).

Jan 21, 2020

Can Synthetic Biology Inspire The Next Wave Of AI?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, robotics/AI, transportation

Computers can beat humans at sophisticated tasks like the game Go, but can they also drive a car, … [+] speak languages, play soccer, and perform a myriad of other tasks like humans? Here’s what AI can learn from biology.

Jan 20, 2020

CRISPR-edited chickens made resistant to a common virus

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

CRISPR gene editing has created chickens that resist a common virus. It may be possible to use the same technique to make poultry resistant to bird flu too.

Jan 15, 2020

Figure 1: A CRISPR–Cas9 genetically engineered mouse model for MERS-CoV replication

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics, neuroscience

A, C57BL/6J mice were genetically engineered using CRISPR–Cas9 genomic editing to encode 288L and 330R in mDPP4 on one chromosome (heterozygous, 288/330+/−) or on both chromosomes (homozygous, 288/330+/+). b, Northern blot of mDPP4 mRNA expression. c, Immunohistochemistry (IHC) of mDPP4 protein in the lungs, brain and kidneys of individual C57BL/6J wild-type (WT), 288/330+/− and 288/330+/+ mice. d, Viral titres for MERS-CoV at 3 days post-infection from C57BL/6J WT, 288/330+/− and 288/330+/+ (all n = 4) mice infected with 5 × 105 plaque-forming units (p.f.u.) of the indicated viruses. Bar graphs show means + s.d.

Jan 15, 2020

Can George Church Reverse Aging by 2030?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

If you look up ‘scientific overachiever’ in the dictionary, you’re likely to find a two-word definition: George Church.

The American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist splits his time between roles as Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT. He’s also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, acts as an advisor to a plethora of cutting edge companies, and heads up synthetic biology at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, of which he’s a founding member.

Oh, and George is author to hundreds of published papers, 60 patents and a popular science book (also, theoretically, George Church may live in an alternate reality where there are more than 24 hours in a day).

Jan 13, 2020

A New Dental Procedure Could Eliminate Tooth Loss

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension

Tooth loss is a concern that most people will face at some point in their life. According to studies, by the age of 74, 26 percent of adults will have lost all of their permanent teeth. Dentures are sufficient, but they’re uncomfortable and dental implants can fail and have no ability to “remodel” as the surrounding jaw bone changes with age.

All of these are reasons why some people have placed their hope in stem cell research. While there are controversy surrounds the new medical method such as the use and destruction of human embryos, not all research involves human tissue and has the potential to change a lot of lives.

A new technique being tested in the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Mao, Edward V. Zegarelli prof of odontology, and a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, could make “tooth loss” a thing of the past. The cluster believes they need to find some ways to own the body’s stem cells, migrate it to a three-dimensional scaffold manufactured from natural material and insert it to a patient’s mouth.

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Jan 11, 2020

Dynamic DNA material with emergent locomotion behavior powered by artificial metabolism

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Interesting research paper on a new nanobot technology. I’m watching for ways in which suitable substrates for mind uploading can be constructed, and DNA self-guided assembly has potential.

Here are some excerpts and a weblink to the paper:

“…Chemical approaches have opened synthetic routes to build dynamic materials from scratch using chemical reactions, ultimately allowing flexibility in design…”

Continue reading “Dynamic DNA material with emergent locomotion behavior powered by artificial metabolism” »

Jan 11, 2020

Insulin made from egg yolk promises cheaper treatment for diabetics

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

The insulin pumps diabetics currently rely on do a great job of delivering the hormone as needed, but need regular replacing due to what are known as fibrils. These form over a day or two as insulin compounds accumulate into clumps and create the risk of blockages, but scientists in Australia have engineered what they say is a safer alternative, with egg yolks serving as their starting point.

The formation of fibrils means that diabetics need to replace their insulin pumps every 24 to 72 hours to avoid the risk of dangerous blockages, which bring with them a risk of life-threatening under-dosing. Beyond the dangers to the patient’s well-being, the need to regularly replace the pump increases the workload needed to manage their disease and means that portions of the medicine often go to waste.

So, there is considerable interest in developing synthetic insulin that doesn’t behave in this way. Researchers at Melbourne’s Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health approached this problem through a new technique it developed with scientists in Japan, whereby the insulin is engineered from egg yolks to allow for greater freedom over the final design.

Jan 10, 2020

US$30 Million to Seed Hundreds of Bold, Innovative Ideas for Human Longevity! — Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine — Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, business, cryonics, economics, genetics, health, science, transhumanism
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