The Future Of Genetics
Synthetic biology, ethics and the hacker culture Read Thomas L. Friedman’s “The World is Flat” or Neal Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon”, and you get a glimpse into how the hacker culture that emerged at the tail end of the twentieth century revolutionized the digital world. Will a confluence of emerging technologies—including information tech, biotech, and nanotech—lead to a similar revolution in the biological world? Behind every computer screen is a complexity of software and hardware that together create a virtual world in which many of us spend more time living out our lives than is probably healthy—whether crunching numbers, playing games or churning out our latest blog. This world is built in part (some would say a large part) on the work of technically savvy individuals—hackers—who have learned the art of manipulating the fundamental building blocks of the digital world.
DNA trick throws ageing into reverse - health - 29 November 2010 A technique to keep the tips of your chromosomes healthy could reverse tissue ageing. The work, which was done in mice, is yet more evidence of a causal link between chromosome length and age-related disease. Telomeres, the caps of DNA which protect the ends of chromosomes, shorten every time cells divide.
Researchers in Australia have come up with an outwardly simple but incredibly ingenious way of curing blindness caused by corneal damage: Take everyday contact lenses, already used by millions (including me), and infuse them with a patient's own stem cells. After wearing them for about 2 weeks, test subjects reported a seemingly miraculous restoration of sight. Is it that easy? Most of the patients had only lost vision in one eye, so stem cells were harvested from their good eye and then plated onto contact lenses. Stem-Cell-Coated Contact Lenses Are Curing the Blind | Popular Science - (Build 20100722150226)
Researchers Create the World's First Fully Synthetic, Self-Repli If figuring out how to quickly sequence genomes was but the first small step for genetics, Craig Venter has gone ahead and made a giant leap for the discipline. The J. Craig Venter Institute announced today that it has created the world's first synthetic cell, boasting a completely synthetic chromosome produced by a machine. "This is the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer," Venter said in a press conference. The biological breakthrough could have myriad applications, as it essentially opens the door to engineered biology that is completely manipulated by laboratory scientists. The researchers are already planning to create a specially engineered algae designed to trap carbon dioxide and convert it to biofuel.
Computer records animal vision in Laboratory - UC Berkeley
A TransHuman Dream [with word abuse]
Transhumanists advocate the improvement of human capacities through advanced technology. Not just technology as in gadgets you get from Best Buy, but technology in the grander sense of strategies for eliminating disease, providing cheap but high-quality products to the world’s poorest, improving quality of life and social interconnectedness, and so on. Technology we don’t notice because it’s blended in with the fabric of the world, but would immediately take note of its absence if it became unavailable.
Ray Kurzweil Explains the Coming Singularity
Kwabena Boahen: Making a computer that works like the brain
Anarchy is Emergent
Robot Controlled by Human Brainwaves