Transhumanism

We now possess the technologies to make humans healthier, faster, smarter. Transhumanism is the international, cultural and intellectual movement with the goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available emerging technologies to enhance human intellectual, physical and psychological capacities. Developing technology to overcome human limitations raises a host of potential benefits and dangers, as well as ethical considerations.

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Genomics AI tool: Google’s DeepVariant released as open source

Genomics AI tool: Google’s DeepVariant released as open source

A novel artificial intelligence tool that can accurately call out variants in sequencing data was released as open source on the ...
Should we 'genetically modify' humans to fit the demands of space travel?

Should we ‘genetically modify’ humans to fit the demands of space travel?

It takes something special to be an astronaut – an extraordinary combination of bravery, fitness, intelligence, lightning-fast decision-making and calmness ...
How gene therapy could help fight methamphetamine addiction

How gene therapy could help fight methamphetamine addiction

Gene therapy, which modifies a person’s DNA, has long been thought of as a way to treat genetic diseases—and, more recently, ...
Evidence ancient humans not 'violent apes' but distinctly compassionate

Evidence ancient humans not ‘violent apes’ but distinctly compassionate

[Editor's note: Penny Spikins is an archaeologist who specializes in early prehistory and human origins.] Yes, there is evidence of interpersonal violence ...
Should we populate other habitable worlds with life from Earth?

Should we populate other habitable worlds with life from Earth?

Our galaxy may contain billions of habitable worlds that don’t host any life. Should we attempt to change that? Claudius ...
Searching for extraterrestrial life: Finding the right communication technology

Searching for extraterrestrial life: Finding the right communication technology

Scientists are looking for evidence of extraterrestrial communication across interstellar space. But what if other intelligent life forms are using ...
Fighting aging: Mutation found in Amish population adds 10 years to lifespan

Fighting aging: Mutation found in Amish population adds 10 years to lifespan

New research now shows that some humans possess a genetic equivalent to [an anti-aging] drug. A small number of Amish people in ...
Viewpoint: Ethical arguments against gene-edited embryos will crumble as technology advances

Viewpoint: Ethical arguments against gene-edited embryos will crumble as technology advances

[Editor's note: Michael White is a genetics professor at Washington University in St. Louis.] [S]cientists have developed an easy way to ...
Can gene tweaking lower our cholesterol? Using CRISPR and nanotechnology in mice

Can gene tweaking lower our cholesterol? Using CRISPR and nanotechnology in mice

U.S. researchers have used nanotechnology plus the powerful CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool to turn off a key cholesterol-related gene in ...
World Anti-Doping Agency says 'no' to gene editing in sports competitions

World Anti-Doping Agency says ‘no’ to gene editing in sports competitions

The battle between sports cheats and testers is poised to enter a whole new arena. The World Anti-Doping Agency has ...
Ethical debates swirl around gene-editing decisions

Ethical debates swirl around gene-editing decisions

[Editor's note: Joselin Linder is the author of the book "The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance ...
Viewpoint: There’s no reason to panic over human germline editing

Viewpoint: There’s no reason to panic over human germline editing

[Editor's note: Hank Greely is a professor of law and genetics at Stanford University.] Controversy has raged about editing human ...
The quest to make CRISPR gene editing as easy as a smartphone app

The quest to make CRISPR gene editing as easy as a smartphone app

[Biohacker Josiah Zayner] lives and works in Oakland, California, where he's converted a house into a scientific lab. Here, he ...
Getting behind the genetics of high-altitude adjustments

Getting behind the genetics of high-altitude adjustments

People who both travel to and live at high altitudes typically cope with lower oxygen levels by increasing red blood ...
Microsoft’s foray into the quest to cure cancer

Microsoft’s foray into the quest to cure cancer

As Digital Journal has recently reported Microsoft has recently launched Healthcare NeXT, which is a cloud-based, artificial intelligence and research project ...
Video: Combating aging in our lifetime

Video: Combating aging in our lifetime

[A] new video from Kurzgesagt presents several technologies close to completion that could make a big impact on how we ...
CRISPR at home: Is it really that easy to hack DNA?

CRISPR at home: Is it really that easy to hack DNA?

I am not a DIY scientist, much less a professional scientist. You won’t find me swabbing my cheek cells for ...
NASA Twins Study finds thousands of epigenetic changes in astronaut Scott Kelly

NASA Twins Study finds thousands of epigenetic changes in astronaut Scott Kelly

When astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after a year floating about the International Space Station, he was noticeably different from his ...
Immortal dictators: Is there a downside to life-extending technologies?

Immortal dictators: Is there a downside to life-extending technologies?

Suppose there was a country ruled by an evil dictator. Further, suppose the entire world was plagued by a terrible ...
Could Alzheimer’s originate outside the brain?

Could Alzheimer’s originate outside the brain?

We associate Alzheimer’s with physical deterioration in the brain, but new research shows the nerve damage responsible for Alzheimer’s onset ...
Viewpoint: ‘Gattaca’ reminds us that gene editing has dark possibilities

Viewpoint: ‘Gattaca’ reminds us that gene editing has dark possibilities

[Editor's note: Osagie Obasogie is a professor of bioethics at the University of California-Berkeley.] Set in the not-too-distant future, the ...
Mars missions: What would long-term space travel do to the brain?

Mars missions: What would long-term space travel do to the brain?

In a NASA-funded study published on [November 1], Dr. Donna Roberts of the Medical University of South Carolina and her ...
Creating a brain cell ‘periodic table’ from live tissue

Creating a brain cell ‘periodic table’ from live tissue

There are 86 billion neurons in the human brain and no two of them are exactly alike. If doctors and ...
Universally shared biodata could create powerful ‘internet of living things’

Universally shared biodata could create powerful ‘internet of living things’

Imagine students in universities becoming the first “sequencing line of defense” by detecting bacteria resistant to antibiotics and educating their ...
IQ debate: How much of intelligence is determined by genetics?

IQ debate: How much of intelligence is determined by genetics?

[Editor's note: Robert Plomin is deputy director of the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Center at King’s College London.] ...
‘Designer babies’ are coming soon, but who gets to have them?

‘Designer babies’ are coming soon, but who gets to have them?

Designer babies are coming in 20 to 30 years. Your children will be able to select, to some degree, their ...
Keeping aging at bay by killing ‘zombie cells’

Keeping aging at bay by killing ‘zombie cells’

[Jan] van Deursen and his colleagues at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, [had] an idea: could killing off these 'zombie' ...
Ancient incompatibility: Why human females and Neanderthal males had difficulty conceiving

Ancient incompatibility: Why human females and Neanderthal males had difficulty conceiving

After years of sequencing the genomes of female Neandertals, researchers have finally got their first good look at the Y ...