The Hierarchical Structure of DNA

All life on Earth is based on building blocks, known as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which exists in the form of a double helix. DNA is a highly elaborate and modular molecule with different levels of hierarchical complexity. In this post, we Read More →

Biological Microchip Implant Surgeries

Conspiracy theories dealing with biological microchip implants have been around nearly as long as microprocessors themselves. Radiolocation isn’t a new technology, and RFID has recently become rather controversial. While many cases of alleged bio-chipping are unsubstantiated, these theories are unique because they’re somewhat realistic. Read More →

The Future of Genomic Medicine

Medicine has always focused on the treatment of diseases. Scientists have talked about changing this since the Human Genome Project began. Researchers have found that they may be able to predict whether or not a patient will develop a disease based on their genetic map although currently, this is a long way off.

Theoretically, doctors could predict and prevent various diseases before they occur in the future. Genetics are already used in regular medical science and the field of genomic medicine is growing at an unparalleled pace. Enthusiastic commentators have compared it to the development of antibiotics.

Nevertheless, controversy rears its ugly head at every turn. Genomic medicine opens an entire book of ethical quandaries. Technological singularities should cause the human race to come together. In theory, technology is causing the democratization of all areas of our lives.

However, genomic medicine could cause mass discrimination as well. Large groups have been discriminated against because of their political affiliation, race, gender or creed…so why not genetics as well? Discrimination is supposed to be a thing of the past however genomic medicine could cause people to be marginalized based on their genetics.

This is clearly a step backwards. As genomic medicine starts to treat diseases that don’t yet exist, doctors need to exercise caution and restraint in their work. It’s sometimes said that technology is morally neutral. However, what doctors do with technology can have serious moral implications in the years ahead as well.

Image Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program

Cybernetics – Left Ventricular Assist Device

Left ventricular assist device technology isn’t necessarily new, but it is one of the biggest harbingers of cybernetic technology. People with weak hearts that are waiting for a donor can use these sorts of heart pumps to bridge patients over until they can receive a full transplant. However, such LVAD machines are usually located in hospitals and are quite large. Likewise, LVAD machines are sometimes used immediately after heart surgery. Read More →

When Cellular Automata Come to Life

Cellular automata are probably the closest things to machine life that most people have gotten an opportunity to experiment with in recent years. John Conway invented a piece of software titled the Game of Life in 1970. He carefully set up the rules to create a balanced world. While this might sound like old news, it has allowed scientists to actually simulate certain real world systems. Read More →

The Merging of Biology and Electronics [Research]

The boundary between electronics and biology is blurring with the first detection by researchers at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory of ferroelectric properties in an amino acid called glycine.

A multi-institutional research team led by Andrei Kholkin of the University of Aveiro, Portugal, used a combination of experiments and modeling to identify and explain the presence of ferroelectricity, a property where materials switch their polarization when an electric field is applied, in the simplest known amino acid—glycine (referenced below). Read More →

Recent Advances in Genetic Research

English: This image shows a DNA molecule that ...

English: This image shows a DNA molecule that is methylated on both strands on the center cytosine. DNA methylation plays an important role for epigenetic gene regulation in development and cancer. The picture shows the crystal structure of a short DNA helix with sequence “accgcCGgcgcc”, which is methylated on both strands at the center cytosine. The structure was taken from the Protein Data Bank (accession number 329D), rendering was performed with VMD and post-processing was done in Photoshop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those of you that read my posts regularly know that I believe the next (substantial) evolution of our species will involve either genetic modification, robotics, or a combination of both (hopefully that statement won’t someday get me fired). So whenever I come across an interesting development happening in genetics research, AI, etc., I like to pass it along on here – even if DNA sequencing and genetics research in general gives me a headache when I try to study it in great detail. Feel free to share your thoughts on this development below.

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