Mind Control? Scientists Have Discovered How To Use Nanoparticles To Remotely Control Behavior!

Mind Control? Scientists Have Discovered How To Use Nanoparticles To Remotely Control Behavior!

By Michael Snyder, on July 8th, 2010
mind control

We are moving into a time when the extraordinary advances that have been made in the fields of nanotechnology, neurology, psychology, computer science, telecommunications and artificial intelligence will be used by governmental authorities to control the population?  Already, governments around the world are using the threat of “terror” as an excuse to watch us, track us, scan all of our electronic communications and force us to endure “security measures” that are so extreme that even George Orwell could have never dreamed them up.   So what is going to happen one day when some crazed individual actually does set off a weapon of mass destruction in a major city?  The temptation to use these emerging technologies to control the public will become almost irresistible.  At this point “mind control” is still a dirty word to many, but after the next couple of “9/11 style events” the general population will be crying out for something to be done to ensure their security.  When society experiences a complete and total meltdown in the years ahead, governments around the world will be tempted to do just about anything, including using mind control, to restore order.  That is why some of the most recent advances in the field on nanotechnology are so chilling.

In particular, what a team of researchers at the University at Buffalo have discovered is truly alarming.  The following is an excerpt from their recent news release….

Clusters of heated, magnetic nanoparticles targeted to cell membranes can remotely control ion channels, neurons and even animal behavior, according to a paper published by University at Buffalo physicists in Nature Nanotechnology.

Using nanoparticles to remotely control animal behavior?

It doesn’t take a doctorate to understand the implications of such a technology.

What if “nanobots” that had the capacity to control human minds were programmed to search out and attach themselves to key areas of the human brain?

Such “nanobots” would be far too small to even be seen by the human eye, and people could become “infected” with these creatures without even knowing it.

Hordes of these nanobots could be released into the atmosphere or in public areas and infect thousands (or even millions) and nobody might even realize it.

If governments could find a way to use nanobots to remotely control the minds of the general population, a mass mind control program could be implemented without the general public even realizing what is going on.

Yes, this is just how scary this technology is.

But it gets even worse.

mind

You see, when it comes to nanotechnology we are dealing with something far more dangerous than we can even imagine.

For example, if something goes horribly wrong and we develop speed-breeding self-assembling nanobots that get out of control, they could theoretically devour all life on Earth in fairly short order.

Think of the scene at the end of the recent Keanu Reeves movie entitled “The Day The Earth Stood Still” and multiply it by about a million.

But even if such a scenario never plays out, the mind control potential of nanotechnology is bad enough.

Not that other mind control technologies aren’t equally as dangerous.

The truth is that all kinds of mind control technologies are being developed.

Video game makers are busy developing games that you control not with a joystick or a gamepad but rather with your brain waves.  So could such a technology someday be used in reverse?

Of course most people by now have heard of  MK-ULTRA and other mind control programs that were developed by the CIA and other U.S. government agencies.

The U.S. government insists that all such programs have been discontinued.

But are they telling the truth?

nano brain

And what are other governments around the world developing in secret?

There are other mind control technologies out there that are incredibly dangerous as well.

In fact, there are many who suggest that electromagnetic waves could potentially be used to control thoughts and influence behavior.  Think of what just one terrorist could do with such technology.

But one of the most disturbing developments of all is the increasingly rapid merger of men and machines that is now taking place.

People have been looking for ways to stay more “connected” to the Internet for a long time, and now some are actually suggesting that we should find a way to directly connect our brains to the Internet.  A recent article on the website of the Science Channel put it this way….

What if it were possible to connect your brain to the Internet, either wirelessly or through a cable, download digital information at high speed, and then translate it automatically into a chemical form that could be stored by your brain cells as memory?

The same article explained what some of the benefits from such a connection might be….

If you could pump data directly into your gray matter at, say, 50 mbps — the top speed offered by one major U.S. internet service provider — you’d be able to read a 500-page book in just under two-tenths of a second.

But what about the dangers?

What if the Internet could end up controlling you?

Or what if a really bad computer virus was downloaded into your brain?

Think it can’t happen?

nsa

Well, British researcher Mark Gasson infected an RFID chip in his hand with a computer virus and found that the virus-infected chip implanted in his hand was able to contaminate external systems.

Imagine if that started happening on a large scale.

And someday it might.

Especially as we approach the time that futurists refer to as “The Singularity”.

The Singularity is hard to define, but basically many futurists believe that the merging of man and technology is happening at such an increasingly rapid pace that at some point the new “transhumans” will become virtually incomprehensible to normal human beings.  The idea is that by merging man and machines, transhumans will become smarter, stronger, healthier and more powerful than we could have ever dreamed possible.

So will men and computers fully merge someday?

Let’s hope not.

neurochip

But even now, an increasing number of people are developing ways to tag humans with RFID microchips.

In fact, one company called Somark has developed a breakthrough in chipless RFID ink.  Their “RFID tattoos” are applied using a geometric array of micro-needles and a reusable applicator with a one-time-use ink capsule.

So how easy is it to apply one of these RFID tattoos?

