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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 98

Oct 1, 2015

Bioengineers Make “Mini-Brains” of Neurons and Supporting Cells

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

New research from Brown University details a relatively accessible method for making a working (though not thinking) sphere of central nervous system tissue.

If you need a working miniature brain — say for drug testing, to test neural tissue transplants, or to experiment with how stem cells work — a new paper describes how to build one with what the Brown University authors say is relative ease and low expense. The little balls of brain aren’t performing any cogitation, but they produce electrical signals and form their own neural connections — synapses — making them readily producible testbeds for neuroscience research, the authors said.

“We think of this as a way to have a better in vitro [lab] model that can maybe reduce animal use,” said graduate student Molly Boutin, co-lead author of the new paper in the journal Tissue Engineering: Part C. “A lot of the work that’s done right now is in two-dimensional culture, but this is an alternative that is much more relevant to the in vivo [living] scenario.”

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Sep 29, 2015

A good interview with Liz Parrish CEO of BioViva and how gene therapy can change aging forever

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

Visionary Liz Parrish shares some of the remarkable ways that genetic therapies are helping humanity transcend disease, aging and physical limitations. We discuss some of the current applications of gene therapy, what we can reasonably expect given the rate of progress and some of the moral implications of this science. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be astounded to hear about this work; it can already make you stronger and faster, and it may help future generations live upwards of 400 years!

Click to download the episode directly (right click, then click save as) Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher.

“Known as “the woman who wants to genetically engineer you,” Elizabeth Parrish is the CEO of BioViva USA Inc ™ she is a humanitarian, entrepreneur and innovator and a leading voice for genetic cures. As a strong proponent of progress and education for the advancement of gene therapy, she serves as a motivational speaker to the public at large for the life sciences. She is actively involved in international educational media outreach and sits on the board of the International Longevity Alliance (ILA). She is an affiliated member of the Complex Biological Systems Alliance (CBSA) whose mission is to further scientific understanding of biological complexity and the nature and origins of human disease. She is the founder of BioTrove Investments LLC and the BioTrove Podcasts which is committed to offering a meaningful way for people to learn about and fund research in regenerative medicine. She is also the Secretary of the American Longevity Alliance (ALA) a 501©(3) nonprofit trade association that brings together individuals, companies, and organizations who work in advancing the emerging field of cellular & regenerative medicine with the aim to get governments to consider aging a disease.” –Blurb taken from Liz’ LinkedIn Profile.

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Sep 27, 2015

This is world’s first biolimb, a rat forelimb grown in the lab

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, robotics/AI

From biohacking to robotics, they’re all on the lookout for the holy grail of offering amputees a fully functional replacement limb. But how awesome would it be if you could regrow your own arm in the same manner as a spider? A rat forelimb entirely created form living cells.

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Sep 21, 2015

The First Man-Made Biological Leaf Turns Light and Water Into Oxygen

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, space travel

If humanity hopes to realize its dreams of exploring the stars, we’re going to need to find ways to recreate life on Earth aboard a spaceship. Simply stockpiling enough vital supplies isn’t going to cut it, which is what led Julian Melchiorri, a student at the Royal College of Art, to create an artificial biological leaf that produces oxygen just like the ones on our home planet do.

The problem with using natural foliage on our interstellar explorations is that plants may not flourish in zero gravity as much as we’d need them to. But since they’re a better way to produce oxygen than simply trying to carry countless tanks full of O2, Melchiorri wanted to engineer a better alternative that would easy survive the rigors of space travel.

The First Man-Made Biological Leaf Turns Light and Water Into Oxygen

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Sep 15, 2015

The Imminence of Transhuman Technologies

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, ethics, existential risks, genetics, health, innovation, neuroscience

Progress always seems to ride a slippery slope. Innovations generally bring a plethora of potential benefits and just as many dangers, the obvious and the hidden. Technologies that tamper with our biological constructs is well underway in the neuro- and biotech industries. Historically, innovations in medicine have usually been beneficial on the aggregate.

