Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 16

Feb 25, 2020

How Bionic Limbs Are Changing Lives | VICE on HBO

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, computing, cyborgs, neuroscience, transhumanism

A bionic revolution is brewing, as recent advancements in bioengineering have brought about scientific breakthroughs in rehabilitation for people with disabilities. The most cutting edge research is happening inside the human brain, where implanted technology allows people to communicate directly with computers, using their thoughts.

VICE’s Wilbert L. Cooper travels to Zurich to see the first-ever bionic Olympics and discovers a host of technologies that are expanding what it means to be human.

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Feb 24, 2020

This man’s potentially huge medical breakthrough can’t get funding, so he’s trying something desperate

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, business, existential risks

Four years ago, Todd Rider was on top of the world. The MIT-trained bioengineer had developed a radical idea for killing viruses. Initial test results showed that his therapy, called DRACO, could kill every virus he threw it at: 15 viruses were killed in human cells, and two in mice.

It seemed like there was a chance it could be the biggest discovery in medicine since the invention of antibiotics. Enthusiastic headlines praised the potentially world-changing panacea. “Todd Rider Has a Kill Switch for Viruses,” wrote Bloomberg Businessweek. The Verge: “Killing sickness: is DRACO a doomsday device for viruses?” Time magazine declared it one of the top 50 inventions of the year.

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Feb 22, 2020

Optimising gene editing for cancer therapy

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

Gene editing holds promise for the treatment of cancers that are driven by well-characterised molecular alterations. A study now provides a proof of concept for the feasibility of in vivo gene editing to correct TERT mutations in glioblastoma, providing a platform for the direct manipulation of genetic alterations to reduce tumour growth.

Feb 21, 2020

The Techno-Human Shell – A Jump in the Evolutionary Gap

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, nanotechnology

It is in this second phase when Darwinian evolutionary rivers will merge with the rivers of intelligent designers, represented by scientists, programmers and engineers, who will fuse organic natural biology, synthetic biology, and digital technology into a unified whole that future generations will deem their anatomy. The merger will serve to afford greater intelligence and, longer, healthier lives. In exchange, we will relinquish actual autonomy for apparent autonomy, where what was once considered “free will” will be supplanted by the deterministic logic of machinery somewhere in the mainstream of our unconscious.

Although in-the-body technology will have an explosive effect on commerce, entertainment, and employment, in the near term the concentration will be on medical devices, such as the innocuous pacemaker (essentially a working silicon-based computer, with sensors, memories, and a stimulation device with telecommunications to the outer world). In a second epoch, these devices will be gradually down-sized by advances in synthetic DNA, molecular- and nano-sized processors, each deployed alongside and within cells and organs as permanent non-organic, internal adjuncts to our anatomy for use as: nano-prosthetics, nano-stimulators/suppressors, artificial organ processors, metabolic and cognitive enhancers, and permanent diagnostic tools to ensure our physical and psychological well-being as we head toward a practically interminable lifetime.[6]

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Feb 18, 2020

How Gene Editing Is Changing the World

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

The applications are almost endless.

In “Hacking the Code of Life”, Nessa Carey explores advances that are giving us new powers to alter the genome.

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Feb 18, 2020

Why human gene editing must not be stopped

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics

Gene editing of human embryos — yes or not?

If there is a discernible duty here it is surely to create the best possible child. That is what it is to act for the best, all things considered. This we have moral reasons to do; but they are not necessarily overriding reasons.

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Feb 18, 2020

Gene Editing is Advancing at Breakneck Speed

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

In October 2019, Liu and his colleagues published a paper in Nature, describing an even newer technology, called prime editing. Prime editing can not only make all twelve of the possible base substitutions, it can also make multiple-base insertions or deletions, without requiring a double-strand break. It achieves this with a multi-step operation that first cuts one strand, then performs the appropriate substitution, insertion, or deletion, and then nicks the second strand to allow the bases on the second strand to be replaced by bases that complement the ones substituted, inserted into or deleted from the first strand. The result is a modified stretch of DNA that had never been completely separated. This has the effect of massively reducing the number of off-target modifications.

This new prime editing variant of CRISPR technology, can make the same corrections to the defects that cause sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia that standard CRISPR/Cas9 has now made in human subjects, but with less opportunity for unwanted off-target changes. Furthermore, its possible applicability is much wider. The ClinVar database lists over 75,000 pathogenic mutations in the human genome. Of these, over 89% are potentially correctable by prime editing.

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Feb 16, 2020

Why Bill Gates thinks gene editing and artificial intelligence could save the world

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health, robotics/AI


Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been working to improve the state of global health through his nonprofit foundation for 20 years, and today he told the nation’s premier scientific gathering that advances in artificial intelligence and gene editing could accelerate those improvements exponentially in the years ahead.

“We have an opportunity with the advance of tools like artificial intelligence and gene-based editing technologies to build this new generation of health solutions so that they are available to everyone on the planet. And I’m very excited about this,” Gates said in Seattle during a keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Feb 15, 2020

Aging and Stem Cells | Theodore Ho | TEDxMiddlebury

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

Dr. Theodore Ho talks about the rapidly expanding possibilities of stem cells to be used in reversing or slowing the aging process. He discusses his previous and current work with the brain, including such methods as tissue clearing, multifiber photometry and optogenetics, and single resolution calcium imaging and control. Dr. Ho is a neuroscientist and stem cell biologist studying the mechanisms and causes of biological aging and potential strategies to slow or reverse them, in order to prevent the onset of age

Associated diseases to help us live healthier and longer lives.

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Feb 14, 2020

In vitro self-replication and multicistronic expression of large synthetic genomes

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

The generation of a chemical system capable of replication and evolution is a key objective of synthetic biology. This could be achieved by in vitro reconstitution of a minimal self-sustaining central dogma consisting of DNA replication, transcription and translation. Here, we present an in vitro translation system, which enables self-encoded replication and expression of large DNA genomes under well-defined, cell-free conditions. In particular, we demonstrate self-replication of a multipartite genome of more than 116 kb encompassing the full set of Escherichia coli translation factors, all three ribosomal RNAs, an energy regeneration system, as well as RNA and DNA polymerases. Parallel to DNA replication, our system enables synthesis of at least 30 encoded translation factors, half of which are expressed in amounts equal to or greater than their respective input levels. Our optimized cell-free expression platform could provide a chassis for the generation of a partially self-replicating in vitro translation system.

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