Well, it takes about 5 to 10 seconds to tattoo an animal or a human.  Once the tattoo has been applied, an RFID reader can read it from up to four feet away.

But who needs a tattoo?  IBM has actually announced that they have developed a “bar code reader” that can read your DNA.

Very frightening stuff.

The truth is that the vast majority of people do not want their DNA scanned and they do not want RFID chips implanted into them.

But RFID chips are being implanted into people more than ever before.

The reality is that microchipping of humans is becoming quite commonplace in the United States.  For example, RFID implants are being implanted in thousands of elderly Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease who are at risk of wandering off and getting lost.  In addition, RFID chips are being implanted into many people who are chronically ill so that doctors can access their medical information quickly in an emergency.

The truth is that there are some people who are quite eager to be chipped.  One columnist named Don Tennant recently published an article entitled “Chip Me – Please!” in which he expressed his excitement that Barack Obama’s new health law may include coverage for RFID chip implants that contain patient identification and health information.  In fact, Tennant makes the following stunning admission in his article….

All I can say is I’d be the first person in line for an implant.

So is this our future?

Is everyone going to be taking lots of microchips and implants?

Will there come a day when microchips and implants are made mandatory?

After all, what better way to truly identify someone?  Identification cards and papers can be forged or can get lost.  But if you implant someone with a microchip how are they going to lose that?

However, we all know that the potential for abuse of all of the technologies mentioned in this article is just too great.  If someday a tyrannical regime gets a hold of these kinds of ultra-powerful technologies the results could be absolutely nightmarish.

Original:  http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/mind-control-scientists-have-discovered-how-to-use-nanoparticles-to-remotely-control-behavior

Advertisements

What kind of privacy and security measures are needed when a machine can read your mind?

What kind of privacy and security measures are needed when a machine can read your mind?

In recent decades, meetings between information technology, biotechnology, and neuroscience have produced entirely new research, which is developing new, previously unknown products and services.

From nanotechnology opportunities for computer-brain integration occurs even an entirely new civil-military research, to develop a communication between computers and human minds / thoughts, called synthetic or artificial telepathy.

Understanding how the human brain works is not only leading to innovations in medicine, but also providing new models for energy-efficient, fault tolerant and adaptive computing technologies.

Research about artificial neural networks (signal processing) systems, and evolutionary, genetic algorithms, resulting in that you can now construct a self-learning computer programming themselves among others to read the human brain’s memories, feelings and knowledge.

Bioelectronics and a miniaturized signal processing systems in the brain may play in brain functional arkitektuer and through the spoken language to find out what the signals mean.

It is about creating a computer model of the brain including the evidence should provide the answer to what a person is, what is a conscience? What a responsibility is? Whence arises norms and values, etc.?None of these questions can be answered without copy the brain’s functional architecture.

Research Council Ethics Committee wrote the following on medical ethics Nano 2004:
 
Plus and minus with nanotechnology.
=

+ It is good to give medicine into the brain via the blood-brain barrier. + It is good to insert electrodes into the brain to give sight to a blind or to control a prosthetic hand. + It is good to use nanotechnology to stem terrorism on innocent people. + It is good for those who can afford to exploit nanotechnology for their own health and their own prosperity.

It’s not good when the particles that enter the body through the lungs and stresses the heart and other organs. – It’s not good if the technology used to read or to influence others’ thoughts, feelings and intentions. – There is no good if the same technology used to control and manage the innocent people.– It’s not good for the poor, who do not have access to the advanced technology.

 

Is it ethical for researchers to retain parts of uploaded minds (copied biologically conscious) that when the copied person is deceased?

Scientific psychological approach that studies the mechanisms underlying human thought processes. In the cognitive psychology main areas of work include memory , perception , knowledge representation,language , problem solving , decision making, awareness and intelligence .

Sources:
http://library.binarydissent.com/TS41259.pdf
http://library.binarydissent.com/AAAI.pdf
http://library.binarydissent.com/aecsi.pdf
http://library.binarydissent.com/artificial_emotion.pdf

Charles Darwin collected on his time in a variety of materials to describe the diversity of species and to announce his great work in 1859, if the origin of species (evolution theory)

Just as Charles Darwin collected the amounts of material, now played human neurons and nervous systems in bit by bit, in order to simulate the human brain and nervous system of the computer models.As computers developed enough power, research will be able to simulate a human brain in real time.

There are already injectable bioelectronics and multimedia technology as a “hang out” with people for years to clone their feelings, memories and knowledge. The protection against illegal recording and exploitation of people, according to Swedish European professors are not enough.

Ethical aspects of so-called ICT (Information and Comunication Technologies) implants in the human body are discussed for several years at the European level of The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies under the guidance of such Professor Goran Hermerén. One of the recommendations is that the dangers of ICT implants will be discussed in EU countries. But this has in any event not occurred in Sweden.

By using the new technology to read and copy human neurons and nervous systems so computers can learn ontologies and later “artificial intelligence”, an intelligence that has no ethical foundations and values.

“Artificial intelligence” is a research area that aims to develop computer-based applications that behave and act in a manner that is indistinguishable from human behavior.

