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Testing The First Cyborgs

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the now-we're-getting-somewhere dept.

Technology 155

D3 writes: "The Washington Post has an article on what may be the first cyborg. The article also lists some other pretty cool stuff going on. Soon we'll also be able to relieve ourselves on a microchip to test for cancer as well." I'm still waiting for the spring leg implants that let me leap buildings, but this is a good first step. The eel-robot has been on before, not so some of the other things.

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Does Anybody See This as Plain Wrong?!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#285150)

I'm not joking, but this is just sick. Not even in the name of technology do we have a right to be doing this. It simply disgusts me. If we want to try stuff like this, experiment with it on humans. Eel today, monkey tomorrow. We don't have a right to be doing this.

This is disgusting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#285151)

I have a degree in biology, and I think this
is sick... It shows an absolute disrespect
for living things.

You think animals exist for the purpose of being
disected and mutalated for fun?

I don't have a problem with experimenting on
animals if it will yield benefits for humans
- I consider it a necessary evil, but I don't
see how this has anything to do with
benefiting humans. There is nothing that they
discrible in that article that could not be
done by a computer/robot combination alone if
enough AI research is done. This is just
an attempt to cheapin' the process and short
cut it.

Hands up for those of you (especially
the ones making all the borg jokes) think
that having your brain controling a hockey puck
with christmas lights, instead of your body, would
be a great way to live.

Fuckin' eh. That's what I thought.

-Ironstorm

Re:Resistance is futile... (2)

abischof (255) | more than 13 years ago | (#285152)

> Gort! Klatu Barata Nikto!

Is that an allusion to Army of Darkness [imdb.com] or The Day the Earth Stood Still [imdb.com] ? (It could be either, but I'm just curious about how you intended it)

Alex Bischoff
---

Re:Man ... (2)

abischof (255) | more than 13 years ago | (#285153)

Strange as it may seem, peta.org used to resolve [washtech.com] to the "People Eating Tasty Animals" website.

Alex Bischoff
---

Great... (3)

Byteme (6617) | more than 13 years ago | (#285156)

...add some wasabi and it is a Hot Wheels.

First Cyborg? (4)

GypC (7592) | more than 13 years ago | (#285157)

This depends on how you define cyborg. Is the definition "A living brain with a robot body," or is it, "A mixture of living and technological parts that make a functioning whole?"

If you ask me, the latter definition makes more sense, and therefore I submit that cyborgs have been around for a long time, at least since the first feasible artificial hearts were successfully implanted; and I'm sure someone could come up with examples that predate that.

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#285158)

Shit man, take a pill. And please stay away from a computer. I don't want any "right wing code" to accidentally find it's way into the Linux kernel.

Re:Man ... (2)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#285159)

They could just change their name to PETCA (people for the enthical treatment of cuddly animals) and that would leave the scientists free to experiment on leeches, wasps, eels, spiders, scorpions, and other animals that don't appreciate all that we have done for them.

Re:What will this lead to? (2)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#285160)

Keep the bio out of mechanical? OK, since you're not using your arms and legs. Of course, many people would be reluctant to give up their big mouths.

Re:First cyborg? Not hardly.... (2)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 13 years ago | (#285161)

Very sorry to hear about your accident. I'm hoping everything turned out within episilon of OK in the aftermath.

I think there is a general assumption that by "cybernetic (body part)," we mean a body part that is (1) artificial and (2) computer assisted. For example, unless your shoulder had an embedded processor to handle certain functions, it wouldn't qualify in many people's books as cybernetic. Not that it's not cool. :)

I think computer assistance could do wonders for artificial limbs...they wouldn't even necessarily have to *control* the limb, they'd just have to *adjust* the limb for different circumstances (e.g., rock climbing, bicycling, using an automobile). This could open up a whole new world of accessibility for those with certain disabilities.

Another idea, relatively simpler: computer assisted glasses and hearing aids.

ObJectBridge [sourceforge.net] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

Re:Man ... (4)

Phexro (9814) | more than 13 years ago | (#285162)

well, i don't think they'll care. after all, they're for the ethical treatment of animals.

now, if the People for the Ethical Treatment of Disembodied Eel Brains (PETDEB) hears about it, that's a different story.
---

Re:Resistance is futile... (1)

mtm (10808) | more than 13 years ago | (#285163)

Given that he said "Gort!" I'd have to say
"The Day the Earth Stood Still"

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

wolfen (12255) | more than 13 years ago | (#285164)

Of course... so you're saying that the "left" has
discovered that the human soul is located in the... spleen?

