How far in the future is the ban of psychotronic weapons?

How far in the future is the ban of psychotronic weapons?

 

In March 2012, Russia’s defense minister Anatoli Serdjukov said at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: “The development of weaponry based on new physics principles; direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons, psychotronic weapons, etc., is part of the state arms procurement program for 2011-2020.”

The world media reacted to his hinting about the open use of psychotronic weapons by publishing scientific experiments from the 1960s in which electromagnetic waves were used to transmit simple sounds into the human brain. However, most of them avoided saying that extensive scientific research has been carried out in this area throughout the world since then. Colombian newspaper El Espectador was only one of a few to publish an article covering the full scale of the achievements of this research. [Read the English version here ]

UK-based newspaper Daily Mail wrote that research in electromagnetic weapons had been secretly carried out in the United States and Russia since the 1950s and that “previous research has shown that low-frequency waves or beams can affect brain cells, alter psychological states and make it possible to transmit suggestions and commands directly into someone’s thought processes. High doses of microwaves can damage the functioning of internal organs, control behaviour or even drive victims to suicide.”

In 1975, neuropsychologist Don R. Justesen, director of Laboratories of Experimental Neuropsychology at Veterans Administration Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., unwittingly leaked national security information. He published an article in American Psychologist about the influence of microwaves on living creatures’ behavior. In the article, he quoted the results of an experiment described to him over a phone conversation by colleague Joseph C. Sharp, who was working on Pandora, a secret project of the U.S. Navy. Justesen wrote : “By radiating themselves with these “voice modulated’ microwaves, Sharp and Grove were readily able to hear, identify, and distinguish among the 9 words. The sounds heard were not unlike those emitted by persons with artificial larynxes.”

That this system was later brought to perfection is proved by the document which appeared on the website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1997, where its Office of Research and Development presented the Department of Defense’s project, Communicating Via the Microwave Auditory Effect. The office offered the following description : “An innovative and revolutionary technology is described that offers a low-probability-of-intercept radiofrequency (RF) communications. The feasibility of the concept has been established using both a low intensity laboratory system and a high power RF transmitter. Numerous military applications exist in areas of search and rescue, security and special operations.”

In January 2007, the Washington Post wrote on the same subject: “In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone’s head. That work is frequently cited on mind-control Web sites. Rich Garcia, a spokesman for the research laboratory’s directed energy directorate, declined to discuss that patent or current or related research in the field, citing the lab’s policy not to comment on its microwave work. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed for this article, the Air Force released unclassified documents surrounding that 2002 patent — records that note that the patent was based on human experimentation in October 1994 at the Air Force lab, where scientists were able to transmit phrases into the heads of human subjects, albeit with marginal intelligibility. Research appeared to continue at least through 2002. Where this work has gone since is unclear — the research laboratory, citing classification, refused to discuss it or release other materials.”

We can only stress again that the world media avoided publishing the full scale of the progress of this research. Dr. Robert Becker, who was nominated twice for a Nobel Prize for his share in the discovery of the effects of pulsed fields at the healing of broken bones, wrote in his book, titled Body Electric, about the 1974 experiment by J. F. Schapitz, released due to the Freedom of Information Act request. Schapitz stated: “In this investigation, it will be shown that the spoken word of hypnotist may also be conveyed by modulated electromagnetic energy directly into the subconscious parts of the human brain – i.e. without employing any technical devices for receiving or transcoding the messages and without the person exposed to such influence having a chance to control the information input consciously.” In one of the four experiments, subjects were given a 100-question test, ranging from easy questions to technical ones. Later, not knowing they were being irradiated, they would be subjected to information beams suggesting the answers to the questions they had left blank, amnesia for some of their correct answers, and memory falsification for other correct answers. After two weeks, they had to pass the test again (Dr. Robert Becker: Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of
Life, William Morrow and comp., New York, 1985, http://www.amazon.com/Body-Electric-Electromagnetism-Foundation-Life/dp/0688069711 ). The results of the second test were never published. It is rather evident that in those experiments the messages were sent into the human brain in ultrasound frequencies in which the human brain perceives but of which the subject is unaware. Becker, due to those publications and his refusal to support the building of the antennae for the communication with submarines in brain frequencies, lost financial support for his research, thereby putting an end to his scientific career.