The next step in computer development, computers / software that imitate humans. These computers come with their artificial intelligence to be able to threaten the man’s integrity, identity, autonomy and spirituality.

Listen to Anders Holst and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) in the SRS radio interview robotnyheter.se on AI and to simulate the brains of computers.

Years of recordings of people using the new brain chips and broadband technology visualizes piecemeal man’s own self, this is copied to the new more powerful computers.

A radio program where Asa Wikfors associate professor of theoretical philosophy, Lars Bergstrom Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Martin Ingvar professor of neurophysiology talking about the mind, brain implants and how the view of man’s own in the future I will be able to change.

Some of the research with brain implants (ICT) to clone the human brain is conducted according to many sources of criminal, without informed consent. This is probably because the ethical appeal can not be approved for life-long computerized study of brain implants, where the consequences for the individual is less than the benefits of the research.

Illegal computer cloning could lead to unprecedented physical, psychological and legal consequences for man and society. Illegal data cloning also involves research to do everything in their power to bring technology to the ICT implants read and copy pro men’s thoughts is not disclosed.

Nanoscience and biological implants can lead to serious problems if the technology is used in ways that violate people’s privacy. It is almost impossible to find electronic components, when incorporated in nanoscale particles. Businesses and governments will this new technology to find out things about people in a whole new way. Therefore, nanotechnology will also require new laws and regulations, just as the development of computers has contributed to the enactment of such Personal Data Act.

Swedish Professors also ask, how can you prevent and control the unauthorized use of nanotechnology, although there are legislation? Traceability, or rather the scarcity of traceability, is a perennial topic of debate on ethics, risk and safety. Another recurring theme is the monitoring, how nanotechnology can be used for monitoring purposes, where the individual or group is unaware of the surveillance and unable to find out if she / they are supervised (e) or not.

The government and their ethical advice, according to the EU has a responsibility to inform and educate the community in this new area of research. This has not been entrusted to the government was aware of the technologies already in 2003.

That some of today’s important scientific breakthroughs in nanotechnology / bioelectronics and information not published, because the established academic, financial and political centers of power to preserve their interests and protect unethical research on humans, research thus miss opportunities revealed. Research and its implications are misleading in relation to the judiciary and traditional medical diagnostics. It also goes against all human rights conventions.

Instead of Sweden and Europe, through their political gatekeepers favors confidential unethical civilian-military research on the civilian population during the development of software and networking technologies for medical and military surveillance would research it can make its research progress and the new paradigm’s insights.

 

In this way Sweden could use progress to solve many of its current political problems and be able to make an international pioneer work for the benefit of all mankind.

We want this website to create an awareness and an awareness that many of the new technologies described developed on the civilian population in Sweden and the rest of the world, without their consent and / or knowledge, this for many years.

Mindtech cooperate with the media and the Swedish Church to try to push the ethical debate that the EU research council and Professor Goran Hermerén initiated in this topic back in 2004. An ethical debate that has since been blacked out by the research and its representatives.

Know someone who is multi-media online but do not dare talk about it?

It is easy not to be believed for a person who alleges that a paradigm shift in computer-brain integration and multimedia technology is already here.

We are aware that portions of the information here may sound like pure science fiction, but it is already a real reality.

By: Magnus Olsson

See also: http://www.mindcontrol.se

Sources:
http://library.binarydissent.com/TS41259.pdf
http://library.binarydissent.com/AAAI.pdf
http://library.binarydissent.com/aecsi.pdf
http://library.binarydissent.com/artificial_emotion.pdf

They Really Do Want To Implant Microchips Into Your Brain

They Really Do Want To Implant Microchips Into Your Brain

Michael Snyder
American Dream
Aug 2, 2012

Are you ready to have a microchip implanted into your brain? That might not sound very appealing to you at this point, but this is exactly what the big pharmaceutical companies and the big technology companies have planned for our future.

 

They are pumping millions of dollars into researching “cutting edge” technologies that will enable implantable microchips to greatly “enhance” our health and our lives. Of course nobody is going to force you to have a microchip implanted into your brain when they are first introduced. Initially, brain implants will be marketed as “revolutionary breakthroughs” that can cure chronic diseases and that can enable the disabled to live normal lives. When the “benefits” of such technology are demonstrated to the general public, soon most people will want to become “super-abled”.

Just imagine the hype that will surround these implants when people discover that you can get rid of your extra weight in a matter of days or that you can download an entire college course into your memory in just a matter of hours. The possibilities for this kind of technology are endless, and it is just a matter of time before having microchips implanted into your brain is considered to be quite common. What was once science fiction is rapidly becoming reality, and it is going to change the world forever.

But aren’t there some very serious potential downsides to having microchips implanted into our brains?

Of course there are.

Unfortunately, this technology is not as far off as you might think, and most people are not even talking about what the negative consequences might be.

According to a recent article in the Financial Times, the pharmaceutical company of the future will include a “bioelectronics” business that “treats disease through electrical signalling in the brain and elsewhere.”

Diseases such as diabetes and epilepsy and conditions such as obesity and depression will be will be treated “through electronic implants into the brain rather than pills or injections.”