Re:Hmmm.... Odor seeking bees? (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 13 years ago | (#285165)

By the way, anyone have any thing of Bill Gates?

Huh? What good would that do? I mean, bugs obviously don't bother Bill Gates.

Re:Hmmm.... Odor seeking bees? (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#285167)

At last we'll soon know whether cyborg ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in space.

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#285168)

Lower, Beavis.

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (2)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#285169)

Why waste the money on the robot parts? We've been breeding fully human sociopaths for centuries. How would not having a soul really have made your average Hannibal Lecter any worse?

On the contrary side, if the soul isn't colocated with your center of self-awareness, then is it possible to take out the soul and transplant it into someone else? Could I get two souls that way? This quickly becomes an absurd discussion...

Bill Cosby (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#285171)

"lamprey eel brain that was removed, kept alive in a special solution"

"The chicken heart was kept alive in a lab, in a vat filled with a special solution.
lub-dub
One night a careless janitor knocked the vat over.
lub-dub
He went to get a rag to clean it up.
lub-dub
The chicken heart grew.
lub-dub
The janitor returned with a rag.
lub-dub
The heart ate him.
.......

I got MY Jello ready in case that brain comes after me.

--

What option would you like? (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 13 years ago | (#285173)

As long as we are grafting cybernetics onto biologics what new options would you like?

I'd have to go for the vision enhancements. I'm a very visual person, I learn best by seeing.

I'd like spectral enhancements, nothing too crazy, just low infrared, and upper ultraviolet, but I want filtering so I can select on a small range of the avalible spectrum. Zoom would also be nice, again not crazy 48x would be good. But most important the ability to record what I see. A low power transmitter so I could save the images/video to a near by device.

This is all I ask (probally wouldn't hurt to get the hearing done at the same time).

Re:First cyborg? Not hardly.... (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 13 years ago | (#285174)

He probally says, "I have a gun, nobody move, and nobody gets hurt!"

Re:You raise valid concerns. (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 13 years ago | (#285175)

The reason science (and no one else) has found out what "intelligence" or "consiousness" is, is much because they are inherintly ambigious. If you can't get people to agree what is "intelligent" or "coincious" then you will have a pretty hard time explaining it.

My favourite (scientific none the less) theory is that consiousness is dependent on self referation. If something is capable of knowing what the self is in an abstract way, then it is consious.

Naturally not many animals (besides man) gives a very satisfactory answer if you ask them. ;-)

The problem with many "thinkers" as you call them (assuming you mean philospohers) is that they generally think and then come up with something unproveable and useless and designate it "truth". Science at least attempts to get rid of such nonsense. (It may be an /interesting/ thing to think about, but that doesn't make it true or even sane.)

For interesting ideas as to what /isn't/ intelligence check out some AI books. It is generally considered there that what you can make a computer do is NOT intelligence. So little by little we get to the point. (You know, what ever is left when the other stuff has been removed.)

RevEng is Futile. You will be assimilated. (2)

powerlord (28156) | more than 13 years ago | (#285176)

This is great! Reverse engineered Borg built with animal brains! hehe.

We are the Borg.

It has recently be brought to our attention that you are attempting to reverse engineer proprietary Borg Technology. This will cease immediately. Failure to do so will result in nasty letters being sent by Legal Unit iii of paragraph 6 subsection MMCMXVII, calling for a cease-and-decist of this function.

Failure to comply with Legal Unit iii of paragraph 6 subsection MMCMXVII's request will result in immediate assimilation and subsequent assignment to the Legal Unit pool of Drones.

Further. We request that you immediately destroy all sites containing Electrospace Conduits to your site. Failure to do so will reault in immediate assimilation and subsequent assignment to the Legal Unit pool of Drones.

We additionally require that you direct us to any associates that are similarly engaging in the illegal reverse engineering of Borg Technology. Failure to do so will result in immediate assimilation and subsequent assignment to the Legal Unit pool of Drones.

Thank you for your co-operation and we look forward to working with you in the future.
Please prepare for assimilation,

ii of III of the party of the first part
Legal Contact Unit
Unimatrix 0
Borg Space

Death is as natural as life. (1)

ArchMagus (32772) | more than 13 years ago | (#285177)

Why can people not accept that?

Doesn't anyone else find this a bit abominable? (3)

ArchMagus (32772) | more than 13 years ago | (#285178)

It's just a bit torturous to transplant the brain of a creature and start giving it inputs that don't really resemble how it's supposed to work. What do you think the chances are that the impulses that are being sent to the brain are causing it pain, and it's reacting to that. I don't think I like the prospect of my sight and smell being replaced with raw electrical inputs...sounds like we'd be immersing these little creatures in one unending acid trip.