Transmitting human speech into the human brain by means of electromagnetic waves is for researchers one of the most difficult tasks. It must be much easier to control human emotions that motivate human thinking, decision making and actions. People who claim to be victims of experiments with those devices complain, aside of hearing voices, of false feelings (including orgasms) and aches of internal organs, a condition physicians are unable to diagnose.

In November 2000, the Committee on Security of the Russian state Duma stated that capabilities enabling remote control of the human nervous system or the remote infliction of health impairment are available to many modern governments. It is evident that those technologies are used, in conflict with the Nuremberg code, for experiments on unwitting human subjects. In 2001, the newspaper of the U.S. Army wrote that Israel was experimenting with those weapons on Palestinians. Ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, while under siege at the Brazilian embassy in Honduras, complained that he had been subjected to an “electron bombardment with microwaves” which produces “headache and organic destabilization.” When asked by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman if he knew about this in the Honduran arsenal, he replied: “Yes, of course.”

The use of those weapons is reemerging in times of political crisis. According to Russian daily newspapers, during the failed putsch against Mikhail Gorbachov in 1991, General Kobets warned the defenders of the Russian White House that mind control technology could be used against them. After the putsch, the vice president of the League of Independent Scientists of the USSR, Victor Sedlecki, published a declaration in the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda where he stated: “As an expert and a legal entity I declare that mass production … of psychotronic biogenerators was launched in Kiev (this is indeed a very serious issue). I cannot assert for sure that that were exactly Kiev generators that were used during the putsch… However, the fact that they were used is obvious to me. What are psychotronic generators? It is an electronic equipment producing the effect of guided control in human organism. It especially affects the left and right hemisphere of the cortex. This is also the technology of the U.S. Project Zombie 5.“He further stated that due to the inexperience of the personnel who operated them, the attempt to use the generators failed (Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 27,1991, “Avtory programy Zombi obnaruzheny v Kieve”, http://web.iol.cz/mhzzrz/img/Authors_of_project_zombie.gif ).

Presently in the U.S., several hundred people are complaining of the remote manipulation of their nervous system and are preparing a class action lawsuit against the FBI, the Department of Defense and other agencies, requesting that they release files pertaining to their persons, detect the harmful radiations aimed at their bodies, and sources of the radiation. Also, over 2,000 people are complaining in Russia, over 200 in Europe, over 300 in Japan and several people in China and India. Russian politician Vladimir Lopatin, who was working on the Committee on Security of the Russian state Duma and who introduced a bill banning the use of those technologies, admitted in his book, titled Psychotronic Weapon and Security of Russia, that in Russia, experiments on unwitting citizens are carried out. “Compensation of damages and losses connected with social rehabilitation of persons suffering from destructive informational influence must be realized in legal trial,” he wrote .

It should be understood that most of those people pass through mental hospitals. Lopatin visited the U.S. in 1999 to meet with Richard Cheney. At that time he was described as the “leader of a new breed of Soviet dissidents.” Then, he disappeared from top ranks of Russian politicians.

Why has this research remained classified until now? There are two explanations: First, there is a secret arms race in progress in the world where the superpowers compete to gain decisive supremacy in this area, and, in this way, master the control of the whole world. Second, the governments keep those technologies in store in case they would not be able to control, by democratic means, the crises that may arise as a result of their poor decisions. In both cases, the era of democracy and human freedom will come to an end. According to the declaration of Serdjukov, there are, at the most, eight years left within which those weapons will officially become a part of the Russian military arsenal. For democracy, this would mean the beginning of the end.