These implants will send electrical signals to cells and organs that are “malfunctioning”. People will be totally “cured” without ever having to pop a pill or go under the knife.

It sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, the Financial Times says that British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is working very hard to develop these kinds of technologies. Moncef Slaoui, the head of research and development at GlaxoSmithKline, says that the “challenge is to integrate the work – in brain-computer interfaces, materials science, nanotechnology, micro-power generation – to provide therapeutic benefit.”

If a brain implant could cure a disease that you have been suffering from your whole life would you take it?

A lot of people are going to be faced with that kind of a decision in future years.

And this kind of technology is advancing very rapidly. In fact, some researchers have already had success treating certain diseases by implanting microchips into the brains of rats. The following is from a recent Mashable article….

Stroke and Parkinson’s Disease patients may benefit from a controversial experiment that implanted microchips into lab rats. Scientists say the tests produced effective results in brain damage research.

Rats showed motor function in formerly damaged gray matter after a neural microchip was implanted under the rat’s skull and electrodes were transferred to the rat’s brain. Without the microchip, rats with damaged brain tissue did not have motor function. Both strokes and Parkinson’s can cause permanent neurological damage to brain tissue, so this scientific research brings hope.

In addition, the U.S. government has been working on implantable microchips that would monitor the health of our soldiers and enhance their abilities in the field.

So this technology is definitely coming.

But it must be very complicated to get a microchip implanted into your brain, right?

Actually it is fairly simple.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the typical procedure is very quick and it often only requires just an overnight stay in the hospital….

Neural implants, also called brain implants, are medical devices designed to be placed under the skull, on the surface of the brain. Often as small as an aspirin, implants use thin metal electrodes to “listen” to brain activity and in some cases to stimulate activity in the brain. Attuned to the activity between neurons, a neural implant can essentially “listen” to your brain activity and then “talk” directly to your brain.

If that prospect makes you queasy, you may be surprised to learn that the installation of a neural implant is relatively simple and fast. Under anesthesia, an incision is made in the scalp, a hole is drilled in the skull, and the device is placed on the surface of the brain. Diagnostic communication with the device can take place wirelessly. When it is not an outpatient procedure, patients typically require only an overnight stay at the hospital.

But is it really safe to have a device implanted into your head that can “talk” directly to your brain?

Many large corporations are banking on the fact that in a world that is always hungry for new technology that most people will not be bothered by such things.

For example, Intel is working on sensors that will be implanted in the brain that will be able to directly control computers and cell phones. The following is an excerpt from a Computer World UK article….

By the year 2020, you won’t need a keyboard and mouse to control your computer, say Intel researchers. Instead, users will open documents and surf the web using nothing more than their brain waves.

Scientists at Intel’s research lab in Pittsburgh are working to find ways to read and harness human brain waves so they can be used to operate computers, television sets and cell phones. The brain waves would be harnessed with Intel-developed sensors implanted in people’s brains.

The scientists say the plan is not a scene from a sci-fi movie, Big Brother won’t be planting chips in your brain against your will. Researchers expect that consumers will want the freedom they will gain by using the implant.

Once again, this is not something that will be forced on you against your will.

These big corporations are banking on the fact that a lot of people will want to get these brain implants.

Even now, some video game makers are developing headsets that allow users to play games using their brain waves rather than a joystick or a control pad.

Other companies want to make it possible to directly connect your brain to the Internet.

As I have written about previously, IBM is aggressively working to develop this kind of technology. The following is from arecent IBM press release….

IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone. If you just need to think about calling someone, it happens. Or you can control the cursor on a computer screen just by thinking about where you want to move it.

Scientists in the field of bioinformatics have designed headsets with advanced sensors to read electrical brain activity that can recognize facial expressions, excitement and concentration levels, and thoughts of a person without them physically taking any actions.

The potential “benefits” of such technology are almost beyond imagination. An article on the website of the Science Channel put it this way….

If you could pump data directly into your gray matter at, say, 50 mbps — the top speed offered by one major U.S. internet service provider — you’d be able to read a 500-page book in just under two-tenths of a second.

How would the world change if you could download a lifetime of learning directly into your brain in a matter of weeks?

The possibilities are endless.

But so is the potential for abuse.

Implantable microchips that can “talk” directly to the brain would give a tyrannical government the ultimate form of control.

If you could download thoughts and feelings directly into the brains of your citizens, you could achieve total control and never have to worry that they would turn on you.

In fact, you could potentially program these chips to make your citizens feel good all the time. You could have these chips produce a “natural high” that never ends. That would make your citizens incredibly dependent on the chips and they would never want to give them up.

This kind of technology has the potential to be one of the greatest threats to liberty and freedom in the history of mankind.

At first these implantable microchips will be sold to us as one of the greatest “breakthroughs” ever, but in the end they could end up totally enslaving us.

So I will never be taking any kind of a brain implant, and I hope that you will not either.

