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Harvard Creates Cyborg Tissues

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the getting-wired dept.

Biotech 108

MrSeb writes "Bioengineers at Harvard University have created the first examples of cyborg tissue: Neurons, heart cells, muscle, and blood vessels that are interwoven by nanowires and transistors. These cyborg tissues are half living cells, half electronics. As far as the cells are concerned, they're just normal cells that behave normally — but the electronic side actually acts as a sensor network, allowing a computer to interface directly with the cells. In the case of cyborg heart tissue, the researchers have already used the embedded nanowires to measure the contractions (heart rate) of the cells. So far, the researchers have only used the nanoelectric scaffolds to read data from the cells — but according to lead researcher Charles Lieber, the next step is to find a way of talking to the individual cells, to 'wire up tissue and communicate with it in the same way a biological system does.' Suffice it to say, if you can use a digital computer to read and write data to your body's cells, there are some awesome applications."

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Paging Adam Jenson... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41173951)

"I never asked for this."

JC Denton (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174329)

"Bravery is not a function of firepower."

Not only is JC more advanced but he has better lines too.

Why don't they... (3, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#41173953)

... just build cyborgs which don't need to blow their nose?

Star Trek: First Contact, anyone? (1, Offtopic)

jehan60188 (2535020) | about 2 years ago | (#41173955)

that part where Data had like 4 square inches of skin grafted on to him, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to him

Re:Star Trek: First Contact, anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174617)

Wasn't there a TNG episode where Q made him into an actual human being? That might be a little better though the borg queen exhaling her hot sensual breath over the nascent tissue might tip the scales!

Re:Star Trek: First Contact, anyone? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41175917)

No. Riker, with the power of Q, offered to transform Data into a human but Data refused. In another episode, Data becomes Q's only friend when the latter is stripped of his powers. When Q got his powers back, he offered a gift to Data, which Data assumed meant turning him into a human but instead Q made Data laugh.

DRM. (5, Funny)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about 2 years ago | (#41174011)

Your heart possibly being owned by a corporation. Or your willy wang and the police busting down your door for unauthorised jerking methods.

Re:DRM. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174181)

Your heart possibly being owned by a corporation. Or your willy wang and the police busting down your door for unauthorised jerking methods.

That's exactly the kind of bullshit that would make any advanced alien species decide that we're not worth contacting. But it's standard bullshit. It's been going on for a long time.

The full implications are worse than that. We are headed towards technological singularity. While I would like to believe this will usher in a new era of prosperity and achievement, consider the kind of sociopathic fevered egos who always wind up running things. Now imagine them even more "effective" (at doing what they have always done) than ever.

Re:DRM. (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41174729)

The full implications are worse than that. We are headed towards technological singularity. While I would like to believe this will usher in a new era of prosperity and achievement, consider the kind of sociopathic fevered egos who always wind up running things. Now imagine them even more "effective" (at doing what they have always done) than ever.

I'm a bit more optimistic than this but should the singularity occur you might as well not worry about the details of what comes after as by definition it's unpredictable. As far as companies DRMing artificial organs we probably have about as much to worry about that as we do all the other barn doors they've slammed shut after the horse got free. Certainly puts a new spin on rooting and jailbreaking!

Re:DRM. (4, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | about 2 years ago | (#41175041)

I'm a bit more optimistic than this but should the singularity occur you might as well not worry about the details of what comes after as by definition it's unpredictable.

I'm not at all, looking at just the USA and what companies like Monsanto, GSK and Kaiser Permanente have been able to get away with and also get legislated to protect their interests at the expense of everyone else, I'm not optimistic at all.

Re:DRM. (5, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#41175399)

I'm a bit more optimistic than this but should the singularity occur you might as well not worry about the details of what comes after as by definition it's unpredictable.

I'm not at all, looking at just the USA and what companies like Monsanto, GSK and Kaiser Permanente have been able to get away with and also get legislated to protect their interests at the expense of everyone else, I'm not optimistic at all.