In the past, Russians were not resolved to put those means to work. When the construction of the American system HAARP was launched, with the system supposedly being able to target large regions of the planet by vibrating the ionosphere in brain frequencies http://nova.stanford.edu/~vlf/publications/2007-13.pdf , Russia declared its willingness to ban mind control technologies. The Russian state Duma, and, consequently, the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Union of Independent States, addressed the United Nations, OBSE and the European Council with a proposal for an international convention banning the development and use of informational weapons. According to the Russian newspaper Segodnya in March 1998, the matter was discussed with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan and included on the agenda of the General Assembly of the U.N. It is most likely that the U.S. refused to negotiate this convention, and, in consequence, the ban of informational weapons was not discussed by the U.N. General Assembly. Even in the U.S., Congress approved a bill proposing the ban of mind control technologies http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?c107:chemtrails . But this was only for a very short period of time. The bill was then changed, and the ban of those technologies was left out of the Space Preservation Bill. Neither Congress nor the president made ever an effort to ban mind control weapons. The European Parliament reacted as well to the launch of the HAARP system construction, calling for a ban on the manipulation of human beings. The resolution was passed after the testimony of the Nick Begich, author of the book Angels Don’t Play this HAARP. His testimony convinced the European Parliament of the possible use of this system to manipulate the minds of whole populations. In the European Parliament’s STOA (Science and Technological Options Assessment) panel report, titled Crowd Control Technologies, the European Parliament calls “for an international convention and global ban on all research and development, whether civilian or military, which seeks to apply knowledge of the chemical, electrical, sound vibration or other functioning of the human brain to the development of weapons which might enable any form of manipulation of human beings, including a ban on any actual or possible deployment (stressed by the author of the article) of such systems.” At the same time, the European countries resigned on this intention when accepting the NATO politics of non-lethal weapons. The same STOA report claims that the U.S. is a major promoter of the use of those arms and that: “In October 1999 NATO announced a new policy on non-lethal weapons and their place in allied arsenals ” In 1996 non-lethal tools identified by the U.S. Army included directed energy systems and radio frequency weapons.” Directed energy system is further defined by the STOA document: “Directed energy weapon system designed to match radio frequency source to interfere with human brain activity at synapse level.” Since 1999, those weapons have been upgraded for another 13 years.

In 1976, Zbygniew Brzezinski, the future National Security advisor to President Carter, wrote a book titled Between Two Ages, America’s Role in the Technetronic Era (Penguin Books, 1976, Massachusetts). In the book, he predicted a “more controlled and directed society” based on the development of technology, where an elite group will play a leading role, taking advantage of persisting social crises to use “the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control.”

The use of mind control technologies was predicted as well in the 1994 publication of Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. The prediction for the year 2000 was the growth of terrorism, drug trafficking and criminality. This conclusion was drawn: “The president was thus amenable to the use of the sort of psychotechnology which formed the core of the RMA (revolution in military affairs) … it was necessary to rethink our ethical prohibitions on manipulating the minds of enemies (and potential enemies) both international and domestic … Through persistent efforts and very sophisticated domestic “consciousness raising,” old-fashioned notions of personal privacy and national sovereignty changed. As technology changed the way force was applied, things such as personal courage, face-to-face leadership, and the “war fighter” mentality became irrelevant.” Potential or possible supporters of the insurgency around the world were identified using the comprehensive Interagency Integrated Database. These were categorized as “potential” or “active,” with sophisticated personality simulations used to develop, tailor and focus psychological campaigns for each.” So, the Institute of Strategic Studies predicted that in the year 2000 those technologies would be so advanced that it would be possible to deprive a human being of his freedom and adjust his personality to the needs of ruling elite. Most probably those technologies were at this level already in 1994.

Attempts to make the general public acquainted with the existence of those weapons are, with respect to the fact that it is evident that democratic public would require an immediate ban of those technologies, systematically suppressed. Lopatin wrote: “The arms race is speeding up as a consequence of classification. Secrecy is the way to secure cruel control over the people, the way to curtail their creativity, turn them into biorobots.” Psychotronic war “is already taking place without declaration of war, secretly ” Only if the work on the mind control problem is no more covered by the screen of secrecy, extraordinariness, mysteriousness; if complex, open scientific research with international participation, is carried out, the psychotronic war including the use of psychotronic weapon can be prevented.”