 
Similar/Related Articles
 
  1. Humans ‘will be implanted with microchips’
  2. Scientists Successfully Implant Chip That Controls The Brain
  3. Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Woman to Control a Robot with Her Thoughts
  4. After The Government Microchips Our Soldiers, How Long Will It Be Before They Want To Put A Microchip In YOU
  5. Microchip Implant to Link Your Health Records, Credit History, Social Security
  6. Animal microchips linked to causing cancer
  7. Are Populations Being Primed For Nano-Microchips Inside Vaccines?
  8. Edible Microchips, Biometric Identity Systems And Mind Reading Computers
  9. New Implantable Microchips to Medicate Patients
  10. Intel Wants Brain Implants in Its Customers’ Heads by 2020
  11. British Court Orders Singer Get “Medical Implant” for Drug Addiction
  12. Hacking The Human Brain

 

Scientists to build ‘human brain’: Supercomputer will simulate the entire mind and will help fight against brain diseases

mind control

Scientists to build ‘human brain’: Supercomputer will simulate the entire mind and will help fight against brain diseases

  • The ‘brain’ will take 12 years to build
  • It will feature thousands of three-dimensional images built around a semi-circular ‘cockpit’

PUBLISHED: 18:27 GMT, 15 April 2012 | UPDATED: 19:14 GMT, 15 April 2012 

The human brain’s power could rival any machine. And now scientists are trying to build one using the world’s most powerful computer.

It is intended to combine all the information so far uncovered about its mysterious workings – and replicate them on a screen, right down to the level of individual cells and molecules.

If it works it could be revolutionary for understanding devastating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and even shedding light into how we think, and make decisions.

 
Ambitious: Scientists are hoping to build a computer that will simulate the entire human brain
 
Ambitious: Scientists are hoping to build a computer that will simulate the entire human brain

Leading the project is Professor Henry Markram based in Switzerland, who will be working with scientists from across Europe including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute at Cambridge.

They hope to complete it within 12 years. He said: ‘The complexity of the brain, with its billions of interconnected neurons, makes it hard for neuroscientists to truly understand how it works.

‘Simulating it will make it much easier – allowing them to manipulate and measure any aspect of the brain.’

Housed at a facility in Dusseldorf in Germany, the ‘brain’ will feature thousands of three-dimensional images built around a semi-circular ‘cockpit’ so scientists can virtually ‘fly’ around different areas and watch how they communicate with each other.

It aims to integrate all the neuroscience research being carried out all over the world – an estimated 60,000 scientific papers every year – into one platform.

The project has received some funding from the EU and has been shortlisted for a 1 billion euro (£825million) EU grant which will be decided next month.

When complete it could be used to test new drugs, which could dramatically shorten the time required for licencing them than human trials, and pave the way for more intelligent robots and computers. 

There are inevitably concerns about the consequences of this ‘manipulation’ and creating computers which can think for themselves. In Germany the media have dubbed the researchers ‘Team Frankenstein’.

 
The various areas of the human brain
Graphic: Corbis

But Prof Markram said: ‘This will, when successful, help two billion people annually who suffer from some type of brain impairment.

‘This is one of the three grand challenges for humanity. We need to understand earth, space and the brain. We need to understand what makes us human.’

Over the past 15 years his team have painstakingly studied and managed to produce a computer simulation of a cortical column – one of the small building blocks of a mammal’s brain.

They have also simulated part of a rat’s brain using a computer. But the human brain is a totally different proposition.

High energy consumption: The computer will require the output of a nuclear power station
 
High energy consumption: The computer will require the output of a nuclear power station like Sellafield, pictured here

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2130124/Scientists-build-human-brain-Supercomputer-simulate-mind-exactly-help-fight-brain-diseases.html#ixzz1yiRQqhoy

“Humanity is about going beyond biological limitations”

Image: Drawing of The Vitruvian Man

Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of The Vitruvian man.

NEW YORK Dreams of immortality inspired the fantastical tales of Greek historian Herodotus and Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s legendary search for the fountain of youth. Nowadays, visionaries push for the technologies to transplant human brains into new bodies and download human consciousness into hologram-like avatars.

The latest science and schemes for achieving long life and the “singularity” moment of smarter-than-human intelligence came together at the Singularity Summit held here October 15-16. Some researchers explored cutting-edge, serious work about regenerating human body parts and defining the boundaries of consciousness in brain studies. Other speakers pushed visions of extending human existence in “Avatar”- style bodies — one initiative previously backed by action film star Steven Seagal — with fuzzier ideas about how to create such a world.

Above all, the summit buzzed with optimism about technology’s ability to reshape the world to exceed humanity’s wildest dreams, as well as a desire to share that vision with everyone. True believers were even offered the chance to apply for a credit card that transfers purchase rewards to the Singularity Institute.

“Humanity is about going beyond biological limitations,” said Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist whose vision drives the Singularity Institute.

Rebuilding a healthy body The most immediate advances related to living longer and better may come from regenerative medicine. Pioneering physicians have already regrown the tips of people’s fingers and replaced cancer-ridden parts of human bodies with healthy new cells.

“What we’re talking about here is not necessarily increasing the quantity of life but the quality of life,” said Stephen Badylak, deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Success so far has come from using a special connective tissue — called the extracellular matrix (ECM) — to act as a biological scaffold for healthy cells to build upon. Badylak showed a video where his team of surgeons stripped out the cancerous lining of a patient’s esophagus like pulling out a sock, and relined the esophagus with an ECM taken from pigs. The patient remains cancer-free several years after the experimental trial.