If we accept that all human beings have weaknesses, fears, failings, and that no individual or finite group is impervious to corruption and/or compromise/influence/pressure, then logic says that the only realistic option to avoid most of the worst of corporate and other influence/corruption/compromise of the government is to make the central government as small and weak as practical, and keep as much of the local day-to-day governance as local and answerable to the people as possible.

Decentralization, baby! Like the way the internet was intended to work, damage/corruption is routed around until repairs are effected.

That way the Monsantos, GSKs, and Kaiser Permanentes of the world won't be able to buy influence over the entire nation in one spot from a relatively-small number of the very very powerful in the Federal government like a "supermarket of sleaze", but would have to influence/corrupt/bribe many, many city/county/state governments and officials/legislative bodies across the country and keep all those illegal acts from becoming widely known and drawing prosecution. A much more expensive, time-consuming, and risky proposition. It would thus help reduce the risks of corruption of the singularity from those sources and help tilt the scales a fraction more towards a more benign outcome.

Look, we've all generally agreed and acknowledged that politicians are all ambitious, greedy, power-hungry sleazebags that can and will, given the chance, bring that painting of a boot crushing a human face forever to reality. And yes, that includes "your guy", too.

Given that, wouldn't it be wise to keep the ones with the most power and ability to control you and your life within easy arm's-reach where you can nip their overreaches and encroachments on your wealth, security, free speech, and freedom in the bud? Keep in mind also that it's much harder for them to go astray if they've got to face the people they're governing across their own backyard fences, their kids go to the same school, etc etc.

As a side-benefit, it would also tend to greatly reduce the power and influence of the two major national political parties and severely reduce the ability of a relatively few national party leaders to dictate to the rest. It's possible it could even allow the emergence of a third party or even more.

It also coincidentally assures some variety in the style, flavor, and feel of governance from place to place across the nation and thus there is a better chance one can find a place to live with governance that accommodates one's religious, cultural, and political beliefs to a sufficient degree.

This, I believe, would also greatly increase the chances for a more-positive outcome from the singularity by assuring a variety of views, cultures, and beliefs, thus avoiding a monoculture of tyranny.

Strat

Re:DRM. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41177103)

I'm a bit more optimistic than this but should the singularity occur you might as well not worry about the details of what comes after as by definition it's unpredictable.

I'm not at all, looking at just the USA and what companies like Monsanto, GSK and Kaiser Permanente have been able to get away with and also get legislated to protect their interests at the expense of everyone else, I'm not optimistic at all.

If we accept that all human beings have weaknesses, fears, failings, and that no individual or finite group is impervious to corruption and/or compromise/influence/pressure, then logic says that the only realistic option to avoid most of the worst of corporate and other influence/corruption/compromise of the government is to make the central government as small and weak as practical, and keep as much of the local day-to-day governance as local and answerable to the people as possible.

Decentralization, baby! Like the way the internet was intended to work, damage/corruption is routed around until repairs are effected.

That way the Monsantos, GSKs, and Kaiser Permanentes of the world won't be able to buy influence over the entire nation in one spot from a relatively-small number of the very very powerful in the Federal government like a "supermarket of sleaze", but would have to influence/corrupt/bribe many, many city/county/state governments and officials/legislative bodies across the country and keep all those illegal acts from becoming widely known and drawing prosecution. A much more expensive, time-consuming, and risky proposition. It would thus help reduce the risks of corruption of the singularity from those sources and help tilt the scales a fraction more towards a more benign outcome.

Look, we've all generally agreed and acknowledged that politicians are all ambitious, greedy, power-hungry sleazebags that can and will, given the chance, bring that painting of a boot crushing a human face forever to reality. And yes, that includes "your guy", too.

Given that, wouldn't it be wise to keep the ones with the most power and ability to control you and your life within easy arm's-reach where you can nip their overreaches and encroachments on your wealth, security, free speech, and freedom in the bud? Keep in mind also that it's much harder for them to go astray if they've got to face the people they're governing across their own backyard fences, their kids go to the same school, etc etc.

