This woman, a self-described cyborg, can sense every earthquake in real time...I wonder what or if she uses that thingy for on her friends head?
Moon Ribas might just be the most normal looking cyborg you’ll meet. Unlike the contingent of extreme biohackers or “grinders,” the 30-year old Spanish avant-garde artist’s superpower—or self-imposed aberration—is not immediately obvious. Ribas has a tiny magnet near the crook of her elbow that allows her to feel all tremors and earthquakes anywhere on earth, in real time.
Like her longtime artistic partner Neil Harbisson, who has a color-sensing antenna permanently attached to his cranium, Ribas says the external physical change is not the point of being a cyborg. “I modified my body, to modify my mind,” says Ribas. As you can see in the video above, she translates the tremors she feels in her arm into dance movements.
But why the need for the surgically-implanted body hack?
“I want to perceive movement in a deeper way, “ explains Ribas, a choreographer who studied movement at Dartington College in the UK. “The planet moves, constantly shaking and moving everyday. I thought it would be amazing to translate the massive and natural movements of the planet in a different way.”
Ribas’ subdermal implant receives data from a custom iPhone app that aggregates seismic activity from geological monitors around the world. She describes the physical sensation as akin to having a phone vibrate in your pocket. The stronger the quake, the stronger the vibration.
During the 7.8 earthquake that devastated parts of Nepal last year, strong vibrations pulsating in Ribas’ arm woke her in the middle of the night. “It felt very weird, like I was there,” she says. “I feel connected to the people who suffer through an earthquake.” This “seismic sense,” has become like her second heartbeat, says Ribas.
Having been attuned to the shifts and grumblings of tectonic plates for the last three years, Ribas says earthquakes are misunderstood. “I think it’s unfair that our perception of earthquakes are all bad. Earthquakes are part of the evolution of our planet. The bad thing is that humans haven’t adapted to this natural phenomenon,” she muses. Ribas says that if only city planners had a deeper understanding of the science of earthquakes, maybe large cities would not have been built above active tectonic plates. “We still need to learn how to live in our own planet.”
To sharpen her seismic sense, Ribas is considering getting implants on her feet so she could immediately discern where earthquakes occur in the world. “Maybe I’ll use each toe to define each continent, but that’s still in process,” she says.
Ribas and Harbisson are looking to collaborate with engineers and technologists to improve their cybernetic implants.
« Last Edit: May 11th, 2016, 12:55am by Sys_Config »
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #14810 on: May 11th, 2016, 12:25pm »
I have proof that Sys is psychic. ZETAR said that we know tomorrows news today or something to that effect.
Now yesterday Sys posted information about the worlds oldest cat. Today I see in the news the story. See image below from Yahoo main page and time stamped by the live coverage banner of the Trump meeting. Ergo Sys knew todays news yesterday and must therefore be psychic!
Trump looking at eclipse w/out eyewear was “perhaps the most impressive thing any president has ever done.”
The first major debate over genetically modified organisms, in the late 1980s, was not over tomatoes, salmon, or corn, but instead a type of bacteria that can raise the freezing point of water. Opponents feared that the modified version, able to instead lower the freezing point of water, would spread into the wild and wreak havoc, possibly even altering the global climate system.
Thanks to the public uproar, we'll never know whether the "ice-minus" bacteria would've have wrought catastrophe or simply protected strawberries from frost, as its creators intended. But scientists remained interested in harnessing the ability to manipulate ice. Recently, a group of researchers uncovered what they believe is the secret to its special talent, which they hope will enable them to create nanotechnologies that mimic it — ice-minus, minus the supposed risk.
Pseudomonas syringae and other species of bacteria that induce ice to form around them (thus "ice-nucleating" bacteria) are found all over the world, and cause significant crop damage. Impurities in water usually prevent it from freezing until about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, but the bacteria can push the freezing point back toward 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero degrees Celsius). The ice crystals that form in turn burst plant cell walls, letting the bacteria feed on nutrients from inside the cells. Wind carries the bacteria into the atmosphere, spreading it to new sources of food.
Ice-nucleating bacteria are pretty much everywhere: in the air, water, plants, mountains, valleys, Antarctica. Scientists think its ability to encourage ice growth may also play a significant role in the weather, providing nuclei for cloud formation, raindrops, and snowflakes, and could be a big part of why the Amazon is so rainy.
A better understanding of the bacteria's role could lead to its eventual inclusion in more accurate climatic models. The bacteria outperforms artificial cloud-seeding chemicals, suggesting its possible use as a rain-maker. So far, though, it's of most use to skiers and snowboarders. Since the late 1980s, a company called Snowmax has supplied resorts with a P. syringae-derived additive that allows snowmaking machines to powder the slopes at temperatures much higher than would otherwise be possible.
Tobias Weidner, a bioengineer at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, led the team of researchers who believe they've figured out how the bacteria does it. They looked at P. syringae's molecular structure through a spectrometer, which allowed them to see how the bacteria's surface interacts with water molecules. Previously, Weidner says, many scientists thought that the bacteria's surface mimicked the structure of ice crystals, encouraging free-roaming water molecules to fall into an icy lattice. Instead, they found, the bacteria's surface forms a pattern of water-attracting (hydrophilic) and water-repelling (hydrophobic) areas. These push and pull on the water molecules they touch, creating high- and low-density zones that prompt the molecules to arrange themselves into a crystal pattern.