The connective tissue of other animals doesn’t provoke a negative response in human bodies, because it lacks the foreign animal cells that would typically provoke the immune system to attack. It has served the same role as a biological foundation for so long that it represents a “medical device that’s gone through hundreds of millions of years of R&D,” Badylak said.

If work goes well, Badylak envisions someday treating stroke patients by regenerating pieces of the functioning human brain.

Live long and prosper The work of such researchers could do more than just keep humans happy and healthy. By tackling end-of-life chronic diseases such as cancer, medical advances could nearly double human life expectancy beyond almost 80 years in the U.S. to 150 years, said Sonia Arrison, a futurist at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, Calif.

Long-lived humans could lead to problems such as anger over a “longevity gap” between haves and have-nots and perhaps add to stress on food, water and energy sources. But Arrison took a more positive view of how “health begets wealth” in a talk based on her new book, “100 Plus” (Basic Books, 2011).

Having healthier people around for longer means that they can remain productive far later in life, Arrison pointed out. Many past innovators accomplished some of their greatest or most creative work relatively late in life — Leonardo da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa at 51, and Benjamin Franklin conducted his kite experiment at 46.

“Innovation is a late-peak field,” Arrison told the audience gathered at the Singularity Summit.

Even religion might find a renewed role in a world where death increasingly looks far off, Arrison said. Religion remains as popular as ever despite a doubling of human life expectancy up until now, and so Arrison suggested that religions focused on providing purpose or guidance in life could do well. But religions focused on the afterlife may want to rethink their strategy.

Making ‘Avatar’ real (or not) The boldest scheme for immortality came from media mogul Dmitry Itskov, who introduced his “Project Immortality 2045: Russian Experience.” He claimed support from the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Education and Science, as well as actor Seagal, to create a research center capable of giving humans life-extending bodies.

Itskov’s wildly ambitious plans include creating a humanoid avatar body within five to seven years, transplanting a human brain into a new “body B” in 10 to 15 years, digitally uploading a human brain’s consciousness in 20 to 25 years, and moving human consciousness to hologram-like bodies in 30 to 35 years.

That vision may have exceeded even the optimism of many Singularity Summit attendees, given the apparent restlessness of the crowd during Itskov’s presentation. But it did little to dampen the conference’s overall sense that humanity has a positive future within its collective grasp — even if some people still need to be convinced.

“We are storming the fricking barricades of death, both physically and intellectually, so we have to make it sexy,” said Jason Silva, a filmmaker and founding producer/host for Current TV.

By Jeremy Hsu

    10/17/2011 7:39:40 PM ET2011-10-17T23:39:40

You can follow InnovationNewsDaily Senior Writer Jeremy Hsu on Twitter @ScienceHsu. Follow InnovationNewsDaily on Twitter @News_Innovation, or on Facebook.

How to Use Light to Control the Brain

How to Use Light to Control the Brain

Stephen Dougherty, Scientific American
Date: 01 April 2012 Time: 09:38 AM
 

In the film Amèlie, the main character is a young eccentric woman who attempts to change the lives of those around her for the better. One day Amèlie finds an old rusty tin box of childhood mementos in her apartment, hidden by a boy decades earlier. After tracking down Bretodeau, the owner, she lures him to a phone booth where he discovers the box. Upon opening the box and seeing a few marbles, a sudden flash of vivid images come flooding into his mind. Next thing you know, Bretodeau is transported to a time when he was in the schoolyard scrambling to stuff his pockets with hundreds of marbles while a teacher is yelling at him to hurry up.

We have all experienced this: a seemingly insignificant trigger, a scent, a song, or an old photograph transports us to another time and place. Now a group of neuroscientists have investigated the fascinating question: Can a few neurons trigger a full memory?
In a new study, published in Nature, a group of researchers from MIT showed for the first time that it is possible to activate a memory on demand, by stimulating only a few neurons with light, using a technique known as optogenetics. Optogenetics is a powerful technology that enables researchers to control genetically modified neurons with a brief pulse of light.

To artificially turn on a memory, researchers first set out to identify the neurons that are activated when a mouse is making a new memory. To accomplish this, they focused on a part of the brain called the hippocampus, known for its role in learning and memory, especially for discriminating places. Then they inserted a gene that codes for a light-sensitive protein into hippocampal neurons, enabling them to use light to control the neurons.

With the light-sensitive proteins in place, the researchers gave the mouse a new memory. They put the animal in an environment where it received a mild foot shock, eliciting the normal fear behavior in mice: freezing in place. The mouse learned to associate a particular environment with the shock.

Next, the researchers attempted to answer the big question: Could they artificially activate the fear memory? They directed light on the hippocampus, activating a portion of the neurons involved in the memory, and the animals showed a clear freezing response. Stimulating the neurons appears to have triggered the entire memory.

The researchers performed several key tests to confirm that it was really the original memory recalled. They tested mice with the same light-sensitive protein but without the shock; they tested mice without the light-sensitive protein; and they tested mice in a different environment not associated with fear. None of these tests yielded the freezing response, reinforcing the conclusion that the pulse of light indeed activated the old fear memory.