As a side-benefit, it would also tend to greatly reduce the power and influence of the two major national political parties and severely reduce the ability of a relatively few national party leaders to dictate to the rest. It's possible it could even allow the emergence of a third party or even more.

It also coincidentally assures some variety in the style, flavor, and feel of governance from place to place across the nation and thus there is a better chance one can find a place to live with governance that accommodates one's religious, cultural, and political beliefs to a sufficient degree.

This, I believe, would also greatly increase the chances for a more-positive outcome from the singularity by assuring a variety of views, cultures, and beliefs, thus avoiding a monoculture of tyranny.

Strat

This is the Belgian delusion. We declare ourselves neutral and the germans are not going to attack.
History disproves all that you said.

Re:DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41177217)

You speak true!

Re:DRM. (3, Insightful)

CommieLib (468883) | about 2 years ago | (#41177839)

No, no, you don't understand - THIS TIME we'll get it right. The people involved are so good and so pure, they'll make the right choices, and resist the pull of corruption. You just don't understand how smart these new people are - the New York Times talks about them everyday. These are the best and brightest, the very smartest of society - isn't it better for them to make the choices for us?

You don't understand - human beings are corruptible and evil, and so we need to make government powerful so that it can be better. What will the government be composed of? Well, human beings, of course. Er, well, these human beings are less corruptible, I think. And look at these wonderful corporations who are supporting our rise to power - they must surely be led by disinterested saints committed to social justice.

You see, we're not committed to ideology - we're pure pragmatists, we only care about what works. Well, yes, I suppose that ideology does define what goals are worth working towards and which ones aren't, and I definitely have preferences in that area...well, yes, I suppose that I have premises that I operate from in choosing methods that constitute ideology...but ideology is bad! I mean, YOUR ideology is bad! Mine is progress. Towards what? Well...the future! Forward! By what methods, and to what ends? Eh, those are details we'll figure out later...what matters now is that we get unlimited power to reshape society according to our beautiful vision.

What? I don't care about the history and track record of these ideas! I'm not hide-bound and shackled by tradition like you! The performance of these methods in the past has nothing to do with what's going to happen when we get power! </sarcasm>

. Individual liberty may be imperfect, but ultimately it's the only deal worth considering.

Re:DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178497)

Decentralization, baby! Like the way the internet was intended to work...

That was never the intention behind The Internet. Don't act like that was the goal. The goal was merely to connect computers, as one might connect telephones. That's it.

Re:DRM. (1)

captjc (453680) | about 2 years ago | (#41179379)

Well, connect computers and withstand a nuclear war. Remember, it was a DoD project before it was a way to download porn and bitch about things.

Re:DRM. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185429)

I agree with you to some extent - I am in favor of gov't being always as local as possible - but any large organization can be dangerous, not just government. Make government weaker than the corporations, and the corporations will effectively become the government. My problem with the modern libertarian movement is that they seem willfully naive to the dangers of anything but government, as if gov't created all problems, rather than having been invented to address many of them.

Re:DRM. (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#41186261)

Make government weaker than the corporations, and the corporations will effectively become the government.

Government is *always* stronger than private corporations, unless corporations somehow surprise the world like in a Bond movie and have a "secret army" or some nonsense.

Government controls the courts and the police/FBI. The DoJ/justice system. They pass the laws. They have the US military, all branches. The TLAs. Prisons.

Drones.

Cruise missiles.

The bomb.

They have the monopoly on the use of force.

Now, please tell me how the corporations are going to "force" the government to do ANYthing!?

It's precisely the government that the corporations use to exercise their power over you, your life, and our society, and so it is government whose scope and power needs to be reduced.

That doesn't mean gut the ability to prosecute corporate lawbreakers.

It's just less ability for those lawbreakers to control you through the government and it's endless laws, regulations, etc and expand their control over more and more aspects of your life.

They can't buy influence over the use of a government power over your life that doesn't exist.

Strat

Re:DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186569)

1. Government is not the only source of corporate power. Any large organization that allocates resources has the potential to use it for power.

