Archive for the ‘cyborgs’ category: Page 7

Nov 30, 2018

Researchers Turn Lobster Shells Into Biodegradable Plastic

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, materials

Plastic is a resilient and versatile material, but it’s not that great for the environment — not plastic that’s made from petroleum, anyway. But scientists are cooking up a better alternative.

Chitin, like plastic, is resilient and versatile. Chitin is found in everything from lobster and shrimp shells, insect exoskeletons, and squid beaks. Thanks to a team of Canadian researchers it may soon be found in plastic, too.

Scientists at McGill University in Montreal have developed a process that allows them to process chitinous things into eco-friendly plastic. Associate Professor of Applied Chemistry Audrey Moores told the CBC “it remains biodegradeable, so if it goes in the environment it’s not going to pollute.”

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Nov 27, 2018

Youbionic Combines 3D Printed Bionic Arms with SpotMini the Nightmare Robotic Dog

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, transhumanism

Ever since 2014, Italy-based Youbionic, which was founded by Federico Ciccarese and specializes in robotics and bionics, has been working on its 3D printed, robot-controlled, bionic prosthetic hand. The company started taking pre-orders for the bionic prosthetic two years ago, and has since been making improvements and updates to the original model, even coming out with a 3D printed double hand device for the augmented human. Now, Youbionic has released its latest bionic product – the Youbionic One.

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Nov 26, 2018

Many scientists denounce researcher claiming 1st gene-edited babies born in China

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, ethics, genetics, law

Not sure if this is real or still vaporware yet. But it IS inevitable. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”. And we’re most likely not going to be able to regulate it much, either. If an embryo or fetus is not a human, then parents have the right to do anything they want to it. You might think that this is going to result in eugenics, like erasing melanin genes and starting a race against the fictitious “white genocide”. You’re right. But if you think that’s as bad as it’ll get, think more creatively. What happens when poor parents get paid to implant “willing servility” genes into their unborn children, in order to pay bills. The future is now. Cyborgs will not destroy humanity, but humanity itself might. What kinds of rights can be written into law to prevent this kind of extortion, that won’t also grant fetal personhood and end up derailing abortion rights? It’s going to be a bumpy ride, folks, buckle up!

A Chinese researcher claims he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month, and with DNA he says he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.

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Nov 21, 2018

Four Blind People Go Home With New Bionic Eyes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, transhumanism

Bionic Vision Technologies, a firm based in Australia, has announced that its bionic eye system has been used to restore a “sense of sight” to four completely blind people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. The findings from the study, which was performed at Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne, were presented at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Scientific meeting.

Unlike previous studies of the technology that were limited to in-lab use, the four patients were able to use the system in their everyday environments.

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Nov 19, 2018

How to Control a Machine with Your Brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI

Jan Scheuermann was one of the first volunteers on DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program and became a pioneer in the field of brain-machine interface, controlling first an advanced robotic arm, and then a simulated jet, with her mind alone. The New Yorker tells her story in exquisite detail, along with the story of Nathan Copeland, the volunteer who followed Jan in the research and put his own spin on how it unfolded.

A neuroscientist’s research into the mysteries of motion helps a paralyzed woman escape her body.

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Nov 18, 2018

Nebtrion: Dawn of a Cyborg Religion

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, sex

What are the values of religion in the 21st century? As we continue accelerating towards a new scientific and technological era, it shouldn’t be a surprise to find an increasing number of people adhering to secular values and skeptical critical thinking. But then religion persists. Interestingly, while newer religions are emerging, they’re subsequently accommodating this new era into their philosophical belief structure.

In this cyborg religion, being against science and technology is a sin! Then again, so is having sex and doing drugs. Bummer!

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Nov 17, 2018

How Can Science Help Reverse Blindness?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, science, transhumanism

From bionic eyes to gene editing, how can we use science to bring back sight?

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Nov 3, 2018

Nerve-on-a-Chip Makes Neuroprosthetics Possible

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

Neuroprosthetics are implants that contain an arrangement of multi-contact electrodes capable of substituting for certain nerve functionalities in the human body. This technology has the potential to work wonders for people who have been injured or paralyzed, able to restore the sense of touch for amputees, help someone who has been paralyzed to walk again by stimulating their spinal cords, or silence the nerve activity of people suffering from chronic pain. This would provide many people with a greater degree of mobility, functionality, and a higher overall quality of life.

Stimulating nerves at the right place and the right time is essential for implementing effective treatments, but remains a challenge due to implants’ inability to record neural activity precisely. “Our brain sends and receives millions of nerve impulses, but we typically implant only about a dozen electrodes in patients. This type of interface often doesn’t have the resolution necessary to match the complex patterns of information exchange in a patient’s nervous system,” says Sandra Gribi, a PhD student at the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Neuroprosthetic Technology.

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Oct 23, 2018

Biohackers Are Implanting Everything From Magnets to Sex Toys

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, bitcoin, business, cybercrime/malcode, cyborgs, ethics, health, internet, robotics/AI, sex, transhumanism

Biohacking raises a host of ethical issues, particularly about data protection and cybersecurity as virtually every tech gadget risks being hacked or manipulated. And implants can even become cyberweapons, with the potential to send malicious links to others. “You can switch off and put away an infected smartphone, but you can’t do that with an implant,” says Friedemann Ebelt, an activist with Digitalcourage, a German data privacy and internet rights group.

Patrick Kramer sticks a needle into a customer’s hand and injects a microchip the size of a grain of rice under the skin. “You’re now a cyborg,” he says after plastering a Band-Aid on the small wound between Guilherme Geronimo’s thumb and index finger. The 34-year-old Brazilian plans to use the chip, similar to those implanted in millions of cats, dogs, and livestock, to unlock doors and store a digital business card.

Kramer is chief executive officer of Digiwell, a Hamburg startup in what aficionados call body hacking—digital technology inserted into people. Kramer says he’s implanted about 2,000 such chips in the past 18 months, and he has three in his own hands: to open his office door, store medical data, and share his contact information. Digiwell is one of a handful of companies offering similar services, and biohacking advocates estimate there are about 100,000 cyborgs worldwide. “The question isn’t ‘Do you have a microchip?’ ” Kramer says. “It’s more like, ‘How many?’ We’ve entered the mainstream.”

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Oct 15, 2018

To be – or not to be – an enhanced human

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, law, wearables

Should there be any ethical or legal boundaries to technologies that enhance humans? I pondered this last week as I read an online article about the recent trials of upper-body “exoskeletons” by production line staff at Volkswagen and at Chrysler-Fiat. These lightweight wearable frames greatly reduce the physical strain of repetitive overhead assembly work, and will be an important industrial enhancement as workforces age.

We tend to think of medical advancement in terms of better cures for diseases and recovery from injury. Enhancement however goes beyond therapy, and extends us in ways that some may argue are unnatural. Some human enhancements are of course also pre-emptive therapeutic interventions. Vaccination is both an enhancement of our immune system, and a therapeutic intervention. However, in cases where there is little preventative justification, what degree of enhancement is acceptable?

We drink coffee expecting our work performance to improve. We accept non-elective operations, breast implants, orthodontic improvements and other interventions which improve our perception of ourselves. We generally accept such enhancements with little question. However devices and drugs that improve athletic performance can lead us to question their legitimacy.

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