Connection and Contentment

princess Leia returns

Date June 7, 2018

BUT FIRST two news stories hot of the presses

NASA Found Evidence of Organic Matter on Mars!

What an amazing story. The video of the control rooms shuddered with hundreds of guys (and I assume women) jumping up and down hugging each other! I will try to post that when it is available. Methane has also been found. Very rudimentary signs of the building blocks of life but astonishing nonetheless.

With bees scarce, drones are taking over the heavy lifting

Now Back to Our storylines

Yeongin Kim is a graduate student at Stanford. His work with an international team of neuro-engineers has born fruit.

Get Ready!

An artificial nerve that acts like a real nerve works!

Just like the neurons embedded in our skin, this artificial nerve can detect touch, process the information, and then send it off to other nerves.

So What? You ask.

Think of this nerve, rather than connected to a cockroach leg, embedded with a robot.

Imagine this nerve embedded in a human hand that has lost sensory touch due to a medical condition or an accident.

This artificial nerve is different from a regular computer system.

For years I remember scientists saying wait until the biological systems come online. Biological BIOS, biological storage, biological inputs.

We even discussed storing data on DNA is my last post on 4/28/2018.

Well, it is now here.

This artificial nerve doesn’t communicate in 0s and 1s like our computer systems.

The nerve “fires” like a biological nerve. This allows it to “talk” with a body. It talks not just to a body but also with an artificial “brain.” The processes are on a neuro-morphic computer chip that can power the next generation of robots, the bio-robots.

Now, think of the benefits to every person that is wearing a prosthetic device. Some devices already have sensors embedded. But these are not similar to our complex nerve communications.

Our nervous system is extremely complex. In a small piece of skin are thousands of receptors sensitive to pressure, temperature, pain, itchiness, and texture.

How can this be translated to artificial nerves?

The answer from “Kim and colleagues: forget computers, it’s time to go neural.” Using electrical patterns the body understands is the ‘neural code’.

Dr. Chiara Bartolozzi at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova said: “The neural code is at the same time rich and efficient, being an optimal choice to design artificial systems for sensing and perception.”

This is going to be HUGE. Stayed Tuned.

”Robots will be able to Feel Touch with this Artificial Nerve”  singularity.com Shelly Fan

CRISPR in your future

You have probably heard of CRISPR. It is a gene editing tool discovered in the early 1990s and first used in 1997.

The technical name is CRISPR-Cas9 and is a “precise, cheap, easy to use, and remarkably powerful tool.

I first learned of this in an article in qz.com. An article by Ashat Rathi 11/15/17 discussed gene editing inside the body.

Brain Madeaux was missing an enzyme because of a rare disease called Hunter Syndrome.

The cost of medications used to help alleviate some of the damage caused by this disease was between $100,000 and $400,000 per year!

Sangamo Therapeutics inject Brian with viruses containing a package of gene-editing material. The hope was that these viruses will enter the liver cells, inject the missing gene at the right place in his DNA. Only about 1% of the liver cells need to be fixed and give his liver the ability to produce the enzyme.

It worked! The first gene therapy inside the body worked!

Other disorders that might be helped by gene-editing:

Metastic lung cancer

HPV virus

B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart condition that can lead to heart failure

Sickle cell anemia

Duchenne muscular dystropy

Beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder.

On April 5, 2018, an article on the future of CRISPR by Victor Tangerman on futurism.com:

Five Ways CRISPR will be used:

CRISPR Could Correct the Genetic Errors that Cause Disease

CRISPR Can Eliminate the Microbes that can cause disease

Graphic of a microbe that can cause disease Creative Commons License
Graphic of a microbe that can cause disease

CRISPR Could Resurrect Species

Resurrecting tomato plants www.chsl.edu
Resurrecting heirloom tomato seeds

CRISPR Could Create New, Healthier Foods

CRISPR Could Eradicate The Planet’s Most Dangerous Pest

Malaria-carrying mosquito Anopheles Wikimedia Commons
Malaria-carrying mosquito Anopheles

 

PRINCESS LEIA RETURNS

Remember the 3D hologram of R2D2 floating in space?

Huzzah!

It is now possible but in this universe instead of that one far, far away.

Daniel Smalley, a Bringham Young University electrical engineer and computer engineering professor and holography expert has done it! A hologram that “floats in thin air!

However, it is not 3D.

Professor Smalley corrects the nomenclature. “A 3D image that floats in the air, that you can walk all around, and see from every angle, is actually called a volumetric image.

This is another of those articles I exceed my capabilities to highlight. I urge to read the article for the correct version at Nature International Journal of Science

Please follow the link and be awed.

BELIEF IN FAKE CAUSES OF CANCER

The section is short but interesting.

