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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 137

Dec 28, 2015

Can We Evolve Ourselves To Expand Beyond Human Potential?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, evolution, existential risks, genetics, human trajectories

At one time or another, we’ve all been encouraged to “maximize our potential.” In a recent interview, Academic and Entrepreneur Juan Enriquez said that mankind is making progress toward expanding beyond its potential. And the changes, he believes, could be profound.

To illustrate the process, Enriquez theorized what might happen if we were to bring Charles Darwin back to life and drop him in the middle of Trafalgar Square. As Darwin takes out his notebook and starts observing, Enriquez suggested he would likely see what might appear to be a different species. Since Darwin’s time, humans have grown taller, and with 1.5 billion obese people, larger. Darwin might also notice some other features too that many of us take for granted — there are more senior citizens, more people with all their teeth, a lot fewer wrinkles, and even some 70-year-olds running in marathons.

“There’s a whole series of morphologies that are just different about our bodies, but we don’t notice it. We don’t notice we’ve doubled the lifespan of humans in the last century,” Enriquez said. “We don’t notice how many more informations (sic) come into a brain in a single day versus what used to come in in a lifetime. So, across almost every part of humanity, there have been huge changes.”

Part of the difference that Darwin would see, Enriquez noted, is that natural selection no longer applies as strongly to life and death as it once did. Further, random gene mutations that led to some advantages kept getting passed down to generations and became part of the species. The largest difference, however, is our ongoing move toward intelligent design, he said.

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Dec 26, 2015

Part 1: Entrepreneur & Researcher Robert Bradbury

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

This came up recently and it occurred I never posted this here. This is a lecture by Robert Bradbury, not not Ray Bradbury. I had the pleasure of exchanging a few emails with him. Unfortunately those emails are lost so I cannot share them. He was an advocate of life extension and he was a big thinker. I’ll post both vids and a link to the M-brain page. He is not with us anymore I regret to say. Ready?


Renown aging expert Robert Bradbury discusses whole genome engineering, evolution and aging and ways to defeat aging. His talk touches on many areas including nanotechnology, biology, and computer science. More information can be found at http://manhattanbeachproject.com Follow updates at http://twitter.com/maxlifeorg

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Dec 22, 2015

Pulsed laser light turns whole-brain activity on and off

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

Optogenetic laser light stimulation of the thalamus (credit: Jia Liu et al./eLife)

By flashing high-frequency (40 to 100 pulses per second) optogenetic lasers at the brain’s thalamus, scientists were able to wake up sleeping rats and cause widespread brain activity. In contrast, flashing the laser at 10 pulses per second suppressed the activity of the brain’s sensory cortex and caused rats to enter a seizure-like state of unconsciousness.

“We hope to use this knowledge to develop better treatments for brain injuries and other neurological disorders,” said Jin Hyung Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and bioengineering at Stanford University, and a senior author of the study, published in the open-access journal eLIFE.

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Dec 17, 2015

Ethics on the near-future battlefield

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, ethics, food, genetics, military, neuroscience, robotics/AI

US army’s report visualises augmented soldiers & killer robots.


The US Army’s recent report “Visualizing the Tactical Ground Battlefield in the Year 2050” describes a number of future war scenarios that raise vexing ethical dilemmas. Among the many tactical developments envisioned by the authors, a group of experts brought together by the US Army Research laboratory, three stand out as both plausible and fraught with moral challenges: augmented humans, directed-energy weapons, and autonomous killer robots. The first two technologies affect humans directly, and therefore present both military and medical ethical challenges. The third development, robots, would replace humans, and thus poses hard questions about implementing the law of war without any attending sense of justice.

Augmented humans. Drugs, brain-machine interfaces, neural prostheses, and genetic engineering are all technologies that may be used in the next few decades to enhance the fighting capability of soldiers, keep them alert, help them survive longer on less food, alleviate pain, and sharpen and strengthen their cognitive and physical capabilities. All raise serious ethical and bioethical difficulties.

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Dec 15, 2015

UAT Tech – Official Blog of the University of Advancing Technology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, education, nanotechnology, neuroscience, transhumanism

Inhuman: The Next & Final Phase of Man is Here” is not fiction or a mockudrama but a new investigative documentary from Defender Films and Raiders News Productions.