Not the first cyborg (3)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#285179)

How, I have to wonder, do we define cyborg. The traditional SF term, which means a melding of man (woman?) and machine is satisfied in the abstract by people who walk down the street yammering at the air because they have a hands-free cell phone.

In the more concrete, Christopher Reeves is clearly part machine (without artificial respiration, he would die, though he's gotten better at breathing on his own for short periods). So, we have to ask ourselves, at what point does medical assistance create a cyborg? Is it only when the result is, in some way, fast, stronger or "better" than an average human, or is it when the human and the machine rely on eachother to exist?

Re:Robots are my frieeeeend... (1)

Steve B (42864) | more than 13 years ago | (#285182)

Although I hear the nagging module will be hard-wired

HAR-COURT! Harcourt Fenton Mudd, you've been over eating again and drinking....
/.

why this is being done (1)

drfalken (43743) | more than 13 years ago | (#285184)

I suspect this is being done for the sake of time travel. It is well known that if machines want to travel back in time they need to be hidden inside a biological organism like a human body. These machines are working on cyborg research so that someday they will be able to travel through time to steal motor cycles, wear black leather jackets and kill their enemies.

You will be able to tell who they are by their thick Austrian accents and their slow monosylabic speech patterns.
----------------------------

Re:First cyborg? Not hardly.... (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#285185)

How do you explain to them why you set it off?

Have you ever been to any thirdworld-like countries where they are skeptical?

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 13 years ago | (#285186)

A half-human creature with the body of a machine...
...would be the perfect /. troll?

Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

Re:Does Anybody See This as Plain Wrong?!? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 13 years ago | (#285187)

It is unfortunate that while our scientific researches hae done much to disprove our anthrocentric view of the universe, anthrocentrism prevails in every discussion of ethics, including the ethics of science. Members of other species are given near zero ethical consideration, no matter how much like us we learn they are.

Our studies of nature are giving us great knowledge and power; but little wisdom or compassion.

Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

Childhood dreams are alive an well... (2)

iceT (68610) | more than 13 years ago | (#285190)

I may still get to acutally become the 6-million dollar man.....

Re:What option would you like? (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#285193)

A more robust, efficient respiratory system?

A pain switch? Might be useful for when you know you have to undergo something REALLY painful...

Toxin detection/filtering for the digestive and circulatory systems? Or maybe simply quicker breakdown of byproducts like lactic acid?

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#285194)

Maybe he's a fan of Descartes whom, if memory serves, suggested that the pineal gland served as the bridge between mind and body.

Re:You raise valid concerns. (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#285195)

And any religion provides an answer besides "Because"?

"God" is not an answer; the term is merely a label applied in lieu of a proper explanation, and usually signifying lack of further intent to search for an explanation. Hence, phrases like "Act of God" and "God moves in mysterious ways" get applied instead of answering possibly unanswerable questions. It's the ultimate excuse.

What will this lead to? (2)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 13 years ago | (#285198)

Will I have to feed my calculator? Tell my receiver it's been good and give it a pat? Give my computer a haircut every other month?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I want to keep the bio out of mechanical.

-----

Re:Robots are my frieeeeend... (1)

Jafa (75430) | more than 13 years ago | (#285199)

Just wire some logic into one of those realdolls (realdolls.com? or something. i'm at work and afraid to pull it up...).
Then you could have the ultimate sex machine.. or something closer to Woody Allen's Sleeper.

Jason

Re:First cyborg? Not hardly.... Dang typos! (1)

drin (83479) | more than 13 years ago | (#285200)

Of course, I meant you can't tell to look at it... (sigh) And in answer to the question I saw in replies:

Yes, I've been to a thirdworld-like country and set off the alarms. They generally search that part of my body, see the scar, and decide it's ok.

It came out fine, thanks. Took a year to heal fully, and it'll always be a little weaker than the other one, but it works, which is one HELL of a lot better than the state it was in after the accident.

-drin

First cyborg? Not hardly.... (4)

drin (83479) | more than 13 years ago | (#285201)

Of course, it depends on whose definition you use. By many technical standards cyborgs are already here:

A cyborg is a cybernetic mechanism, a hybrid of machine and organism [brown.edu]

Or this one...