“Belief in Fake Causes of Cancer is Rife” April 30, 2018, Neurosciencenews.com

Dr. Lion Shaha from the UCL Institue of Epidemiology and Health said “People’s belief (in what causes cancer)  are so important because they have an impact on the lifestyle choices we make. Those with better awareness of proven causes of cancer were more likely not to smoke and to eat more fruits and vegetables.”

The findings of a study published in the European Journal of Cancer showed that of 1,330 people in England more than 40% thought that stress and food additives cause cancer.

Another third of the people believed electromagnetic frequencies cause cancer. 19% thought microwaves ovens did, and 15% said drinking from plastic bottles cause cancer.

“Belief in mythical causes did not mean a person was more likely to have risky lifestyle habits.”

But those with better awareness, 88% selected smoking, 80% selected passive smoking and 60% said sunburn, also made better choices.

Dr. Samuel Smith from the University of Leeds said: “It’s worrying to see so many people endorse risk factors for which there is no convincing evidence.”

He continues “people believing in unproven causes of cancer has increased since the start of the century.”

Perhaps the way we receive and digest information could be a cause.

I have some research that I will share in a future post regarding this because it is very significant in that the results pose enormous ethical questions.

Part of this research grabbed my attention because of the rise of populism and authoritarianism.

I don’t think people embrace otherness because they believe in the fake causes of cancer but that their choice of accepting fake news, in general, leads to this interpretation of the causes of cancer.

Another interesting take would be if the numbers in the US would be similar.

CONNECTION AND CONTENTMENT

My usual post contains information on how technologies are and will be affecting human lives in such areas as jobs and personal satisfaction.  I won’t disappoint but I do want to share a longer-term view first.

Pew Research asked experts in a variety of fields to render their opinion on how technology, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT) are going to affect people.

Their answers were broken down into categories: IoT will have a positive impact, IoT will not be positive, and IoT will provide remedies that may mitigate some problems that will arise.

In this article by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie of the Pew Institute on April 19, 2018, titled “The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World.”

“When the Pew Research Center asked American internet users for their bottom-line judgment about the role of digital technology in their own lives, the vast majority felt it is a good thing.”

Daniel Weitzner of MIT’s Internet Research Policy declared that “the internet is the ultimate connection machine.”

People can gain fulfillment with other people thru internet pursuits for politics, Community affairs, education, science, romance, economic life are areas that the internet connects people. People can gain fulfillment by addressing these areas with other people.

The Pew Research Center then asked experts in several widely varied fields for their judgments on the internet and its effects on peoples’ lives.

“A plurality of experts say digital life will continue to expand people’s boundaries and opportunities in the coming decade and that the world to come will produce more help than harm in people’s lives. Still, nearly a third think that digital life will be harmful to people’s health, mental fitness, and happiness. Most did say there are solutions.”

There is so much to this article I strongly recommend that you read it.

I want to focus on how all the information that people are consumed by and consumed with boils down to ‘Contentment’. Even in St. Paul’s letter to Timothy (1Tim 6:6), he stresses that “godliness with contentment is a great gain.”

I find that it is hard to be happy in this life so I strive for contentment.

That is why I emphasize the Contentment: by Stephen Downes. Mrs. Downes is a senior research officer at the National Research Council Canada.

He commented, “The Internet will help rather than harm people’s well-being because it breaks it breaks down barriers and supports them in their ambitions and objectives.”

He continues with more specific examples. “We see a lot of disruption today caused by this feature, as individuals and companies act out a number of less desirable ambitions and objectives.”

Race, intolerance, greed, and criminality have always lurked beneath the surface, and it is no surprise to see them surface.”

People desire to educate themselves,

People desire to communicate with others,

People desire to share their experiences,

People desire to create networks of enterprise, commerce, and culture. All of these are supported by digital technologies, and while they may not be as visible and disruptive as the less-desireable objectives, they are just as real and far more massive.”

This man seems to have found contentment in that he can verbalize people’s characteristics so eloquently.

Other topics covered in this article:

Connection

Commerce, Government, and Society

Crucial Intelligence

I am going to write a follow-on article because there are so many areas and the one that I promised to cover- jobs, employment, and the economy- got squeezed out of this foundation article.

But one last sneak peek:

The 3D color map of the Milky Way, 1.7 BILLION starsThis is a 3D color map of the Milky Way, 1.7 BILLION stars!

3D map of the Milky Way by the European Space Agency Gaia satellite. Absolutely astonishing. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC
3D map of the Milky Way by the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite. Absolutely astonishing!

Thanks for stopping by.

Craig

Red Rose Svetlana Manic 674670 - unsplash!
Red Rose Svetlana Manic 674670 – unsplash!
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