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About chrontius

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  • Birthday January 1

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  1. How Far Away Are We?

    http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Controversial-DNA-startup-wants-to-let-customers-5992426.php Welp. I'm a little floored. I haven't posted for want of something to say, but this was worth saying.
  2. How Far Away Are We?

    There is new Science today suggesting that 3D printing of solid organs is no longer constrained so much by capillary supply; they're printing "sugar glass" like materials to make capillaries in negative. Add this to yesterday's Oxygen Particle injections, and not only has trauma medicine made startling strides this week, we could be able to embed the particles in the sugar stuff to supply organs while they grow, and before their vascular supply is really up to speed. Patent pending, natch.
  3. How Far Away Are We?

    Master DC, the term is actually "In Vitro", which is latin for "In Glass". Contrast with "In Vivo", or "In Life"; perhaps a better transliteration would be "In The Body". The "In" in there is a little important. If you think titanium bones is impressive, you should see how they're 3D printing the stuff for (for example) prosthetic jaws. Bespoke Innovations is also doing 3D printed bionics, probably using titanium, and definitely using a lot of chrome. As to the fiber optic nerves, it's amazing but the peripheral nervous system actually speaks binary. :D Person Who Knows, I'm currently working my way through More Than Human. Good stuff so far, but dated. So much of what seemed cutting edge in 2005 is old news, on the market, or still vexing researchers (Or, occasionally, awaiting FDA approval).
  4. How Far Away Are We?

    Okay. First off, I want to share this before I forget: http://cl.ly/3R2q45421c1C1q3n1L2v Although I'm disappointed he didn't consider bat-like or wyvern-like wings, it's published science from a journal. I assume he did it for fun, but scientists doing things "for fun" may be a fairly productive source of cosmetic human enhancements in the future. Person Who Knows, I think you'd be well served to read up on Valkyrie Ice's essays on transhumanism and transgender; not only are most of them applicable to furries as well, she told me that was deliberate. Perhaps start here and then work your way through the links she provided in the first comment. I think I'll try to sum up the goals here, though I may be grossly wrong: Make people objectively better Make people better at being better people Make peoples' phenotype better reflect who they choose to be. Oh, and on a bit of trivia, I think I wrote the first Wikipedia article on Morphological Freedom and had it deleted inside two weeks. Looking back, it deserved it, but someone else rewrote it and now it's kind of a major plank in the larger platform of transhumanism. That said, if Max More coined the term in 1993, I was only a decade late to the party - but so was the rest of Wikipedia! edit: I independently discovered the concept of morphological freedom; if I did it, other freewheeling science types probably did too, and they may not realize that there's other people out there that think like they do. That's a shame. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_dysphoria Holy bleeding Jesus, Wikipedia has an entire - fairly long - article on species dysphoria.
  5. How Far Away Are We?

    Whether or not they're furries or sympathizers, that's the group that is going to invent the foundation that they're probably going to be built on. And even on the off chance nobody builds furries, they'll make the cognitive enhancers that make it easy for us to do it for ourselves. Huh? Not too abrasive, just maybe missing the point.
  6. How Far Away Are We?

    It's a little lousy, and a little brilliant. Better resources can be found at H+ Magazine and Singularity Hub. A more comprehensive view on the subject would trace those same trends back to the invention of spectacles and dentistry. It would also point out that the average American carries enough computational power in their pocket to run a small space program on; with the right software, an iPhone could design the rocket, run mission control, and act as the flight-control system. With an iPhone and efficient software, you might be able to automate mission control. With a subscription to Google Earth, you can get access to distressingly up-to-date satellite imagery of the entire globe; my phone and a credit card provides better recon and intelligence-gathering capabilities than many nation-states have these days. I can spread video of current events in real time to a billion people, and the democratization of computing power has lead to a shadowy global legion of hackers with as much pull in the international relations field as some nations. Other nations have fallen because the same technologies made it possible to organize a rebellion in ways that mostly negated the considerable technology advantage of the established powers. Cognitive enhancement probably goes back to the first coffeehouses in Europe, the so-called "penny universities" where academics congregated, and one could discuss the latest discoveries for the cost of coffee and a sandwich. Amusingly enough, that year the number of industrial accidents plummeted as people tended to substitute coffee for beer, as the water in London was never terribly drinkable. What's changed? We're not taking these changes for granted, now we're thinking about the implications and future consequences. I'm not sure I miss my point, and the "if" is thoroughly confusing. Putting genes into people is always risky, and fi the gene product - usually a protein, sometimes RNA - is exposed to the immune system, bad things often happen. If the gene is inserted wrong - and it's horribly hard to do it right, reliably - it will cause cancer, most commonly leukemia. That's why most of the human gene therapy treatments were halted. But we're making cyborgs right now. I'm using cognitive-enhancemend drugs, and have been for a year and change. There are two transgenic humans, if I remember correctly, and both are either dead or dying as a result of their treatment.
  7. How Far Away Are We?

    What's scarier than the truth? Not knowing. ^_^ I expect cyborgs before furries. Seriously, I haven't seen that much chrome on a limb since I ran out of new cyberpunk novels to read. Also, military-grade cyborgs will come long before military grade anthers, if only because we're already really good at equipping standard-shaped humans, and we have so many crippled vets who could be back in action with a new limb or two, or perhaps a set of replacement eyeballs. They're already trained, and training grunts is startlingly not cheap - the lowest-ranking enlisted man that goes overseas ate about $1 million in training expenses. Specialists and technicians are more spendy still. Military-grade anthros will probably only come when someone who has already paid for a conversion is drafted or tries to enlist, or some clever defense contractor tries to get ahead of demand. I dunno about you guys, but I'm taking animal physiology this semester. :D To answer your questions, the former is unpleasantly difficult, and may involve adding another bone to the fingers; it will be just big enough to house the nail bed, and that's about it. The latter will probably only make it harder to buy shoes. Higher ground pressure may cause them to wear out faster, less material will make them cheaper. Snow and mud will be easier to sink into, however. I beg to differ - it's openly going on in the US too, if under other guises: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/how-engineering-the-human-body-could-combat-climate-change/253981/ I think we need to realize that we're operating in the context of a transhumanist movement who wants to spend a lot of time and resources on re-engineering the human body. You can come up with a reason that modified humans - including the cost of doing the modification - have a lower lifecycle energy (read: carbon) cost, you may get research grants. DARPA tends to prefer drugs and surgical modifications; there's a good chance that those are going to be cheaper - fewer "required secondary powers". Don't have to figure out the incredibly difficult and complicated immunological modifications to add some novel cell-surface proteins, after all.
  8. How Far Away Are We?

    Stem cells has a bit of unnecessary baggage that we can avoid, at least - I can't imagine how the old, ugly debate of pro choice/pro life can be brought to bear on us. If you're about as old as I am, our children may be forward thinking enough that we can get properly fuzzed around retirement age, even in my more pessimistic estimates of human nature.
  9. How Far Away Are We?

    I want to vote, but I think we really need definitions for those two terms you posted there. I think everyone here has seen Stalking Cat's extensive surgical modification -- does that count as "partial"? Also Kanibal, I wish to respectfully disagree on the "yes or no" aspect, while agreeing with you on the "how it could" aspect - I think that if this sort of thing happens, it will either be an unexpectedly lucrative proof-of-concept, or a modestly profitable spinoff from legitimate medical techniques. I think enough young people know what furry is - or at least, have heard the term before - that this sort of discussion can happen at all, which is a good first step.
  10. Your PM box seems to be running over after that message about a "biotech club" in those threads. That might just be a good thing :)