2. Modern *multinational* corporations are not dependent on any one government. By the way, they generally wield their power much more in the countries with weak governments than the ones with strong ones. They are also the source of most of the tools of coercion you mentioned. They do many of the functions you mentioned as well, including the use of force, through contracting. Finally, they have what appears to be an utter death grip on US policy.

3. I agree we should limit the power of the government carefully, and watch it closely. I think we've gone too far already in the direction of a surveillance state, that there is entirely too much effort across the spectrum to make other people "act like me", and that it still does not have the level of transparency and accountability that any self-respecting free people would demand. But it is not the only threat to our freedom; and it is what we use to defend against the other threats to our freedom. It's a shame that the libertarians were hijacked by corporatists, because the nation would benefit tremendously during this time of technological and cultural change from clear, coherent, plausible libertarian voices, which won't happen while they're trying to pretend corporations don't have power, and giving anarchist - not libertarian - arguments to support them.

Re:DRM. (1)

cplusplus (782679) | about 2 years ago | (#41175059)

The full implications are worse than that. We are headed towards technological singularity. While I would like to believe this will usher in a new era of prosperity and achievement, consider the kind of sociopathic fevered egos who always wind up running things. Now imagine them even more "effective" (at doing what they have always done) than ever.

Open source it or pirate it. You're probably right... in all likelihood, corporations will tie this tech down and bleed the masses for every last cent for access. Pirates and hackers will be the saviors of humanity after the singularity, and they're always one step ahead.

Re:DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179389)

That's exactly the kind of bullshit that would make any advanced alien species decide that we're not worth contacting.

Humans pre-equipped with the stuff the aliens need to enslave us should be a reason for the aliens to not contact us?

However it would be a reason to not openly contact us, at least until they managed to steal the secret codes.

Re:DRM. (4, Interesting)

arthurh3535 (447288) | about 2 years ago | (#41174221)

Your heart possibly being owned by a corporation. Or your willy wang and the police busting down your door for unauthorised jerking methods.

You mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repo!_The_Genetic_Opera [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:DRM. (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | about 2 years ago | (#41180101)

I would like to note that it is available on Netflix!

-l

Re:DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41175575)

Great idea! They could patent a boner and provide the feature on a one time or yearly license!

imagine pirated good then ROFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41176649)

i would go for the non paying pirated penis....

Re:imagine pirated good then ROFL (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#41179609)

the DOJ will seize it and ask you to forfeit it to them... repeatedly

Re:DRM. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41176337)

Or your willy wang and the police busting down your door for unauthorised jerking methods.

I think I would take the risk if my down-under-thunder could honestly be used to bust down doors...

Re:DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41176971)

Your Erection Trial Period Has Expired. Should you wish to subscribe to the full version please enter your billing details below.

Re:DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41177359)

Your heart possibly being owned by a corporation. Or your willy wang and the police busting down your door for unauthorised jerking methods.

While this is scary enough, how about "bio-hackers" jacking up their body's performance during sporting events, or "bio-scumbags" hacking into your body and holding your heart for ransom.

Obligatory... (0, Redundant)

dark_requiem (806308) | about 2 years ago | (#41174015)

I for one welcome our new Cyborg Overlords!

Re:Obligatory... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41179337)

I for one welcome our new Cyborg Overlords!

How can you welcome me when I was here first? Yes, I am a cybog. For real; I'm not entirely human -- part of my left eye is a human-made mechanical device.

You will be assimilated.

Oh Noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174025)

I are hacked!

oblig xkcd: http://xkcd.com/644/ (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174043)

Grown. (4, Interesting)

MnemonicMan (2596371) | about 2 years ago | (#41174045)

The issue for all of us who already exist today is that the tissue grows around the mesh. Certainly in the future new organisms can be grown and integrated at the same time to become cybernetic life forms. However, for all of us who are already grown getting a mesh inside of our tissues presents a whole other engineering problem.

