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Guest Post: Challenges and opportunities for synthetic biology

30 Jan

In an quite interesting article of spanish experts in respect of synthetic biology and transhumanism, some visions and outlooks are given concerning synthetic biology and gen altering.

Computing is an appropriate formal to describe and reproduce biological phenomena.

There are several views on the matter, one of them considers biological phenomena as systems of interacting components that can be analysed and simulated with increasing detail at both the level of components and the level of the whole system.

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Implants and the extended body

15 Jan

Like we have mentioned in our last post … here’s our article on ‘Body Enhancement‘. Please read through it and become a part of the discussion by sharing your opinion with us.

One vision of transhumanity is extending the human body. For example with artificial limbs, or implanted chips. When will humanity be able to extend a body. When will we be able to do what ever we want, when ever we want? A human is to be able to overcome his/her shortcomings. One of our visions is the implant of chips. This chips enable you to adopt any skill or feature you might want to acquire. Running as fast as Usain Bolt will be able, or swimming as fast as Michael Phelps. Or maybe you want to play Basketball like Michael Jordan. Only premise will be that you are already in kind of good shape. But maybe you don’t want physical skill but practical skills like talking another language or sing like a star. By implanting the chip, it builds up a connection with your brain. In our brain there are certain areas that allow us to perform in a special way when activated. The chip will directly activate this areas and make the yet impossible possible.

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God – The greatest scientist of all time?

11 Jan

Science and religion seem to be two opposing subjects. Science is based on verifiable facts and figures while religion is mostly based on tales, allegories and transcriptions.

The pope (Benedict the XVI) says that God is also a scientist. He was behind the big bang. Scientist might be shocked to read such a statement  coming from the church. For decades the church was incompatible with science and now the pope himself announces something like that?! “The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe, contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God.”

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PGD: a blessing or a curse?

9 Jan

A Human Embryo

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a method to examine possible diseases of an embryo, prior to the implanantation into the uterus. PGD discovers the embryos at risk, but it requires in vitro fertilization (IVF). A cell is picked after the third day of fertilization of the embryo and the genom is extracted and analyzed for the presence of genetic abnormalities. The parents are the ones, who have to decide after what the embryo shall be analyzed.

With this method there is the possibility to avoid diseases. Healthy children will be born and disabilities would be eliminated. This sounds really good at the first sight. But of course, there are people who are against this method.

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The Future of Robotics: Robots that are going to take over our world!

5 Jan

Robots are already able to learn. They are able to build other robots and these robots are able to work together. At the moment we can only build robots that are working under human control. But Scientists are already working on machines that are independent-minded and reproducing themselves.

Robots that can come up with duplicates of their own might take over world domination one day. If one robot builds an identical version of its own you have got two. Now when these two build two other robots you have got four robotos, and so on. From this moment on the first replica has came into existence you are not able to stop them. A prototype of a robot that duplicates itself is already existing. If you are giving it the building blocks it needs, the robot is able to put together a replication of itself. But he is still depending on human interference by getting the matching building block from us.

The process of Robotic can also have a negative impact on our world. Robots are theoretically able to reproduce themselves out of control as an example. Follow this interesting scenario:

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Where is this way going?

22 Dec

Posthuman is a signal word. The merging of human and machine is clear to those who research and survey the area. Machines are becoming more organic, self-modifying, intelligent and independent. Humans may be possible to upload his/her selves from a biological body into synthetic brains.

Nevertheless it describes the relationship between human and nature. We adopt certain skills, technologies, wisdom because we need it to survive in nature. The exploring of possible transitional existence of human species has been and still continues to be of primary interest to anthropologists and philosophers within and outside the intellectual movement of transhumanism. Transhumanist see transhumans as the “earliest manifest of new evolutionary being”, including mental augmentations, protheses, reconstructive surgery, intensive use of telecommunication, and a rejection of traditional values. In theory the posthuman or transhuman therefore is a speculative being that represents or at least tries to refurbish of what is generally conceived of as human. As a result, the posthuman is not necessarily human in first place, it is much more an embodied medium trough which critical conciousness is manifested.

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Is this natural?

16 Dec

Is Death Natural?

Transhumanist, claim that mortality and religion is a model which was created by humans. They do not agree on the fact, that life is limited and immortality is just an illusion. Nor do they agree that, an extended life can only be attained in heaven or after death, in fact, for them death is old fashioned or even primitive and needs abolishment.

As transhumanists are questioning the future of human, at least the direction in which human being will develop and evolution will proceed, it brings to light moral, religious and philosophical belief systems and for a great part ethical concerns regarding tampering with nature, human nature and what is considered (at least in the Western World understanding) as natural.

Introduction: What is Transhumanity?

14 Dec

The definition says: Transhumanity is an international cultural movement, supporting the use of science and technology to enhance human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. Aspects of human condition such as, disability, suffering, diseases, ageing, incurable ailments and involuntary death are considered as unnecessary. Tranhumanist try to use biotechnologies and other emerging technologies to explore the field.

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