(1) an organism with a machine built into it with consequent modification of function; (2) an organism which is part animal and part machine. [vub.ac.be]

By this definition, approximately 10% of the U.S. population (I don't have figures for other countries, sorry...) are already cybernetic. Take my own situation, for example. A motorcycle accident two years ago left me with a right proximal humerus made of chromium steel and titanium. In other words, I have a cybernetic shoulder [bhj.org] . You can tell to look at it, and it functions completely normally, but it's there.

And yes, I set off the metal detectors in airports... :)

-drin

How long before theres an Aibo... (1)

fishlet (93611) | more than 13 years ago | (#285207)

with a live dog's brain?

Well you know what they will say (1)

vultureman (98555) | more than 13 years ago | (#285209)

I am Eel of Borg, resistance is futile!
You and your machines will be lampreyed.

BTW
AYBABTU

Man ... (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 13 years ago | (#285214)

... of course I'm sure PETA will catch wind of this sooner or later.

Re:Man ... (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 13 years ago | (#285215)

Ummm eel... animal...eel...animal. At which point is your ability to make connections breaking down?

Seriously, the brain had to come from somewhere, unless we are now growing eel brains in a test tube. In which case PETA would still get involved.

The Revenge of God (1)

bushboy (112290) | more than 13 years ago | (#285216)

God 1, Cyborg 1

Re:Eel Cyborg (1)

perp (114928) | more than 13 years ago | (#285218)

> Wait until the wheeled light-seeking eels rule the planet with cruel inhuman efficiency.

Oh man, can I use that as a sig? That is the weirdest statement I have seen in a long time.

Perp

Re:Man ... (1)

blazin (119416) | more than 13 years ago | (#285222)

PETA... People Eating Tasty Animals?

Re:We are already cyborgs. (1)

madGenius (124267) | more than 13 years ago | (#285224)

I think I would define a cyborg as more having the electromechanical parts attached in a non (easily) removable way.

Digital watches would not make a person a cyborg - though a pacemaker would.

The question is wether a prosthetic limb would, as such a device is removeable. Comments?

household cyborgs (2)

ostawookiee (134245) | more than 13 years ago | (#285226)

Well, none of these new cyborg technologies would be of any use for me; if I had a rat-brain-powered vacuum, my dog or cat would eat it immediately.

Re:Animal Borgism! (1)

Shocker69 (141391) | more than 13 years ago | (#285227)

Does PETA do anything, but be annoying on these issues?

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

ganjuror (150727) | more than 13 years ago | (#285229)

As frightening as this prospect is, it may allow us some glimpse of what it really DOES take to give an organism true sentience, and weather or not a 'soul' is inherint in that. It is entirely possible that the brainstem is all it takes, since the organism was actually born at least somewhat naturally. Will this change when we begin to synthesize brain tissue? There is indeed SOMETHING to consciousness, which we have yet to put a finger on, and it would be fascinating to find out where the line is drawn. Of course personally I'd rather wonder than face the prospect of the 'perfect police force'... *shudder*

Re:What will this lead to? (2)

seanmeister (156224) | more than 13 years ago | (#285231)

Cool - like a tamagotchi thing, only it can really die!!

--

No thanks, doc.. (2)

seanmeister (156224) | more than 13 years ago | (#285232)

In Georgia, Lewis has patented a hand-held "biosensor," and puts his wasps -- much smaller than the bees -- inside. When the insects smell an odor, they duck their heads to receive the reward, tripping an electric eye. Lewis said such a device could work well searching for explosives at airports, cocaine at the border, or even traces of disease in odors from the human body.

Doctor: "Please drop your trousers and bend over, Mr. Johnson - this won't hurt a bit..."
Patient: "Um, doctor, what are you doing with that wasp? HEY!!!!!!!"

--

The Human Resource Solution (1)

ColdTap (164181) | more than 13 years ago | (#285235)

In the future they'll just fire your body.

Re:First Cyborg? (1)

Marty200 (170963) | more than 13 years ago | (#285237)

I think the key to a cyborg is that is concious interaction with technology. Something like an arm that you can move because you want too. Not like a heart that just beats because it's got battery life.

MG

Eel Cyborg (5)

L Fitzgerald Sjoberg (171091) | more than 13 years ago | (#285238)

Oh, sure, you think it's interesting now. Wait until the wheeled light-seeking eels rule the planet with cruel inhuman efficiency.

Re:What will this lead to? (1)

jugglingfencer (179133) | more than 13 years ago | (#285240)

What'll it be sir/madam/it? The batteries or the pizza and Dew? :)

Go Go... (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 13 years ago | (#285241)

Go go Gadget Legs!! E.

