normal_post - Biohacking - Science and Research Author Topic: Biohacking  (Read 723 times)

islander

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Biohacking
« on: March 29, 2016, 11:37:22 PM »

Biohacking: How DIY Scientists Are Upgrading Their Bodies To Gain Superhuman Abilities

By Briana Jones
December 20, 2015

Eyedrops that give you superhuman night vision. Pills that raise your IQ. Thanks to biohacking, we can now practically create superheroes. But should we?

biohacking-night-vision-eyedrops - Biohacking - Science and Research
Image Source: The Plaid Zebra.com

Amateurs tinkering with human biology and genetics. Sounds dangerous, right?

Biohacking—which probably sounds even more dangerous—is a relatively new term that encompasses all manner of amateur experimentation now taking place outside the scientific establishment.

Today, DIY biohacking is a veritable underground movement. Biologists, CEO’s, nutritionists, anyone and everyone curious to understand the biology of the world around us have taken part in the biohacking and biopunk ideologies, which advocate for open access to scientific information and tools, and the freedom to experiment with them. The movement thus aims to increase the scope of scientific work done outside of private institutions, to reclaim experimentation for the masses, and to increase diversity in scientific research.

Of course, the scientific ethics of all this are now hotly debated. Although many are excited by the prospect of DIY biology–and the ability to give humans superpowers (read on…)–there are those who see great danger in the future of biohacking, those who don’t think humans (especially amateurs) should play god.

Should this wildly experimental biology be left to the pages of science fiction? Either way, there are now many prominent figures and experimental labs already churning up results. Check out some of the most extraordinary cases of biohacking and decide for yourself whether we must put a stop to it or not:

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Re: Biohacking
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 11:40:34 PM »

Biohacking: Superhuman Night Vision

science-for-the-masses-biohacking - Biohacking - Science and Research
Image Source: Mic

An independent group of biohackers located north of Los Angeles has taken night vision binoculars one step further: They’ve figured out how to drip night vision straight into the human eyeball.

The chemical in question, Chlorin e6 (Ce6), is actually found in nature, in deep-sea fish. The Science for the Masses biohacking group theorized that this chemical could enhance eyesight with the help of some comic book-worthy biohacking.

Of course, even DIY biologists must do their research. According to the lab’s medical officer, Jeffrey Tibbetts, there have been plenty of studies to prove both the efficacy and safety of Ce6. The chemical has been safely tested on rats and used to treat a variety of cancers in humans since the 1960s. So, why not put it in our eyes?

biohacking-night-vision - Biohacking - Science and Research
Image Source: Mic

Using a device akin to a turkey baster, Tibbetts dripped 50 microliters of Ce6 into the eyes of a self-volunteered guinea pig named Gabriel Licina. Within one hour, Licina started to feel the effects. With the whites of his eyes now coated an eerie black, Licina and the others went out into the field to test their science project.

It worked. It began with small shapes, about ten meters off in the distance. Soon, Licina could spot complete figures 50 meters out. Every Ce6 test subject had a 100% success rate at spotting faraway figures in very low light, whereas the control group could only do so a third of the time.

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Re: Biohacking
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 11:48:33 PM »

Biohacking: Fluorescent Yogurt Saves Lives

meridith-patterson-biopunk-biohacking - Biohacking - Science and Research
Image Source: The Guardian

“We reject the popular perception that science is only done in million-dollar university, government, or corporate labs; we assert that the right of freedom of inquiry, to do research and pursue understanding under one’s own direction, is as fundamental a right as that of free speech or freedom of religion.”—An excerpt from “A Biopunk Manifesto,” written by leading biohacker Meredith L. Patterson.

Meridith L. Patterson does not hold a biology degree—she is a linguistics and computer science professional who works out of her kitchen and uses improvised household instruments. Yet, even without a high-end lab or the other trappings of professional, established researchers, Patterson is successfully working on producing a strain of the yogurt bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, which completes the human body’s metabolic pathway for vitamin C and thus prevents scurvy.

Patterson has already successfully created yogurt that turns fluorescent green if contaminated with the chemical melamine. This could prove to be a major breakthrough in food safety, as the highly toxic melamine can sometimes find its way into the food supply.

biohacking-patterson-experiment - Biohacking - Science and Research
Image Source: Deseret News

Patterson’s role in the biohacking community extends well beyond the experiments she’s doing: She’s also regarded as one of the leaders of the movement. In “A Biopunk Manifesto,” Patterson questions where the 20th and 21st century equivalents of DIY scientists like Benjamin Franklin, Edward Jenner, or Marie Curie have gone. With the emphasis on institutionalized higher education, Patterson contends, scientific diversity has suffered. Patterson claims that biohacking can reclaim that precious lost diversity.