Inhuman travels the globe to unveil for the first time how breakthrough advances in science, technology and philosophy—including cybernetics, bioengineering, nanotechnology, machine intelligence and synthetic biology are poised to create mind-boggling game changes to everything we have known until now about Homo sapiens.

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Nov 18, 2015

Bioengineered Shark Fins Could Save 70 Million Sharks

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, information science, sustainability

Each year, an estimated 70 million sharks are killed for their fins. The brutal shark finning process involves cutting off a live shark’s fins and returning the debilitated animal back into the water to die a slow death. Highly valued in traditional Asian medicine and cuisine, the fins can sell for as much as $300 a pound on the black market.

What if an artificial shark fin could remove sharks from the equation completely?

New Wave Foods, a San Francisco-based sustainable seafood company, is developing a bioengineered fin product that could pull the rug out from underneath the shark trade.

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Nov 17, 2015

Can Artificial Intelligence Be Taught?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, evolution, machine learning, robotics/AI, science

In spite of the popular perception of the state of artificial intelligence, technology has yet to create a robot with the same instincts and adaptability as a human. While humans are born with some natural instincts that have evolved over millions of years, Neuroscientist and Artificial Intelligence Expert Dr. Danko Nikolic believes these same tendencies can be instilled in a robot.

“Our biological children are born with a set of knowledge. They know where to learn, they know where to pay attention. Robots simply can not do that,” Nikolic said. “The problem is you can not program it. There’s a trick we can use called AI Kindergarten. Then we can basically interact with this robot kind of like we do with children in kindergarten, but then make robots learn one level lower, at the level of something called machine genome.”

Programming that machine genome would require all of the innate human knowledge that’s evolved over thousands of years, Nikolic said. Lacking that ability, he said researchers are starting from scratch. While this form of artificial intelligence is still in its embryonic state, it does have some evolutionary advantages that humans didn’t have.

“By using AI Kindergarten, we don’t have to repeat the evolution exactly the way evolution has done it,” Nikolic said. “This experiment has been done already and the knowledge is already stored in our genes, so we can accelerate tremendously. We can skip millions of failed experiments where evolution has failed already.”

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Nov 6, 2015

Can Humans Actually Have A Brain Like A Computer?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, neuroscience, science

With modern innovations such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, wi-fi, tablet computing and more, it’s easy for man to look around and say that the human brain is a complex and well-evolved organ. But according to Author, Neuroscientist and Psychologist Gary Marcus, the human mind is actually constructed somewhat haphazardly, and there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“I called my book Kluge, which is an old engineer’s word for a clumsy solution. Think of MacGyver kind of duct tape and rubber bands,” Marcus said. “The thesis of that book is that the human mind is a kluge. I was thinking in terms of how this relates to evolutionary psychology and how our minds have been shaped by evolution.”

Marcus argued that evolution is not perfect, but instead it makes “local maxima,” which are good, but not necessarily the best possible solutions. As a parallel example, he cites the human spine, which allows us to stand upright; however, since it isn’t very well engineered, it also gives us back pain.

“You can imagine a better solution with three legs or branches that would distribute the load better, but we have this lousy solution where our spines are basically like a flag pole supporting 70 percent of our body weight,” Marcus said.

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Nov 6, 2015

Big Data and Genetic Sequencing Will Help Extend the Human Lifespan

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

Gooooood, good.


Big data will help crack the code on aging.

Two of the leading scientists at the edge of the medical revolution believe that our life expectancy could start creeping up toward the triple digits.

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Oct 28, 2015

Silicon Battery Technology Produces Ten Times More Energy

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, transportation

Substantially smaller and longer-lasting batteries for everything from portable electronic devices to electric cars could be come a reality thanks to an innovative technology developed by University of Waterloo researchers.

Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo, and a team of graduate students have created a low-cost battery using silicon that boosts the performance and life of lithium-ion batteries. Their findings are published in the latest issue of Nature Communications.

Waterloo’s silicon battery technology promises a 40 to 60 per cent increase in energy density, which is important for consumers with smartphones, smart homes and smart wearables.

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