In 2010, optogenetics was named the scientific Method of the Year by the journal Nature Methods. The technology was introduced in 2004 by a research group at Stanford University led by Karl Deisseroth, a collaborator on this research. The critical advantage that optogenetics provides over traditional neuroscience techniques, like electrical stimulation or chemical agents, is speed and precision. Electrical stimulation and chemicals can only be used to alter neural activity in nonspecific ways and without precise timing. Light stimulation enables control over a small subset of neurons on a millisecond time scale.

Over the last several years, optogenetics has provided powerful insights into the neural underpinnings of brain disorders like depression, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Now, in the context of memory research, this study shows that it is possible to artificially stimulate a few neurons to activate an old memory, controlling an animals’ behavior without any sensory input. This is significant because it provides a new approach to understand how complex memories are formed in the first place.

Lest ye worry about implanted memories and mind control, this technology is still a long way from reaching any human brains. Nevertheless, the first small steps towards the clinical application of optogenetics have already begun. A group at Brown University, for example, is working on a wireless optical electrode that can deliver light to neurons in the human brain. Who knows, someday, instead of new technology enabling us to erase memories á la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, we may actually undergo memory enhancement therapy with a brief session under the lights.

This article was first published on Scientific American. © 2012 ScientificAmerican.com. Follow Scientific American on Twitter @SciAm and @SciamBlogs. VisitScientificAmerican.com for the latest in science, health and technology news.

Grid-Based Computing to Fight Neurological Disease

ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news<br />
and science breakthroughs -- updated daily

Grid-Based Computing to Fight Neurological Disease

ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2012) — Grid computing, long used by physicists and astronomers to crunch masses of data quickly and efficiently, is making the leap into the world of biomedicine. Supported by EU-funding, researchers have networked hundreds of computers to help find treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. They are calling their system the ‘Google for brain imaging.’



Through the Neugrid project, the pan-European grid computing infrastructure has opened up new channels of research into degenerative neurological disorders and other illnesses, while also holding the promise of quicker and more accurate clinical diagnoses of individual patients.

The infrastructure, set up with the support of EUR 2.8 million in funding from the European Commission, was developed over three years by researchers in seven countries. Their aim, primarily, was to give neuroscientists the ability to quickly and efficiently analyse ‘Magnetic resonance imaging’ (MRI) scans of the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. But their work has also helped open the door to the use of grid computing for research into other neurological disorders, and many other areas of medicine.

‘Neugrid was launched to address a very real need. Neurology departments in most hospitals do not have quick and easy access to sophisticated MRI analysis resources. They would have to send researchers to other labs every time they needed to process a scan. So we thought, why not bring the resources to the researchers rather than sending the researchers to the resources,’ explains Giovanni Frisoni, a neurologist and the deputy scientific director of IRCCS Fatebenefratelli, the Italian National Centre for Alzheimer’s and Mental Diseases, in Brescia.

Five years’ work in two weeks The Neugrid team, led by David Manset from MaatG in France and Richard McClatchey from the University of the West of England in Bristol, laid the foundations for the grid infrastructure, starting with five distributed nodes of 100 cores (CPUs) each, interconnected with grid middleware and accessible via the internet with an easy-to-use web browser interface. To test the infrastructure, the team used datasets of images from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative in the United States, the largest public database of MRI scans of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and a lesser condition termed ‘Mild cognitive impairment’.

‘In Neugrid we have been able to complete the largest computational challenge ever attempted in neuroscience: we extracted 6,500 MRI scans of patients with different degrees of cognitive impairment and analysed them in two weeks,’ Dr. Frisoni, the lead researcher on the project, says, ‘on an ordinary computer it would have taken five years!’.

Though Alzheimer’s disease affects about half of all people aged 85 and older, its causes and progression remain poorly understood. Worldwide more than 35 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s, a figure that is projected to rise to over 115 million by 2050 as the world’s population ages.

Patients with early symptoms have difficulty recalling the names of people and places, remembering recent events and solving simple maths problems. As the brain degenerates, patients in advanced stages of the disease lose mental and physical functions and require round-the-clock care.

The analysis of MRI scans conducted as part of the Neugrid project should help researchers gain important insights into some of the big questions surrounding the disease such as which areas of the brain deteriorate first, what changes occur in the brain that can be identified as biomarkers for the disease and what sort of drugs might work to slow or prevent progression.

Neugrid built on research conducted by two prior EU-funded projects: Mammogrid, which set up a grid infrastructure to analyse mammography data, and AddNeuroMed, which sought biomarkers for Alzheimer’s. The team are now continuing their work in a series of follow-up projects. An expanded grid and a new paradigm Neugrid for You (N4U), a direct continuation of Neugrid, will build upon the grid infrastructure, integrating it with ‘High performance computing’ (HPC) and cloud computing resources. Using EUR 3.5 million in European Commission funding, it will also expand the user services, algorithm pipelines and datasets to establish a virtual laboratory for neuroscientists.