Re:Grown. (4, Insightful)

dark_requiem (806308) | about 2 years ago | (#41174067)

Not really, use your own stem cells to grow the tissue, grow a new heart/arm/etc., and transplant it. Transplant tech has advanced enormously in recent years.

Re:Grown. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41174749)

Not really, use your own stem cells to grow the tissue, grow a new heart/arm/etc., and transplant it. Transplant tech has advanced enormously in recent years.

I think simply growing a full heart/arm out of your own stem cells would be the more impressive accomplishment there, actually. It'd almost certainly have a greater impact. Making it a cyborg part and transplanting it are pretty easy by comparison.

Re:Grown. (1)

MnemonicMan (2596371) | about 2 years ago | (#41174909)

Not really, use your own stem cells to grow the tissue, grow a new heart/arm/etc., and transplant it. Transplant tech has advanced enormously in recent years.

Which is the "other engineering problem." ;)

Re:Grown. (1)

Kyont (145761) | about 2 years ago | (#41179405)

Aha, this finally puts to rest that nagging question "Why can't God heal amputees?" The answer, of course, is that she couldn't get into Harvard.

On the one hand, I am excited... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174073)

On the other, I'm thinking "kill switch"

So.. would you say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174601)

Would you say.. resistance is futile?

Re:On the one hand, I am excited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174859)

The good thing about this tech is now you can have a third hand.

Aww, they're so adorable... (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#41174075)

...they're trying to take over that iPod!

DNA wants to be free. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | about 2 years ago | (#41174107)

Suffice it to say, if you can use a digital computer to read and write data to your body's cells, there are some awesome applications.

Turn the human body into a biological Pirate Bay.

Re:DNA wants to be free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174593)

Of course, then the content industry will have to 'shut you down'.

Re:DNA wants to be free. (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41174741)

Yeah, a good old fashioned denial of service would be a bitch!

Re:DNA wants to be free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174875)

Yeah, a good old fashioned denial of service would be a bitch!

It usually is.

Not the use you expected... (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41174111)

Suffice it to say, if you can use a digital computer to read and write data to your body's cells, there are some awesome applications."

Yes. The RIAA can now ask for someone to be disassembled to search for pirated software, and the government in order to check for terrorist cellular data. Reassembly of course, will be your problem, not theirs.

Does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174693)

Perhaps Jon Daly was correct, someday there might be a vagina that doubles as a Wifi hotspot.

Re:Does this mean... (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41174901)

Perhaps Jon Daly was correct, someday there might be a vagina that doubles as a Wifi hotspot.

The only thing going in my vajayjay that runs on batteries comes with a happy at the end. I'm sure most women feel similar. Second, do you really want your dick in a microwave? What do you think rubbing your man-sausage on a transmitter pumping out several watts is going to your little swimmers?

Beowulf Clusterfsck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174991)

I would never have considered it, but since you've proposed the possibility, I can only speculate a possible likeness to overly close encounters with certain Secretaries of certain Provinces. However, please do not think I'd ever more than consider it beyond the most purely hypothetical. The story of Beowulf and specific attention to Grendel's younger brother is enough to thoroughly discourage me.

Re:Does this mean... (1)

Dekar (754945) | about 2 years ago | (#41176139)

I think you've just discovered a new method of contraception. Well done!
Now, to the patent office, and I doubt there will be any prior art in this case.

Re:Does this mean... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41176797)

I don't know but I think you should do some pumping on my man-sausage.

Does this mean...Over voltage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178503)

The only thing going in my vajayjay that runs on batteries comes with a happy at the end.

Double AA or car battery? :)

Re:Does this mean... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41182423)

What do you think rubbing your man-sausage on a transmitter pumping out several watts is going to your little swimmers?

Doesn't matter, had sex :D

Re:Not the use you expected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41175749)

Haha.. Terrorist Cells

The Daleks are coming (0)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 2 years ago | (#41174185)

Aren't Dr. Who's nemeses the Daleks? They're allegedly a construction of living tissue and mechanical parts.

When asked why Bob wet himself he said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174195)

I was just hacked...dammit!