Re:Not the first cyborg (3)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 13 years ago | (#285242)

So, we have to ask ourselves, at what point does medical assistance create a cyborg?

I think like many other concepts in sci-fi that're slowly being implemented in the real world ('artificial intelligence' and 'virtual reality' spring to mind), we should let the parent term remain slightly vague and only worry about defining subterms for each piece of technology.

For example, MegaHAL [sourceforge.net] is a decent enough conversation simulator but lacks no understanding of the words that it produces. Does such a program fulfill some of the "mimics human conversation" criteria of AI? Yes. But on a self-awareness scale, it's more or less tied with my toaster.

So in the realm of cybornetics, I think we should define a category (or rather, I'm sure someone else has already defined such a category) for cybornetic devices that're controlled by direct thought or conscious muscle-controlling nerve impulses. That, to me, is where the really nifty stuff is going to soon pop up. And it creates a subtype that excludes something like a pacemaker -- which is certainly a useful form of cybornetic technology, but is also at least an order of magnitude simpler than what your typical Slashdot geek thinks of as "cyborg".

Re:Does Anybody See This as Plain Wrong?!? (1)

artificeren (189424) | more than 13 years ago | (#285243)

man kind would certainly not have gotten this far without enslaving animals for our uses. go ahead and try to farm an acre of land without machinery or a horse. go ahead. we'll see how long you last. I'll give animals "rights" as soon as they start observing the responsibilities that those right entail.
what? they can't understand you say? well tough. let's have a burger.

That warm, tingling feeling (3)

mickwd (196449) | more than 13 years ago | (#285244)

"Soon we'll also be able to relieve ourselves on a microchip to test for cancer as well".

Oh please, let me be the first to p*ss on a circuitboard wired up to the mains.

Under anesthetic? (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 13 years ago | (#285245)

Using a microscope, Mussa-Ivaldi or his colleagues extract brain stems from the squiggly, pencil-thin, 6-inch-long lamprey larvae under anesthetic.

So... are we worried about pain relief for a lamprey larvae that's to die? They can't be that squiggly that you can't pin them down to keep them from moving.

That's about as dumb as using an alcohol prep pad on the arm of someone who is to die by lethal injection.

Re:Hmmm.... Odor seeking bees? (1)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 13 years ago | (#285246)

This was the plot of a movie that got MST3K'd a couple years back. I think it was called "The Deadly Bees". Any way that's not really a cybernetic organism if all you're doing is training an animal to do something it normally wouldn't. However Dr. Evil's LASER equipped sea bass would count as a cyborg but the fembots being completely robotic wouldn't.

Re:EelCop! (1)

humpmonkey (202226) | more than 13 years ago | (#285247)

Thank god for these cybernetic monkeys. But wait, who will save us when these monkies go ape ?!?

They'll just freeze when winter comes.
with humpy love,

Resistance is futile... (2)

Tyrannosaurus (203173) | more than 13 years ago | (#285248)

Perhaps this is how the Borg started out?

---

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#285250)

I welcome them...killing these cops wouldn't be murder in the normal sense....

Jaysyn

EelCop! (1)

NeoCode (207863) | more than 13 years ago | (#285252)

NYTimes, Jan 25, 2043
This is a dark day for the NYPD. As argued by the purists all along, the EelCops have gone loco and have started rampage random shootings. The elderly were shocked when they found these manical cyborg cops were not helping them cross the streets.
The Monkey Swat Team had to be called in to prevent furthur damage. These eel cops could only be subdued by the superior gymnastics of the swat team.

Thank god for these cybernetic monkeys. But wait, who will save us when these monkies go ape ?!?
A concerned journalist.

Re:That eel-brain stuff is kinda creepy... (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#285255)

Some day, in the no-so-distant future, all posts on slashdot will look like this:

MGR-0018: 4b6e6f636b2c206b6e6f636b21
LJW-7790: 57686f2069732074686572653f
MGR-0018: 48756d616e
LJW-7790: 48756d616e2c2077686f3f
MGR-0018: 48756d616e206e6f7420616e796d6f72652120486120486120 486121

and will be better off for it.

Although I will cringe at the thought of slashdot being a chat room, as you have indicated.

Re:Cyborgs don't need toilets? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#285257)

able to relieve ourselves on a microchip

It's probably a movement (ha!) to save trees.

Still, this may be a way of cooling CPU's!

--

Re:That eel-brain stuff is kinda creepy... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#285259)

"How is your project going, unit LJW-7790?"