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Re: Biohacking
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 11:52:48 PM »

Biohacking: Pills That Make You Smarter And More Productive

smart-drugs-for-biohacking - Biohacking - Science and Research
Image Source: Observer

In Silicon Valley, the Nootrobox subscription service will deliver brain-enhancing supplements called nootropics right to your door every month. These “smart drugs,” which supposedly improve productivity and mental focus, have become increasingly popular among success-driven CEOs, athletes, nutritionists, and the like. The nootropics subreddit currently has over 60,000 subscribers discussing their own experimentation with these controversial drugs.

biohacking-dave-asprey-bulletproof - Biohacking - Science and Research
Asprey frequently attaches tracking wires to his head and body to log his brain activity, sleep cycle, and overall well-being. Image Source: PBS

Dave Asprey, author of New York Times bestseller The Bulletproof Diet and an avid biohacker, has researched and used nootropics along with his “Bulletproof Coffee” to reportedly increase his IQ by 20 points, improve quality of sleep while actually sleeping for less time, and lose weight (in his case, over 100 pounds).

biohacking-ray-kurzweil - Biohacking - Science and Research
Ray Kurzweil. Image Source: Singularity University

Along with Asprey, Ray Kurzweil is one of today’s most prominent nootropics advocates. Fittingly, he’s been described as both “the restless genius” and “the ultimate thinking machine.” Inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner (basically, the kind of scanner we’re all familiar with), the first print-to-speech reading software for the blind, and the first music synthesizer capable of reproducing the sound of orchestral instruments, Kurzweil—Google’s current Director of Engineering—is a hyper-productive powerhouse.

Kurzweil takes over 100 supplements every day and advocates the use of nootropics to enhance cognitive performance. Most nootropics are stacked combinations of well-known cognitive boosters like caffeine, L-theanine, creatine, and piracetam, most of which can be purchased over the counter in any nutritional supplements store.

While doctor-prescribed concentration-boosters like Adderall and Ritalin have helped many people diagnosed with ADHD, the detrimental side effects from longterm use have led many to seek out healthier and equally effective alternatives. Although nootropics users and suppliers regard these drugs as safe, the longterm effects have not been well-researched as of yet. Nevertheless, Nootrobox believes that nootropics will be “widely available in 7-11s, classrooms, and workplaces within a few years.”

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Re: Biohacking
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 11:56:58 PM »

Biohacking: The 3D Printer That Can Make Live Cells

biohacking-eri-gentry-biocurious-lab - Biohacking - Science and Research
Image Source: Techonomy

Eri Gentry brought biohacking into the mainstream in 2013 when the White House honored her as a Champion of Change, due to her commitment to democratizing science and science literacy for anyone willing to learn.

Like most biohackers, Gentry did not receive a formal education in biology, so she sought work in a lab that would not require her to be professionally trained. Eventually, she found a non-profit biotech lab, SENS, that took her in as a volunteer. After a colleague passed away from esophageal cancer, Gentry and the SENS Director of Research, John Schloendorn, founded a non-profit cancer research lab, Livly. Primarily located in a dingy California garage filled with tools and equipment purchased from eBay and pharmaceutical companies’ liquidation sales, their workspace was less than ideal.

Then, Gentry started holding gatherings via the DIYbio community in her home, where anyone who was curious could attend. Chemists, software developers, and even artists joined the meetings. Gentry discovered that there were many people like her—untrained in the field of biology—who had a passion for science. Gentry knew their needs: access to equipment, education, and a professional lab. The idea was to develop a hackerspace solely devoted to biology. With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the idea became reality.

biohacking-bioprinter-3d-cell-prints - Biohacking - Science and Research
Biohackers working in the BioCurious lab. Image Source: Meetup

Now, her 2,600-square foot BioCurious laboratory in Sunnyvale, CA is open seven days a week and stands as one of the largest DIYbio organizations in the entire world. For only $100 a month, curious artists, entrepreneurs, engineers, musicians, and anyone else interested in expanding their knowledge of biology can access the labs and the many classes available. All around, BioCurious is one of biohacking’s great success stories. The lab even developed its own Bioprinter—a 3D inkjet printer that can print live cells using biological materials.

biohacking-bioprinter - Biohacking - Science and Research
The BioCurious bioprinter. Image Source: WIRED

As the BioCurious mission statement says, “Innovations in biology should be accessible, affordable, and open to everyone.” And while, outside of California and New York, open source labs are few and far between, garage-dwelling biohackers are on the rise. In the words of PBS NewsHour special correspondent Spencer Michels, “What started as a fringe science has become almost mainstream.” Stanford University has even constructed a new lab dedicated to synthetic biology, a formal term for biohacking. Michels continued, “Biology has become a citizen sport, a place where anyone with or without training can do hands-on biology, and perhaps change the world.”

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hubag bohol

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Re: Biohacking
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 12:31:27 PM »
Nootropics (pronunciation: /noʊ.əˈtrɒpᵻks/ noh-ə-trop-iks)—also called smart drugs and cognitive enhancers—are drugs, supplements, or other substances that improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. The use of cognition-enhancing drugs by healthy individuals in the absence of a medical indication is one of the most debated topics among neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and physicians which spans a number of issues, including the ethics and fairness of their use, concerns over adverse effects, and the diversion of prescription drugs for nonmedical uses, among others. Nonetheless, the international sales of cognition-enhancing supplements exceeded US$1 billion in 2015 and the global demand for these compounds is still growing rapidly. --Wiki
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Re: Biohacking
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2016, 12:45:23 PM »

henceforth, it would be difficult for me to believe that some are naturally smarter or more talented than others.  one never knows...



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