But these new breakthroughs go beyond preventing and healing pre-existing causes. Transhuman technologies hold the promise of enhancing who we are as individuals and potentially as an entire species, and the decisions surrounding these technologies are far from simple. Dr. Nayef Al-Rodhan, a philosopher, neuroscientist, and director of the Geneva Center for Security Policy, believes we should be acting now to prepare for the inevitable and the unpredictable ramifications.

Framing Human Motivation

Considering our mixed track record as a species in rolling out groundbreaking innovations, discussing and finding potential solutions to many of the hidden dangers, and obvious ones, seems more than reasonable. One of the more puzzling questions is, where do we begin to have a pragmatic conversation on the ethics of these technologies?

There are plenty of theories about what drive human decisions, not least because human morality is infinitely complex and our minds crave frames through which to make sense of chaos. Dr. Al-Rodhan has his own conception of what drives human motivations. He makes meaning using the lens of “5 P’s” – Power, Pride, Profit, Pleasure, and Permanence – which he posits drive human motivations. “This is my view, the foundation of my outlook…this perceived emotion of self interest drives our moral compass.”

Continue reading “The Imminence of Transhuman Technologies” »

Sep 10, 2015

Transhumanists are on a quest to discover eternal life. Is the citizen science they use the future of technology?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, life extension, transhumanism

Interesting article in The Telegraph on biohacking and recent Grindfest, where the Immortality Bus stopped:


Immortality aside, DIY “bio-hacking” could provide solutions to everyday problems, despite the risks involved.

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Sep 8, 2015

Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences

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

In April 2015, a paper by Chinese scientists about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo rocked the scientific world and set off a furious debate. Leading scientists warned that altering the human germ line without studying the consequences could have horrific consequences. Geneticists with good intentions could mistakenly engineer changes in DNA that generate dangerous mutations and cause painful deaths. Scientists — and countries — with less noble intentions could again try to build a race of superhumans.

Human DNA is, however, merely one of many commercial targets of ethical concern. The DNA of every single organism — every plant, every animal, every bacterium — is now fair game for genetic manipulation. We are entering an age of backyard synthetic biology that should worry everybody. And it is coming about because of CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

Discovered by scientists only a few years ago, CRISPRs are elements of an ancient system that protects bacteria and other single-celled organisms from viruses, acquiring immunity to them by incorporating genetic elements from the virus invaders. CRISPRs evolved over millions of years to trim pieces of genetic information from one genome and insert it into another. And this bacterial antiviral defense serves as an astonishingly cheap, simple, elegant way to quickly edit the DNA of any organism in the lab.

Continue reading “Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences” »

Aug 19, 2015

MitoSENS Mitochondrial Repair Project

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

Lifespan.io is running a SENS fundraiser to aid research into Mitochondrial repair. This is a new fundraiser platform to help get important regenerative medicine research funded and underway. Let us hope this is the start of how research could be funded and that it opens up faster progress.


Engineering backup copies of mitochondrial genes to place in the nucleus of the cell, aiming to prevent age-related damage and restore lost mitochondrial function.

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Aug 18, 2015

What Is Synthetic Biology?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, evolution

Synthetic biology is radical and has huge potential to revolutionize multiple industries. The fact is biology has already worked out efficient ways of doing things, or has in place mechanisms we can adapt, so why reinvent anything if we can simply adapt what’s already here? Using billions of years of evolution makes logical sense, and that’s what synthetic biology builds on.

So here is a great video by Grist, explaining what synthetic biology is and what we might be able to do with it in the future.

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Aug 12, 2015

What is biohacking? — By What’s Tech | The Verge

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, transhumanism

“We have a few cyborgs on staff. Ben Popper is arguably the reporter best known for peeling back his skin to insert a piece of technology, which he chronicled in his feature, Cyborg America. But others have gone under the knife. I wanted to know why. You know, because I have crippling FOMO.”

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