‘In Neugrid we built the grid infrastructure, addressing technical challenges such as the interoperability of core computing resources and ensuring the scalability of the architecture. In N4U we will focus on the user-facing side of the infrastructure, particularly the services and tools available to researchers,’ Dr. Frisoni says. ‘We want to try to make using the infrastructure for research as simple and easy as possible,’ he continues, ‘the learning curve should not be much more difficult than learning to use an iPhone!’

N4U will also expand the grid infrastructure from the initial five computing clusters through connections with CPU nodes at new sites, including 2,500 CPUs recently added in Paris in collaboration with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and in partnership with ‘Enabling grids for e-science Biomed VO’, a biomedical virtual organisation.

Another follow-up initiative, outGRID, will federate the Neugrid infrastructure, linking it with similar grid computing resources set up in the United States by the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the CBRAIN brain imaging research platform developed by McGill University in Montreal, Canada. A workshop was recently held at the International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the United Nations, to foster this effort.

Dr. Frisoni is also the scientific coordinator of the DECIDE project, which will work on developing clinical diagnostic tools for doctors built upon the Neugrid grid infrastructure. ‘There are a couple of important differences between using brain imaging datasets for research and for diagnosis,’ he explains. ‘Researchers compare many images to many others, whereas doctors are interested in comparing images from a single patient against a wider set of data to help diagnose a disease. On top of that, datasets used by researchers are anonymous, whereas images from a single patient are not and protecting patient data becomes an issue.’

The DECIDE project will address these questions in order to use the grid infrastructure to help doctors treat patients. Though the main focus of all these new projects is on using grid computing for neuroscience, Dr. Frisoni emphasises that the same infrastructure, architecture and technology could be used to enable new research — and new, more efficient diagnostic tools — in other fields of medicine. ‘We are helping to lay the foundations for a new paradigm in grid-enabled medical research,’ he says.

Neugrid received research funding under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Pacemaker for Your Brain: Brain-To-Computer Chip Revolutionizes Neurological Therapy

 

Pacemaker for Your Brain: Brain-To-Computer Chip Revolutionizes Neurological Therapy

ScienceDaily (June 28, 2010) — By stimulating certain areas of the brain, scientists can alleviate the effects of disorders such as depression or Parkinson’s disease. That’s the good news. But because controlling that stimulation currently lacks precision, over-stimulation is a serious concern — losing some of its therapeutic benefits for the patient over time.



Now a Tel Aviv University team, part of a European consortium, is delving deep into human behavior, neurophysiology and engineering to create a chip that can help doctors wire computer applications and sensors to the brain. The chip will provide deep brain stimulation precisely where and when it’s needed.

Prof. Matti Mintz of Tel Aviv University’s Psychobiology Research Unit in its Department of Psychology is focusing on the behavioral-physiological aspects of the research. He and the rest of the international research team are working toward a chip that could help treat some diseases of the mind in just a few years. The platform, says Prof. Mintz, is flexible enough to provide a basis for a variety of clinical experiments, and tools which can be programmed for specific disorders. For example, the chip could restore lost functions of the brain after a traumatic brain injury from a car accident or stroke.

Reversing strokes, depression and aging

The team’s methodology is straightforward — they record activity using electrodes implanted in diseased areas of the brain. Based on an analysis of this activity, they develop algorithms to simulate healthy neuronal activity which are programmed into a microchip and fed back into the brain.

For now, the chip, called the Rehabilitation Nano Chip (or ReNaChip), is hooked up to tiny electrodes which are implanted in the brain. But as chips become smaller, the ReNaChip could be made small enough to be “etched” right onto the electrodes themselves.

For therapeutic purposes, though, only the electrodes will be inserted into the brain. “The chip itself can be implanted just under the skin, like pacemakers for the heart,” says Prof. Mintz, who is currently conducting experiments on animal models, “ensuring that the brain is stimulated only when it needs to be.”

One of the challenges of the proposed technology is the size of the electrodes. The researchers hope to further miniaturize deep brain electrodes while adding more sensors at the same time says Prof. Mintz. His Tel Aviv University colleague and partner Prof. Yossi Shaham-Diamond is working on this problem.

The international multidisciplinary team, includes other researchers from TAU — Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron and Dr. Mira Kalish — and partners from Austria, England and Spain, regularly converge on the TAU campus to update and integrate new components of the set-up and monitor the progress of the chip in live animals in Prof. Mintz’s lab.

A two-way conversation

The idea that a chip can interface between inputs and outputs of certain brain area is a very new concept in scientific circles, Prof. Mintz notes, although movies and TV shows about bionic humans have been part of the popular culture for decades. The researchers say that their ReNaChip could help people whose brains have deteriorated with age or been damaged by injury and disease. The chip will not only provide a bionic replacement for lost neuronal function in the brain, under ideal conditions, it could significantly rehabilitate the brain.

Currently, the researchers are attempting to rehabilitate motor-learning functions lost due to brain damage. “We are attaching the chip to the brain to stimulate relatively simple brain behaviors,” says Prof. Mintz. A controlled treatment for drug resistant epilepsy, based on the team’s technology, could be only a few years away, he says.

Science News Brain / Implant