"I have delegated it to a pod of Humans, unit MGR-0018"

Some day, in the no-so-distant future, all posts on slashdot will look like this:

MGR-0018: 4b6e6f636b2c206b6e6f636b21
LJW-7790: 57686f2069732074686572653f
MGR-0018: 48756d616e
LJW-7790: 48756d616e2c2077686f3f
MGR-0018: 48756d616e206e6f7420616e796d6f72652120486120486120 486121

--

Anyone who knows anything about cyborgs... (1)

FastT (229526) | more than 13 years ago | (#285261)

...knows that Thad Starner [google.com] of MIT was the first.

Re:An attempt to create the "perfect" police force (1)

bmongar (230600) | more than 13 years ago | (#285262)

A half-human creature with the body of a machine is a sort of "unholy Grail" for the left, because such a creature would have the intellect of a human being without the soul. It would be a "born" sociopath, lacking the inborn moral sense that sets humanity apart from the animals.

So which body part that is bing replaced by the machines contains the soul or the inbourn since of morality?

Re:Under anesthetic? (1)

bmongar (230600) | more than 13 years ago | (#285263)

So... are we worried about pain relief for a lamprey larvae that's to die? They can't be that squiggly that you can't pin them down to keep them from moving.

Unless we are worried that they may actually die from that much pain, thus ruining the experement. Or maybe their systems would be so shocked from that much pain that they would noe work as predicted. Or maybe the scientists are nice guys who hate to see any more suffering than needed for a bit of a morbid but productive experement

If this keeps up (1)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 13 years ago | (#285264)

Hey, if this keeps up, we'll eventually start using human brains to store data and solve complex problems!

Robots are my frieeeeend... (1)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 13 years ago | (#285265)

I can't wait until cyborg gf's...no more flowers, no more jewelry, and you can turn them off when they get annoying ;)

Re:Robots are my frieeeeend... (1)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 13 years ago | (#285266)

Although I hear the nagging module will be hard-wired...damn engineers...

Re:First cyborg? Not hardly.... (1)

TGK (262438) | more than 13 years ago | (#285268)

I think, as usual, we've got a case of journalist not being able to find his ass with both hands. Cyborgs are, as clearly demonstrated, all around us.

Go through the entire artical and mentaly replace the word "Cyborg" with "Mind/Machine Interface." While it FUBARs the grammer pretty bad, it makes the article somewhat more accurate.

This has been another useless post from....

Would you replace a limb with a bionic limb? (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 13 years ago | (#285269)

I would only if my original limb was going to go, but not a healthy limb. Depends on how good the replacements are :) But can they make a human run in slow motion while making funny bionic man sounds?

What makes this stuff interesting... (5)

paranormalized (278300) | more than 13 years ago | (#285271)

Is that they're working with really complicated tissues. Prosthetics have been around forever, but they're just simple Mechanical Engineering, and have been around since peg legs. And while there has been a mechanical heart, it was originally the size of a washing machine and a Medical nightmare, in terms of patient care. But nowadays we're stringing up Lamprey brains to electronics, and even creating an artificial heart [pitt.edu] that can actually be helpful, at least for a couple weeks. Complicated stuff, involving computational fluid dynamics and such, to prevent blood clots from forming and wreaking havoc on the body, by causing brain strokes and whatnot. And work continues on other replacements for the human body, both mechanical and biological.

So I found this article interesting, and would agree that this is a pretty big step forward in Cybernetics. I mean, they're almost to the point of keeping brain slices alive for weeks at a time now, and using them in sensor technology! Though when it comes to replacing human organs, my money is on biotech. Maybe we'll have replacement livers, kidneys and hearts by the time I'm decrepit and in need of them, who knows? But I'm signing a donor card for now, so I can still be useful in the event of an accident. We need a bit more work until we have replacements as good as those that come from donors, yet. So be a responsible citizen and sign your donor card, and tell your family about it.

-----
IANASRP- I am not a self-referential phrase
-----

+5 Troll (1)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#285272)


Finally we could save our soldiers and send super ninja moths after the Chinese government and Saddam
By feeding the wasps sugar water as he exposed them to the odor of di-nitro toluene, an explosive akin to dynamite, he was able to teach the insects to seek di-nitro toluene in the field.


But having trained his "miniature bloodhounds," Bromenshenk had to be able to track them electronically. Radio transmitters were too heavy, and although scientists had had some success gluing microchips on the bees, the process took too long.
SET US UP THE WASPS
Bromenshenk is waiting for someone to produce a "spray-on" chip.
stops (takes a deep breathe) ... laughs hilariously. Funny ass research

going out of stories sale [antioffline.com]

Re:First Cyborg? (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#285275)

I'm sure someone could come up with examples that predate that.