From a technological point of view, that's good news. Artificially mimicking the molecular structure of ice would be difficult, Weidner says, but creating tiny striped hydrophobic and –phyllic strips using an artificial polymer might be doable. "That's something we could mimic in a nanofabrication lab," he says. "It's maybe just as simple as mimicking these patchy surfaces."
The ability to precisely control the formation of ice could have many useful applications, Weidner says — everything from refrigerators and frozen food processing to improved cryogenics.
Some varieties of P. syringae — including the modified "ice-minus" version — lower the freezing point of water, and it might be possible to mimic that type, too, Weidner says. "Maybe if we get lucky, it goes both ways." This could be even more useful, perhaps leading to anti-ice coatings for things like airplane propellers or telephone lines.
Because P. syringae's molecular structure promotes ice formation, the bacteria itself doesn't have to be alive to be useful; Snowmax kills the bacteria that are used to make artificial snow to prevent possible environmental harm.
The bacteria has another trick, though, Weidner's team found. When water molecules rearrange into ice, they release energy, or heat. "All this latent heat is not helping to nucleate ice," he says. Somehow — and the researchers don't yet understand exactly how it works — the bacteria are able to shuttle away the heat. The bacteria likely has to be alive for this part of the process. Figuring out exactly how it sheds heat could suggest other technological improvements, like better artificial snow.
So far, says Weidner, a snowboarder, the oldest use for ice-nucleating bacteria is his favorite. "Snowmaking would be the most fun application," he says.
« Last Edit: May 13th, 2016, 12:35pm by Sys_Config »
Scientists are now contemplating the creation of a synthetic human genome, meaning they would use chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes.
The prospect is spurring both intrigue and concern in the life sciences community, because it might be possible — if someone were able to create a totally artificial genome — to implant that genome into embryos and create human beings without parents.
Thanx KatterFelto...Talk about psychics While the project is still in the idea phase, and also involves efforts to improve DNA synthesis in general, it was discussed at a closed-door meeting at Harvard Medical School in Boston on Tuesday. The roughly 150 attendees were told not to contact the media or to tweet about the meeting.
Organizers said the project in some ways would be a follow-up to the original Human Genome Project, which was aimed at reading the sequence of the three billion chemical letters in the DNA blueprint of human life. The new project, by contrast, would involve not reading, but rather writing the human genome — synthesizing all three billion units from chemicals.
But such an attempt would raise numerous ethical issues. Could scientists create humans with certain kinds of traits, perhaps people born and bred to be soldiers? Or might it be possible to make copies of specific people?
“Would it be O.K. to sequence and then synthesize Einstein’s genome?” Drew Endy, a bioengineer at Stanford and Laurie Zoloth, a bioethicist at Northwestern University, wrote in an essay criticizing the proposed project. “If so, how many Einstein genomes would it be O.K. to make and install in cells, and who would get to make and control these cells?”
Scientists and ethicists are already raising concerns about using new gene-editing techniques that could change individual traits in embryos. But it would be possible to make much more extensive changes by synthesizing an entire genome.
Professor Zoloth said in an interview that the project could be risky without any well-defined benefit. She also criticized the surreptitious meeting. “It is O.K. to have meetings that are private, but it has not been characteristic of the field to have meetings that are secret in addition to being private.”
George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and one of the organizers of the proposed project, said the characterization was a misunderstanding, and that in reality the project was aimed more generally at improving the ability to synthesize long strands of DNA, which could be applied to various types of animals, plants and microbes.
“They’re painting a picture which I don’t think represents the project,” Dr. Church said in an interview. “If that were the project, I’d be running away from it.”
The project was initially called HGP2: The Human Genome Synthesis Project, with HGP referring to the Human Genome Project. An invitation to the meeting at Harvard said that the primary goal “would be to synthesize a complete human genome in a cell line within a period of ten years.” Right now, synthesizing DNA from chemicals is difficult and error-prone. Existing techniques can reliably make strands that are only about 200 or 250 bases long, with the bases being the chemical units in DNA. Even a single gene can be thousands of bases long. To synthesize one of those, multiple 200-unit segments have to be manufactured and spliced together.
But the cost and capabilities are improving. “These are on exponential curves that are so much faster than Moore’s law,” Dr. Church said, referring to an observation about how rapidly computing power improves.
J. Craig Venter, the maverick genetic scientist, synthesized a bacterial genome consisting of about a million base pairs and was mainly a copy of an existing genome. More recently Dr. Venter and his team synthesized a more original bacterial genome, about 500,000 base pairs long.
Dr. Church said a group with which he is involved is close to synthesizing the entire four-million-base genome of the E. coli bacterium. He said it might be possible to synthesize an entire human genome within a decade, though that job at first would cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Dr. Endy of Stanford, who is an expert in synthetic biology, which involves engineering life, said the cost of synthesizing genes has plummeted from $4 per base pair, or letter, in 2003 to 3 cents now, but even at that rate, the cost for 3 billion letters would be $90 million. He said if costs continued to decline at the same pace, that figure could reach $100,000 in 20 years.
« Last Edit: May 13th, 2016, 12:54pm by Sys_Config »