The article, titled Informacni zbrane ohrozuji demokracii a lidstvo, was deleted from the website of the Czech internet newspaper Britske Listy ( www.blisty.cz ). The sharing of the original URL of the English version of the same article (Means of Information War Threaten Democracy and Mankind) is blocked on Facebook, and a similar article was deleted from the website of Australian magazine New Dawn. This proves that the governments keep open the option to use this technology against their uninformed citizens. This is as well confirmed by the fact that there exists no legislations punishing the use of those technologies by governments. Only in Russia and some of the states in the U.S. are there legislations punishing the ownership or trading with those technologies by nongovernmental entities. In the state of Michigan , for example, the sentence for this crime is equal to the sentence for ownership or trading with weapons of mass destruction.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Petition for the ban of technologies enabling remote manipulation of human bodily and nervous system by the U.S. Congress: http://www.petitions24.com/ban_remote_manipulation_of_human_nervous_system

Biotechnology and Human Augmentation

Mick Ryan and Therese Keane


Over the last decade, military theorists and authors in the fields of future warfare and strategy have examined in detail the potential impacts of an ongoing revolution in information technology. There has been a particular focus on the impacts of automation and artificial intelligence on military and national security affairs. This attention on silicon-based disruption has nonetheless meant that sufficient attention may not have been paid to other equally profound technological developments. One of those developments is the field of biotechnology.

There have been some breathtaking achievements in the biological realm over the last decade. Human genome sequencing has progressed from a multi-year and multi-billion dollar undertaking to a much cheaper and quicker process, far outstripping Moore’s Law. Just as those concerned with national security affairs must monitor disruptive silicon-based technologies, leaders must also be literate in the key biological issues likely to impact the future security of nations. One of the most significant matters in biotechnology is that of human augmentation and whether nations should augment military personnel to stay at the leading edge of capability.

Biotechnology and Human Augmentation

Military institutions will continue to seek competitive advantage over potential adversaries. While this is most obvious in the procurement of advanced platforms, human biotechnological advancement is gaining more attention. As a 2017 CSIS report on the Third Offset found most new technological advances will provide only a temporary advantage, assessed to be no more than five years. In this environment, some military institutions may view the newer field of human augmentation as a more significant source of a future competitive edge.

Biological enhancement of human performance has existed for millenia. The discovery of naturally occurring compounds by our ancestors has led to many of the cognitive and physical enhancements currently available. In the contemporary environment, for example, competition in national and international sports continues to fuel a race between creation of the next generation of performance enhancements and regulatory bodies developing detection methods. One example of this is the use of gene doping to hone the competitive edge in athletes, an off-label use of gene therapies originally developed for the treatment of debilitating genetic and acquired diseases. Despite the possibility of cancer and a range of other lethal side effects, some athletes consider these an acceptable risk. Might this not translate to adversaries adopting any possible advantage without equal disregard for ethics and safety considerations?

Gene Doping (Ralf Hiemisch)

It cannot be safely be assumed all states will share  the same ethical, moral, legal, or policy principals as Western democratic societies. Based on developmental trajectories to date, contemporary military institutions should anticipate that all forms of human enhancements, whether relatively benign or highly controversial, will continue to evolve. For contemporary strategic leaders, the key is to anticipate how these developments may potentially impact on military institutions.

Impacts on Military Institutions

Theoretically, future advances in biotechnology may permit the augmentation of cognitive performance. However, given the challenges of biocompatibility of silicon, significant enhancements to human performance in the near future are likely to be found in prosthetics, wearable computing, or human teaming with artificial intelligence. In the longer term, some forms of gene therapy may obviate the need for implants. Noting this, a selection of likely challenges are explored below.

Previously, integration of new groups into the military  dealt with human beings.