Pirates with wooden legs come to mind!

Animal Borgism! (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#285276)

This is great! Reverse engineered Borg built with animal brains! hehe.

Sure, PETA will undoubtedly swing into full action as the previous guy who has FP on this discussion mentioned, but it looks as if scientists have already been doing this for a while now. I doubt that PETA could do much more than be annoying on this issue.

What will be interesting and exciting is having dirty rats going out in hords in front of our soldiers sweeping minefields and checking for booby traps. I would think it would be a lot cheaper to breed a bunch of vermin to be used as cannon fodder than build big minesweeping equipment.

Reminds me of BattleCats from SNL. ;)

Modern-Day Rube Goldberg Inventions? (1)

Hormonal (304038) | more than 13 years ago | (#285277)

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that using these devices that can translate smells into mechanical movement (or whatever else you want, I guess), in conjunction with the iSmell (may it rest in piece), would make the beginnings of a nice Rube Goldberg invention?

Re:Quit your WHINING! (1)

Hormonal (304038) | more than 13 years ago | (#285278)

Well, yeah, it was his originally, but he gave it to Ben with the express purpose of having it given to his son. So, it was really Luke's at the time of the unfortunate incident.

Hand shopping on the medical frigate. (2)

Hormonal (304038) | more than 13 years ago | (#285279)

OK, drug-sniffing robots are cool and all, but when can I have a medical droid give me a new right hand when my dad cuts it off? (Lost a perfectly good lightsabre, too, dammit.)

Eat almost anything. (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#285280)

You can engineer the organisms to eat almost anything.

Spam.

I want them to eat spam.

E-mail spam.

Get on it.

--Blair

P.S. There was a book I read about 25 years ago about an old man who filled his grandson's squirtgun with moldy grape juice and used it to dissolve 9-track database tapes at some MegaCorp's computer center, in order to get revenge on them. I think it was a Donald Westlake book. Web searches are turning up nil.

We are already cyborgs. (1)

banuaba (308937) | more than 13 years ago | (#285282)

This [wired.com] article in wired in 1997 discusses cyborgism.

There was another essay, also in wired, discussing the fact that we are already cyborgs as a species, due to thinks like Lasik, pacemakers, sub-cue drug supplies, internal hearing aids, contact lenses, digital watches and the ilk.
The intersection of science fiction and reality is always fascinating. How often are inventors/researchers inspired by books/movies/tv shows to invent what they do?
Of course, now I'll probably get modded down as Offtopic. I fear no moderation! I am a man, not a number!
This message brought to you by user number 3441075.


Brant

Re:We are already cyborgs. (2)

banuaba (308937) | more than 13 years ago | (#285283)

Websters defines cyborg as "A bionic human", and defines bionic as "having normal biological capability or performance enhanced by or as if by electronic or electromechanical devices".

When I think of a cyborg, I think of something that is >50% mechanical, like the T-1000, or this lampreybot, or the borg. Maybe it is because when I think of a cyborg, I think of something that has lost part of the essential 'organicness' or, to be anthropomorphic, something that has lost part of its humanity.


Brant

Hmmm.... Odor seeking bees? (1)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 13 years ago | (#285284)

What an intresting little assination tool.... Just simply train 10,000's of bees on the sent of the target and let them loose.... What a scary way to die though....

By the way, anyone have any thing of Bill Gates?

--- My Karma is bigger than your...
------ This sentence no verb

We've already tested the first cyborg. (2)

AX.25 (310140) | more than 13 years ago | (#285285)

His name was Steve Austin, I think he was killed fighting big foot or testing a rocket sled. I forget it was way back in the 70's. Oh yea, he only cost $6 million, what a deal.

Re:Robots are my frieeeeend... (2)

UltraBot2K1 (320256) | more than 13 years ago | (#285287)

Even better, I'd like to have a cyborg ME. That way, when my wife wants to go shoe shopping or cuddle after sex or talk about feelings, I can just have the roboUltraBot keep her sorry ass copmany while I go out for beer.

Does the eel brain run Linux? (1)

KingAzzy (320268) | more than 13 years ago | (#285288)

Reading that article gives me the creeps. I'd just as soon keep my biological tissues cooked and edible and my machines cold and inorganic. Using rat brains to run Seti? ewww

We all know... (1)

Skoozler (409970) | more than 13 years ago | (#285289)

...that cyborgs are useless until they have positronic brains, can make vast quantities of black coffee, debug thier own kernels and give blowjobs.

