Monday, March 31, 2008

The future of biomedicine: virtual humans

Computers and biochips could lead to better drugs, personalized medicine
By Bryn Nelson
updated 9:02 a.m. ET March 17, 2008

This is your brain on a chip. This is your liver on a slide. This is your body in a supercomputer. Any questions?

It’s a bit more complicated than that, but recently scientists have provided a sneak preview of the future of biomedicine with a range of projects seeking to assemble virtual humans — or parts of them — on computers and “labs on a chip.” Someday, the descendants of these sophisticated new programs and devices could serve as our stand-ins for clinical tests on drugs, cosmetics and toxic compounds.

Software turns cell phones into Wi-Fi hotspots

By Peter Svensson
updated 3:44 p.m. ET March 26, 2008

NEW YORK - Here's a cool use for a phone that has both cellular broadband and Wi-Fi: Turn it into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot so your friends can surf the Internet on their laptops.

A couple startups have created and made available software like this in the last year. But a more established software maker said Wednesday that it has created a package for carriers to offer their customers.

TapRoot Systems Inc. of Research Triangle Park, N.C., said it was talking with carriers about providing their customers with the software, which would let up to five Wi-Fi users connect to a phone.

This is great, but we just need more companies to offer wi-fi, the services to become cheaper, faster access speeds and more downloads.

I need to know my genome, dammit!

The very first step to customising your dna that mother nature crapped you out with is knowing what your personal genome is. Unfortunately, that costs too much money at the moment and most can only afford to get parts of their genome sequenced.

Well, one company has claimed to have gotten the cost down to $60000, which is not so bad considering a few years back it cost millions.

Hopefully in the next few years they'll bring the cost down even further, and usher in the age of personalised medicine. Then sickness from errors in the gene pool will become less of a hinderance to those trying to survive in what is what is currently still a world very much based on survival of the fittest (or most healthiest or with beneficial attributes gained via natural selection).


A micronation is your own sovereign state that can be populated by only one person (theoretically).

Ok, so how do I do it? The aim should be to escape the control by living under the auspices of any authoritarian nation, by setting up your own.

Not many have succeeded in setting up a physical micronation (one that is not just virtual or done in principle) as either they are crushed by authoritarian states or simply just fail.

#You need to set your country up somewhere outside of the control of authoritarian states, as they have greater military power, you have no choice.

#Be able to trade with other nations to meet your micronation's requirements otherwise to set up your own industries.

#Sound infrastructure.

At the moment, doing that on your own is very difficult. There are not many prospects currently for joining any libertarian movements (ie Freedom Ship) either.

The best bet is, if you have the resources, to live out in the middle of nowhere (sea, desert)
or just live completely anonymously in an authoritarian state.

It is still a great ideal though.

Future technologies needed to easily setup a micronation would be cheap and efficient solar cells (energy production), global wi-fi (telecommunications) and nanofactories (manufacturing, agriculture). Too futuristic though, at this point (with exception to the solar cells maybe).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bionic eye

"Bionic" Contact Lens May Create Tiny Personal Displays
Joab Jacksonfor
National Geographic News
January 29, 2008

A new contact lens embedded with electronic circuits could be the seed for "bionic eyes" that can see displays overlaid on a person's field of view, researchers say.

The minute circuitry could aid the vision-impaired or could be used to create tiny but discernible readouts offering data such as driving directions or on-the-go Web surfing.

I heard about this a while ago. But what I imagine these things could be used for would be to have an endless stream of information based on your personal data all streamed directly via wi-fi to your field of vision. Life would be made so much easier with more efficient personal digital assistants - entropy would be turned to extropy and so on.