A first order issue will be group cohesion. Military institutions have deep experience integrating newcomers into their ranks. Fundamental to effective future teaming will be evolving this approach to establish trust and group cohesion between normal humans and those who are augmented. The degree to which military leaders can and should trust augmented personnel to make decisions about saving and taking lives is likely to be an evolutionary process. It also remains to be seen whether or not teams comprised of augmented and non-augmented humans are capable of developing trust. Experimentation and trials are needed to establish whether augmented people will bias away from decisions and input from non-augmented people and vice versa. While institutions can learn from historical integration challenges, there is one essential difference with augmented humans. Previously, integration of new groups into the military  dealt with human beings. If augmentation using neurotechnology significantly enhances cognitive function, this may represent a separate and distinct group of future Homo sapiens.

The second challenge will be accessibility. Military institutions will need to decide what proportion of its forces will be augmented. Given that early generations of this biotechnology may be expensive, it is unlikely an entire military institution can be augmented. If so, who will be augmented and why? Military institutions will need to develop a value proposition to ensure physical and cognitive augmentation produces superior outcomes to the use of un-augmented personnel. Yet another question to ask is whether military personnel will be de-augmented on leaving the service. The transition of augmented personnel into a largely unaugmented populace may be traumatic for military personnel, and for society more broadly. Even more severe in its repercussions may be transitioning de-augmented personnel into a populace where augmentation is ubiquitous.

The Role of Humans in the Age of Robots (The Luvo)

The third challenge will be conceptual. One Chinese scientist, writing in 2006, has proposed military biotechnology offers the chance to shift to a “new balance between defence and attack, giving rise to a new concept of warfare, a new balance of military force, and new attacking power.” While the emphasis of this particular article was on a more merciful form of warfare—about which we should be skeptical—it nonetheless highlights the requirement to rethink what biotechnology and human augmentation means for how military institutions develop warfighting concepts. When humans arrive with cognitive enhancement, a range of tactical, operational, and strategic concepts may become irrelevant. Strategic thinking, using a combination of biological and silicon-based technologies could take organisations in very different directions than is presently the case. It also bears examining whether those with augmentation will enable greater diversity of performance (particularly in the intellectual realm) or if it will lead to increased homogenisation of physical and cognitive performance.

The fourth challenge is obsolescence. A fundamental challenge for humans waging war is that, despite technological advances, one of the weakest links is the physical capacity of the human. As Patrick Lin was written, technology makes up for our absurd frailty. Therefore, might normal humans without augmentation become irrelevant in a new construct where military institutions possess large numbers of physically and cognitively augmented personnel? It remains to be seen whether unaugmented humans might able to compete with physically and cognitively augmented military personnel. The augmentation of humans for different physical and cognitive functions may also drive change in how military institutions operate, plan, and think strategically.

A fifth challenge is military education and training. Traditional military training emphases the teaching of humans to achieve learning outcomes and missions as individuals and teams. In an integrated augmented/non-augmented institution, training methods must evolve to account for the different and improved capabilities of augmented personnel and to blend the capabilities of augmented and non-augmented personnel. Similarly, education for military leaders currently seeks to achieve their intellectual development in the art and science of war. If humans augmented with cognitive enhancements are present, both institutional and individual professional military education will also need to evolve. Learning delivery, as well as key learning outcomes, will have to be re-examined to account for the enhanced physical and cognitive performance of this new segment of the military workforce. Even issues as basic as fitness assessments must be re-examined. Potentially, military organisations could drop physical assessments by automatically augmenting people to the institutionally desired level of performance.

The sixth challenge is one of choice. Command structures demand a reduction in an individual’s free will to refuse such that informed consent is not quite the same as for the general population. And when experimental augmentation options progress to become approved interventions, can we equate a parent considering whether to choose an approved cognitive augmentation option for their child to a soldier contemplating the same when operating alongside augmented peers where the stakes are orders of magnitude greater? How much choice will military personnel have in the augmentation process? Will this be on a volunteer basis or by direction, and what are the moral, legal, and ethical implications of these stances? Speculation that augmentation may become mandatory for some professions may also apply to the military.