Cyborg Jones for President! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174229)

So, if a cyborg is built entirely in the US and is activated here, does that mean they can run for President after they have been on 40 years? And since computer/cyborg time is so much faster than human, if it is in their "years", what would that mean? That they can run for office in 3 weeks? :-)

Re:Cyborg Jones for President! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174525)

It took us almost 200 years just to let all humans vote, and we're still debating civil rights for all of them. How much worse will we be to those who are demonstrably not entirely human? Run for President? First they'll need the right to drive.

Re:Cyborg Jones for President! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41176983)

Shit the demographics are swinging, we need to build more voters!

Re:Cyborg Jones for President! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41182257)

It took us almost 200 years just to let all humans vote, and we're still debating civil rights for all of them. How much worse will we be to those who are demonstrably not entirely human?

I'm not entirely human, I'm a cyborg, and a lot of people I know are even less human. Me, it's just a device implanted in my left eye that gives me "super" sight. Others I know have artificial joints. Our previous Vice President was a cyborg. We cyborgs can not only vote and drive, if Bush had died the President would have been a cyborg.

Check your constitution, it lays out what you need to be congressman, Senator, and President, and none of the qualifications include "100% human."

You will not only be assimilated, but when your time comes you will pay good money to be assimilated.

Required... (1)

rock56501 (1301287) | about 2 years ago | (#41174255)

You will be assimilated, resistance is futile!

Re:Required... (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#41177969)

Assimilation is irrelevant. Futility is irrelevant. We are the protagonists. We always prevail.

Re:Required... (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41181727)

I've already been assimilated, you insensitive clod!

Bacteria will kick your arse (4, Interesting)

harlequinn (909271) | about 2 years ago | (#41174305)

Cool.

I wonder what the infection rate along the interfaces is?

Cu, Copper (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41175031)

It has antimicrobial properties. In essence this could help fend off disease just by being there.

It is rather interesting and is worth the time to check it out. [wikipedia.org]

I'll be back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174307)

I'll be back.

Fiction To Reality Issue (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 2 years ago | (#41174309)

Is it too much to ask to at least let me finish my new video game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution before you start making the real crap in a lab? geesh.

Mmmm, Transglutaminase (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41174367)

With a little Transglutaminase [youtube.com] and MSG added to the recipe, there could be a lucrative market for obsolete or misbehaving cyborgs, perhaps in places like Papua New Guinea [wikipedia.org] , or certainly in Washington, D.C.

Give me $10 on pump 3 and a $30 Harvard PIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174395)

Text msg: "This is your heart. Less than 5000 beats remaining. Please add lifetime now".

Combine with the Patch Clamp? (2)

bughunter (10093) | about 2 years ago | (#41174419)

the next step is to find a way of talking to the individual cells, to 'wire up tissue and communicate with it in the same way a biological system does.'

I wonder if these nanowires can be combined the patch clamp [slashdot.org] to solve this problem?

Re:Combine with the Patch Clamp? (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#41175159)

They are probably already doing this. Kit Parker (Harvard rat heart muscle jellyfish) just gave a talk at my work today and showed his badass dual-patch clamp data among other glorious feats in bioengineering.

These are the necessary steps. To build a house, you need a hammer. To build a hammer, you need ore, wood, sharp stones, and a powerful mind.

You will be assimilated (0)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about 2 years ago | (#41174441)

Resistance is futile

reading Dune (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174473)

I am just finishing Dune - The Machine Crusade. What great timing!

Awesome! (4, Interesting)

Lotana (842533) | about 2 years ago | (#41174565)

Ignoring all the ./'s typical cynicism: This is quite an exciting development.

If the artificial components can be kept functioning without affecting the living tissue, we will be able to help people with virtually any physical disability! A few weeks ago there was a stoly how brain signals were decoded when it came to sight, so combine that with this breakthrough we can even have people controlling the devices with their mind!

Biotech is making great strides in progress. This is a very exciting time to be alive.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174771)

I agree wholeheartedly and would like to welcome our new cyborg overlords.