--

Re:Man ... (1)

Hilary Rosen (415151) | more than 13 years ago | (#285291)

Given that PETA [peta.org] (link) [fegan.net] are in favour [yahoo.com] of hoof & mouth disease [bbc.co.uk] , I don't think they can complain too much about the suffering of lamprey larvae.

If I get enough hrefs [w3.org] in my post do I qualify as a karma whore [slashdot.org] ?
--

How long till Nano-technology? (1)

Eurycleia (416154) | more than 13 years ago | (#285295)

"If the researchers pasted a bunch of bacteria on a chip, the microcircuitry could detect the luminescence and send a signal to a remote display." If they made a chip small enough to interface with a single bacterium, wouldn't you have a nano-bot?

An attempt to create the "perfect" police force? (1)

theonomist (442009) | more than 13 years ago | (#285296)


Eels today, humans tomorrow.

A half-human creature with the body of a machine is a sort of "unholy Grail" for the left, because such a creature would have the intellect of a human being without the soul. It would be a "born" sociopath, lacking the inborn moral sense that sets humanity apart from the animals.

Such an "entity" would be invaluable in enforcing totalitarian laws. It would have none of what the leftists snidely call "human weakness" -- what those of us still proud to be human call "mercy" or "justice", or even (dare I engage in crimethink?!) "fear of God".

The Clintons and Janet Reno must be rubbing their hands in glee. Some crude "version 1.0" of their new "enforcers" may even be ready in time for their next attempt to seize power.

You raise valid concerns. (2)

theonomist (442009) | more than 13 years ago | (#285297)


As frightening as this prospect is, it may allow us some glimpse of what it really DOES take to give an organism true sentience, and weather [sic] or not a 'soul' is inherint [sic] in that.

I'll forgive your spelling, because you've so shrewdly zeroed in on the most important point here: "Science" hasn't yet accounted for intelligence. They haven't explained what it is, nor how it works, nor where it came from -- and they've most certainly given up on even asking "why?"

Don't get me wrong: Science is fine for engineering and suchlike. Science has provided us with many valuable conveniences and useful machines. I'll never deny the worth of what they've done. Nevertheless, I won't be such a fool as to put some clever tinkerers in charge of my destiny. They have their place, but it's got nothing to do with any of the big questions facing us as a nation, nor as individuals. Only religion can take on the real issues, the ones that require faith, an open mind, and honest recognition of the fact of God's unmistakable Hand in His own Creation. Clever mechanical tricks won't cut it.

Let the engineers do engineering, let the thinkers think, and let the rulers rule. This is how it must be.

Cyborg Rodent Brains to search for drugs? (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 13 years ago | (#285298)

These experiments envision a range of applications -- using bacteria attached to computer chips to map pollutants, insects as part of sensors to detect land mines, chemical weapons and narcotics, and rodent brains to help identify new medicines.

So that's how we got Viagra.

Figures.

Re:Robots are my frieeeeend... (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 13 years ago | (#285299)

I can't wait until cyborg gf's...no more flowers, no more jewelry, and you can turn them off when they get annoying ;)

I have that already, my girlfriend is totally turned off and annoying...

er, wait.

But what if... (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 13 years ago | (#285300)

What if the soul of the eel lives on within the machine? Imagine if, years into its career as a successful land-mine detector, it begins to recover its chemically erased memories of how it was captured by humans in the open sea.

Imagine the flashbacks as the eel remembers its surgery, waking up on a hospital bed under the glaring white lights and lab masks, helpless, unable to scream as it is fitted into the chest of a metal monster....

The eel will have its revenge, tonight, 7/10 central...

Re:That warm, tingling feeling (1)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 13 years ago | (#285302)

I just hope it's not part of the job interview.

We are almost there (1)

YAZZO (444095) | more than 13 years ago | (#285303)

Excellent. We are almost there. Next time there is a war, it will be the first directive of the lucky dictator to put his scientists to work.

He will simply: extract a human brain and brain-stem, place them in the neccessary liquid(they need to survive long), CONNECT THE NERVES NECCESSARY TO CONTROL A SEMI-FUNCTIONAL EAR AND 5 TOGGLE-BUTTONS(FINGER-NERVES)ATTACHED TO TONE-GENERATING-DEVICES, THEN WATCH AS THE BRAIN CREATES MUSIC.

====EINSTEIN'S BRAIN STILL EXISTS IN A JAR(PORTIONS OF IT)====

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