Human Augmentation

Augmentation is the second, even middle, step in the HALES principles.

Staying healthy long enough for radical life extension to become a reality is like to involve body augmentation as drugs and healthy living will only get us so far. So human body interventions are likely to be needed such as replacement organs and body parts, or even external augmentation such as exoskeletons to keep us mobile.

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Hack the Senses explores state-of-the-art thinking about perception and sensory science; and run talks, workshops, hackathons & exhibitions..

Latest News

Cyborgs: Living Cells In A Robotic Finger – Futurism – 31-May-2018
Biohybrid robot joins living tissue with mechanical skeleton.
Robotic device remained functional for more than a week.
3D-printed resin skeleton had anchors added to attach living tissue.
Myoblasts incorporated into hydrogel sheets grown between the anchors.
Bot’s fingertip can bend up and down.
Able to pick up a tiny ring and place it on a peg.
Testing drugs on biohybrid robots could reduce animal testing.

See what the bionic body of the future looks like – Med-Tech News – 4-Apr-2018
RS Components infographic of future medical technologies for our bodies.
Some are availalble today such as battery powered hearts.
Organ transplants may be replaced with 3D printed organs by 2030.
By 2035, we may be able to upgrade our senses.
By 2050 we be able to create exact replicas of the human brain.

Would you hack your own body? – BBC News – 6-Mar-2018
Putting a chip under your skin is similar to getting a piercing or tatto.
But often fail as hardware reads are designed for a flat surface.
Magnets in fingers allow sensing of electromagnetic radiation.
Gene editing tools are available and relatively cheap and easy to use.
“There is a continuum between therapy and enhancement” – Prof John Harris.
Some believe transhumanism is a crucial part of the advancement of society.

Tiny Pumps Can Inject Drugs Directly Into the Brain – Inverse – 24-Jan-2018
MIT has developed a tiny pump to be implanted into a patient’s brain.
Delivers precisely measured and targeted drugs to specific brain areas.
Could treat neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
MiNDS can chemically modulate the local neuronal activity and related behavior.
Initial study performed lab rats and monkeys.


Smart glove gives your hand bionic powers – Apple Magazine – 20-Sep-2017
The Portuguese company Nuada created smart gloves which helps you to improve our hand strength and coordination.
This piece of hardware augments the movements of your palm and digits, acting as an electromechanical support system that lets you perform (almost) superhuman feats.
If your hand strength is reduced due to illness or injury, the smart glove can help you out.
In case you’re doing heavy manual work with your hands it allows you to hold things with less muscle fatigue, making you work faster.

Should we embrace an enhanced future? – BBC – 9-Sep-2017
Do we all have the right to enhance our bodies as technology and pharmaceuticals will allow, or is that immoral?
As the probably over-used term has it, would that be “playing God”? And who gets to decide?
Public perception of new technology though is often cold to begin with.
As technology moves inexorably forward, we are being faced with new questions about how enhanced we want ourselves and everyone else to be.
In answering those questions, perhaps we need to recognise how enhanced we already are.

Swedes can use hand implant microchip as train ticket – Independent – 16-Jun-17
A Swedish rail company is trialling letting passengers use biometric chips as tickets.
Tiny chip has the same technology as Oyster cards and contactless bank cards – NFC (Near Field Communication).
Around 2,000 Swedes have had the surgical biometric implant.
Users must be signed up as a loyalty programme member to access the service.
Membership number stored on chip but doesn’t tell anyone anything for security.
Customers use the normal website or mobile app to buy tickets which are linked to their chip.
Slightly quicker to scan a microchip than a travel card.

Transhuman: A New Documentary on People Who Want to Live Forever – The Libertarian Republic – 4-Feb-2017
The transhumanist community is getting a new look at by News2Share founder and editor Ford Fischer. In a new documentary, Fischer wants to tell the story about the transhumanist movement and increase the understanding of their goals.
Includes trailer. Transhuman is expected to come out in December.

Hacking Our Senses Will Transform How We Experience the World – Singularity Hub – 4-Oct-2016
Advances in neuroscience and technology may soon give us more than 5 senses.
Bach-y-Rita: “We don’t see with our eyes. We see with our brains”
vOICe smart glasses convert video into pitch and volume of sound.
Versatile Extra-Sensory Transducer (VEST) converts noises into vibrations.
Colour blind artist and “cyborg” Neil Harbisson has an antenna in his skull which allows him to perceive infrared and ultraviolet.
Grindhouse Wetwares have experimented with magnets implanted in the finger and range-finding sensors.