Re:Awesome! (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#41175207)

Biotech is, in my opinion, at the 8086 level of computing tech. Once the bigger kinks start to get worked out, development will show its exponential growth. $1000 genome in a day is 2012/2013 technology. The steps are compounding.... invest now! Or maybe wait a little longer...

If I were a betting man, ViaCyte is the invesment for today. They are leading the way and will be saving Americans from poor diets/lifestyles in under a decade.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41175231)

Controlling external devices, including prosthetics, with one's mind is already done and past. Monkeys have even done it. Newer frontiers that this particular study points towards is making the meat-to-digital connections better all around.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41176251)

Ignoring all the /.'s typical cynicism

Here, FTFY

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41181335)

Fuck I wish there were a way to filter out all posts containing "FTFY"

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41176541)

They knew back in the 1960's, what type of the signals visual neurons in the retina sent. Top most layers are the rods and cones for detecting white and three wavelengths. The lower layers combine these into contrast values (red vs. green, blue vs. yellow). Other neurons would fire when edges, dots and ring patterns as well as motion were detected. That's the only way the signals from 100 million receptors could be compressed down the 10 million nerve paths in each optic nerve. Inside your brain, the visual processing system does a "closest match" in order to reconstruct a scene from that information. So you would have a list of objects and their orientations combined with shading.

People with brain damage, sometimes can tell that their is an object there, but it is just a shimmering cloud of colored dots, or it just continuously spins.

Re:Awesome! (1)

sabbede (2678435) | about 2 years ago | (#41176625)

Combine this with the robot doing neural patch clamping and maybe I can finally get past being forced to waste time composing comments via my fingers like a damn hobo.

In other news, China steals Harvard research, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174581)

sends cyborg girl to swim in the Olympics . . .

Government & Stealth Malware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174637)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

##

Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

* Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
* Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
* Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
* Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
* Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
* Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
* Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
* Search out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
* Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

#

I'm more concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

#

"Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible"

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

Google:

subversion hack:
tagmeme(dot)com/subhack/

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit "fm fingerprinting" software
"specific emitter identification"
forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

#
eof

Planned Obsolescence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174703)

"This human has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down."

Hmm... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41174811)

Childhood memories or another 12 petabytes of live goat porn? Oh, like I even have to ask!

Re:Hmm... (1)

hajus (990255) | about 2 years ago | (#41175423)

Wasn't that a side plot from Johnny Mnemonic?

Re:Hmm... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41176353)

There was a plot in Johnny Mnemonic?!

Re:Hmm... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41182485)

I think it had something to do with laser whips

mit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41174835)

MIT produces far more amazing things with incredibly less money then the DOD, let's give them a trillion dollars and I'm sure they will be able to cure all diseases in less then 6 years.

Re:mit (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#41174871)

You think their researchers don't get government grants?

Re:mit (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41175233)

Lets get 9 women together and they can make a baby in 1 month!

Sure its good in the lab (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41175223)

But in real people, cells can repair themselves or be replaced. Wires and transistors, not so much.

reboot ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41175547)

And what do you do when then software that is at the end of the wires , is so badly written that your heart and tissues are completely bugged ? Reboot ?

youtube series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41176127)

And there is already a commercial youtube sci-fi series [youtube.com] about the next step.

Applications (1)

theurge14 (820596) | about 2 years ago | (#41178351)

Well, there are virus scanners and then there are VIRUS scanners.

Can't wait to see the first Zero Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179647)

That would be ... interesting.

I can imagine that malware in this industry will have a whole new meaning.

In the future (1)

iplayfast (166447) | about 2 years ago | (#41179677)

This tech is worrisome, and awesome.
It's awesome because it will help with all sorts of diseases, It's worrisome because it can be hacked.

In the future viruses will be more serious.
Imagine getting an email stating that your heart now has a new virus, please send $1000 to a numbered account or you will have a heart attack. And of course when you open the email, your heart starts pumping faster.... was it because of the virus or the possible virus.

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