Science & Technology: Cure for Cancer, Death of Humanity, Transhumanism and More

Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Global Digital Elevation Model – Metafilter 6/30/09

The most complete terrain map of the Earth’s surface has been published. It covers 99% of the planet using ASTER satellite imagery. You can download the map and some cool images from NASA’s page.

England supermarket is powered by shoppers’ kinetic energy – Daily Inquirer 6/25/09

UGA researchers achieve breakthrough in effort to develop tiny biological fuel cells – EurekAlert 6/25/09

University of Georgia researchers have developed a successful way to grow molecular wire brushes that conduct electrical charges, a first step in developing biological fuel cells that could power pacemakers, cochlear implants and prosthetic limbs. The journal Chemical Science calls the technique “a significant breakthrough for nanotechnology.”

Hoxsey – How Healing Becomes A Crime. alt. cancer cure – Google Video 5/1/09 

This documentary concerns Harry M. Hoxsey, the former coal miner whose family’s herbal recipe has brought about claims of a cancer cure.  Starting in 1924 with his first clinic, he expanded to 17 states by the mid 1950s, along the way constantly battling organized medicine that labeled him a charlatan. Hoxsey’s supporters point out he was the victim of arrests, or “quackdowns” spearheaded by the proponents of established medical practices. Interviews of patients satisfied with the results of the controversial treatment are balanced with physicians from the FDA and the AMA. A clinic in Tijuana, Mexico claims an 80% success rate, while opponents are naturally skeptical.      

FLASHBACK – Scientist calls for death to humanity – News Weekly, Australia 4/15/06

An award-winning Texas scientist was given a standing ovation after he advocated the extermination of 90 per cent of the Earth’s population by an airborne Ebola virus.The University of Texas evolutionary ecologist, Dr Eric R. Pianka, was addressing the 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, in early March, after the academy had named him 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

The Coming Superbrain – NYTimes 5/23/09

Artificial intelligence is back in fashion, which raises the question: Will computer intelligence surpass our own?

Will designer brains divide humanity? – New Scientist 5/13/09

We are on the brink of technological breakthroughs that could augment our mental powers beyond recognition. It will soon be possible to boost human brainpower with electronic “plug-ins” or even by genetic enhancement. What will this mean for the future of humanity?This was the theme of a recent Neuroscience in Context meeting in Berlin, Germany, where anthropologists, technologists, neurologists, archaeologists and philosophers met to consider the implications of this next stage of human brain development. Would it widen the gulf between the world’s haves and have-nots – and perhaps even lead to a distinct and dominant species with unmatchable powers of intellect?

Health Ranger Video Demonstrates Amazing Device That Pumps Water With No Moving Parts (Compressed Air Only) – Natural News 2/16/09

Brain-Controlled Wheelchair Is “95 Percent Accurate” – National Geographic 7/1/09

Space blobs are ‘pubescent galaxies’ – Raw Story 6/24/09

Salt water caverns may be beneath surface of Saturn moon – Telegraph, UK 7/3/09

Gas jets that could signify an underground water supply have been spotted by scientists on Saturn’s moons, suggesting there could be a home for extra-terrestrial life

Scientists create first electronic quantum processor – EurekAlert 6/30/09

A Self-Built Solar-Powered, Solar-Heated Home with Solar Car (Video) – Treehugger 5/30/09

Solar Cooking, Electric and Heat: SolSource 3-in-1 – Treehugger 6/5/09

Firm has designs to bring air cars to US – Raw Story 5/25/09

Scientists create ‘sonic black hole’ – Raw Story 6/19/09

Star Crust is Ten Billion Times Stronger Than Steel – National Geographic 5/12/09

SETI project collects messages for cosmos – Raw Story 5/21/09

Did Asteroids Really Do in the Dinosaurs? – Alternet 5/21/09

Two new controversial studies are calling are calling that theory into question.

Immortality 2.0: a silicon valley insider looks at California’s Transhumanist movement – Global Research 5/21/09

The “Intelligence” of Plants – via Metafilter 6/11/09

New botanical research is shedding light on plant behavior and “intelligence”.
Additional reading:

“Some experiments have shown that if a plant’s roots grow near to those of another unrelated plant, the two will try to compete for nutrients and water. But if a root grows close to another from the same parent plant, the two do not try to compete with one another. Karban says he was ‘pretty surprised’ at the results. ‘It implies that plants are capable of more sophisticated behaviour than we imagined.‘”

“To commence use of the term intelligence with regard to plant behaviour will lead to a better understanding of the complexity of plant signal transduction and the discrimination and sensitivity with which plants construct images of their environment, and raises critical questions concerning how plants compute responses at the whole-plant level.

The Spooky World Of Quantum Biology – H+ Magazine 6/1/09

The new science of quantum biology is teaching us about how the actual behavior of evolution is governed by disconcertingly spooky processes – time travel being one of them. Will quantum computation finally be realized by biomimicry, in organic systems?  Evolution is the new (old) computation…and we’re about to take the reins.

Mindsight – via Metafilter 6/1/09

Mindsight is a deeply worthwhile exposition of the workings of the mind, an hour-long talk from the Google Personal Growth Series (but don’t let that title put you off). [SLYT]
“This interactive talk will examine two major questions: What is the mind? and How can we create a healthy mind? We’ll examine the interactions among the mind, the brain, and human relationships and explore ways to create a healthy mind, an integrated brain, and mindful, empathic relationships. Here is one surprising finding: the vast majority (about 95%) of mental health practitioners around the globe, and even many scientists and philosophers focusing on the mind, do not have a definition of what the mind is! In this talk, well offer a working definition of the mind and practical implications for how to perceive and strengthen the mind itself—a learnable skill called mindsight. Then well build on this perspective to explore ways that the mind, the brain, and our relationships are influenced by digital information flow and also how they can be moved toward healthy functioning.

Discover Your Inner Frankenstein – Metafilter 5/19/09

“In Massachusetts, a young woman makes genetically modified E. coli in a closet she converted into a home lab. A part-time DJ in Berkeley, Calif., works in his attic to cultivate viruses extracted from sewage. In Seattle, a grad-school dropout wants to breed algae in a personal biology lab. These hobbyists represent a growing strain of geekdom known as biohacking, in which do-it-yourselfers tinker with the building blocks of life in the comfort of their own homes.” They might be discovering cures for diseases or developing new biofuels, but are their experiments too risky? Via.
Additional links from the article:

“In her dining room lab, Meredith L. Patterson is trying to develop a bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence of melamine.”

“This home experiment for extracting DNA from strawberries [YouTube video] uses a zip-lock bag, a glass, detergent and some strawberries.”

“Read more about Katherine Aull’s experiment in her closet lab.”

DIYbio Group co-founder Mackenzie Cowell explains some of the initiatives [Vimeo video], and the community lab the group is setting up in Cambridge, Mass.”


The Biohacking Hobbyist

Biohacking: The Open Wetware Future

The Open Biohacking Project

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