Americans wary of enhancements to live longer and stronger – Pew Research Center – 13-Sep-2016
We may be on the cusp of living longer and stronger than any human being before us.
Pew Research Center surveys show two-thirds of adults would not want a brain chip implant to improve cognitive abilities or synthetic blood to augment physical abilities.
Similar number concerned about increasing social inequality if options only be available to the wealthy.
Research efforts to dramatically extend human life and to enhance human beings are occurring in tandem.
Religious people significantly less keen on augmentation.

Cyber-Humans: Our Future With Machines – IEET – 27-Mar-2016
IEET interviews Dr Woodrow Barfield about his new book.
Humans as tool users, are now becoming the technology, not just designing the technology that historically was external to our body.
A combination of flesh-and-machine that leads to “enhancements of the mind” will likely be possible around mid-century.

These Seven Nootropics are the Real Smart Drugs – IEET – 23-Feb-2016
Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and foods that improve mental function.
Lincoln Cannon has been researching and experimenting with them for years.
Only a few seem to really work – based on research and personal experience – including:
Bacopa Monnieri – notable increase to memory
Ginkgo Biloba – notable decrease to cognitive decline
Theanine – notable increase to relaxation

Cybathlon turns Olympic-style spotlight on Iron Man tech – GeekWire – 15-Feb-2016
Organised by ETH Zurich – 55 teams have already signed up.
6 events that take advantage of exoskeletons, brain-wave controllers, prosthetic arms and legs, powered wheelchairs and muscle-stimulation bikes.
Aimed at giving a boost to assistive devices and their users.
One-day competition Oct. 8 in Zurich.

Becoming Cyborg: 10 Amazing MedTech Inventions – Labiotech – 15-Dec-2015
Some of the best developments from 2015:
Google contact lens with wireless chip and glucose sensor
Intarcia’s insulin implant successful phase III trial
iLet Bionic Pancreas
Organs-on-Chips include the heart, liver, lungs and gut
Carmat’s Artificial Heart – uses biological tissues and adapts to blood pressure
Bionic Eyes
SmartBone artificial bone substitute
3D Printed Protheses
Organovo – bioprinting tissues layer by layer

Tech tattoos put a working circuit board on your skin (VIDEO) – Slash Gear – 25-Nov-2015
Chaotic Moon Studios’ prototype “Tech Tats” allow people to incorporate sensors, LED lights and a micro-controller to create a circuit board on the surface of the skin.
Can monitor body temperature, blood pressure, stress levels and heart rate.
Could use temporary tattoos to monitor health and send data to doctor.

Armband translates gestures to control a drone (video) – BBC News – 13-Nov-2015
Augmentation without surgery – Thalmic Lab’s Myo armband.
8 electromyographic detectors (measures the electrical activity in muscles) and a motion sensor.
Plus bluetooth to control drone via smartphone app.
Use as mouse clicks for presentations as well as movement control for games.

Self driving humans! – BBC News – 6-Oct-2015
BBC reporter wears some electrical nerve stimulation patches. They’re for physiotherapy but also look like the “build your abs without exercise” gadgets.
Smart phone then controls muscle simulation via Bluetooth.
It’s supposed to be subtle shocks but looks more like he legs are being moved for him!

ElectRx program supports self-healing of body and mind – DARPA – 5-Oct-2015
Goal is a closed-loop system that treats diseases by modulating the activity of peripheral nerves.
Aimed at conditions such as chronic pain, inflammatory disease and post-traumatic stress.
Selected research includes:
– optogenetic methods for treating neuropathic pain
– non-invasive, targeted ultrasound for neuromodulation
– map the nerve pathways that underlie intestinal inflammation
– magnetic nanoparticles for localized, precision in vivo neuromodulation through thermal activation of neurons

5 ways to make yourself superhuman – alphr – 18-Aug-2015
Strength, sight, health, speed and intelligence

Securing the Artificial Pancreas – humanity+ – 21-May-2015
Simple devices measure blood sugar and transmits that value to an insulin pump.
Resilience of artificial pancreas to cyber attack analyzed.

Brain compass implant gives blind rats psychic GPS – New Scientist – 2-Apr-15

Newcastle University is developing a microchip implant for the brain to create bionic eye – BBC News – 26-Feb-15 (Video)

Telescopic Contact Lenses and Wink-Control Glasses – AAAS Annual Meeting – 13-Feb-15



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