The final issue addressed in this article is one of ethics. Research communities are grappling with the ethical and moral implications of augmentation for society as a whole. While the first concern in evaluating the military applications of biotechnology is international humanitarian law, bioethics must also be considered. Ethical considerations pervade almost every aspect of human augmentation, and there are ethical considerations threaded through the other challenges raised in this article. For example, beyond the first order questions of whether we should augment soldiers are issues such as how much augmentation should be allowable. Military institutions should also assess the cumulative effects of multiple augmentations and the consequences of converging augmentation. There may also be a point at which a highly augmented human may cross the human-machine barrier, as well as a range of unanticipated capabilities that emerge from different augmentation combinations.

A Way Ahead

These issues must be informed by those within the biotechnology community, but they alone cannot solve them. Broader involvement by senior military, government, and community leaders is required. One expert in biotechnology has written that “clearly the new forms of power being unleashed by bio-technology will have to be harnessed and used with greater wisdom than power has been used in the past.” If military institutions are to demonstrate wisdom in their investments in biotechnology, they must explore societal impacts as well as effects within military institutions.

“Splitting humankind into biological castes will destroy the foundations of liberal ideology. Liberalism still presupposes that all human beings have equal value and authority.”

It is likely some augmentation will be—at least initially—expensive.  It may be beyond the means of most people in society and, potentially, many government and corporate institutions. If only military personnel might be augmented, what are the impacts on civil-military relationships, and who would make this decision? In this construct, it could be unethical to deny the benefits of augmentation to wider society. However as Yuval Harari has noted, this may see a differentiation in how society views augmented and non-augmented people—“Splitting humankind into biological castes will destroy the foundations of liberal ideology. Liberalism still presupposes that all human beings have equal value and authority.” In Western democracies, this poses profound questions about conferred advantage, societal sense of fairness and equality, and the value of individuals within society.

In Western democratic systems, development of regulation, policy, and legal frameworks is not keeping pace with the current tempo of complicated technological advancements. It cannot be assumed other states are allowing these deficits to slow their efforts in biotechnology, not to mention the unregulated efforts of non-state actors. While the focus of the fourth industrial revolution remains predominantly on technologies, perhaps for Australia (and other democracies) it is also these areas which require a complementary revolution in the Whole of Nation enterprise so as to keep up with the pace of change and facilitate systematic assessment of human augmentation implications.

Conclusion

The potential to augment the physical and cognitive capacity of humans is seductive. There will be some who will not demonstrate responsible behaviour in taking advantage of these new technologies. Humans have demonstrated in the past the capacity to responsibly manage disruptive technologies such as flight, atomic weapons, and space-based capabilities. This means thoughtful academics, national security practitioners, and people from wider society must be part of the discussion on why and how biotechnology might be used in future. It is vital for the future of global security, and for the human race, that mechanisms for responsible ethical and legal use of biotechnology are considered and developed. This must occur in parallel with the scientific endeavours to develop new biotechnologies.


Mick Ryan is an Australian Army officer, and Commander of the Australian Defence College in Canberra, Australia. A distinguished graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the USMC Staff College and School of Advanced Warfare, he is a passionate advocate of professional education and lifelong learning. Therese Keane is a scientist with the Defence Science and Technology Group. Although with a background in mathematics now expanding into biotechnology. The views expressed are the authors’ and do not reflect the official position of the Australian Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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?

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.

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.

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

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 .

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.

Years of recordings of people using the Carbon Nanotubes as Electrical Interfaces with Neurons in the cortex,

and cognetive radio technology visualizes piecemeal man’s own self, this is copied to the new more powerful computers.

Some of the research with brain implants (ICT) to clone the human brain is conducted according to many sources, without informed consent. This is probably because the ethical appeal can not be approved for life-long computerized study of brain implants (Carbon Nanotubes as Electrical Interfaces with Neurons in the cortex), where the consequences for the individual is destruction more 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 (copy) 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 the world, without their consent and / or knowledge, for many years.

Mindtech cooperate with the media and the 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

 

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.

 
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  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?
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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

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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.

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