Saturday, May 21, 2011

Researchers create nanopatch for the heart | Brown University News and Events

The optimal solution to the ever-increasing cost of health care can not be found in public/private pay systems, rationing, price transparency, and/or "patient choice". The problem can only be solved by innovation that targets cures rather than the management of chronic conditions/symptoms. Up to this point, most technological innovation created higher health care costs, not lower, because they were focused on diagnosis (i.e. expensive testing/imaging) and/or treatment/management of symptoms. This is "grossly inefficient", but this inefficiency will be dramatically reduced as we employ the use of greater control and understanding of the intricacies of life at the nanoscale. This story is an example of not only a medical "miracle", but of the "efficiencies" that will allow us to meet the health care needs of our society, within budget:

Researchers create nanopatch for the heart Brown University News and Events

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Susan Lim: Transplant cells, not organs | Video on

Life sciences technology is entering a new dawn of innovation, which is certainly exciting from a longevity and quality of life perspective, but it also has the potential for a profound impact on many of the economic "doomsday" scenarios that are so popular in today's media. The promise of stem cell (especially the less politically charged IPS variety) transplantation may provide a reduced medical cost windfall in the form of:

1) Extended productivity (tax generation) from older, more highly skilled, higher earning workers that, rather than passing away and/or becoming a burden via disability/Medicare, continue a robust contribution to the economy.

2) The shortening of interim treatment periods between onset, transplantation and health restoration will likely lead to greatly reduced costs.

3) The combination of longer, more productive worker lives, and the reduced costs of treatment/cure, will likely "bend the cost curve" in a more rapid and favorable manner than most are currently expecting.

The quality of life issue is also very important from an economic perspective. Many assume that the longer people live, the more that it will cost to provide them with needed financial support and medical care and that longer lives equates to deeper, less manageable social program funding costs. This is only true if the quality of those are lives are not improved to a greater magnitude than they are extended. We are increasingly a service/information society and physical strength is declining continually in importance with respect to the ability for one to contribute to society (and who is to say that with the advances in exo-skeletons that a 90-year old could not be a loading dock worker!). As maladies that impact the elderly most severely (i.e. cognitive/neurological, muscle/bone loss, visual acuity, hearing, etc.) become more treatable, the underlying desire that most people possess (to remain productive, active, involved and valued) will be allowed to blossom.

The below link provides a quick glimpse into how far we have come and how far we may go:

Susan Lim: Transplant cells, not organs Video on

Friday, April 22, 2011

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization | Video on

Below is a link to a very powerful example of how "hi-tech" can, and will, make "low-tech" available to the masses. While Marcin didn't mention it, this type of project is even more potentially impactful if you consider blending in the ever increasing capabilities of 3-D printing that would enable open-source designs to include more sophisticated elements/parts.

Once again the myth that advanced technologies only benefit the already wealthy and/or only increase the competitive advantage of already technologically developed societies is dispelled. There will likely always be a gap between the most advanced countries, and the least, but the real measure of progress will be in how that gap will narrow and how quickly the advances in the front of the innovation wave are transmitted to the back. Further, as information is more widely dispersed, and more people share their discoveries and insights, it is unlikely that the front of the innovation wave for any given technology will be lead by the same limited set of countries that dominate science/technology today, nor that the leadership will remain as stable as it tends to be today. As the competitive landscape becomes more dynamic and vibrant, it will generate greater, if not wholly unexpected, levels of global prosperity. The progress will be permanent and pervasive, but the source will be highly fluid and seemingly "spontaneous" from unexpected corners of the globe.

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization Video on

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action | Video on

As nanotechnology enables us to be more capable at manipulating matter, it is important that we don't "re-invent the wheel" that nature has already designed. By simultaneously using the discoveries of the future, in conjunction with the lessons "learned" by our planet, and it inhabitants, we can accelerate the pace of innovation, and support the virtuous cause of preservation. The following is an excellent "primer" on the power and promise of biomimicry: Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action Video on

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The End of "Reality"...The Dawn of Truth

The fog of culture is beginning to lift, the bright rays of clarity are beginning to pierce through. As all things are deconstructed into their finest parts, their commonality is undeniable. Science is breaking the material world into its most fundamental essence, and in the process, it is empowering the technological advances needed to examine the most immutable aspects of what makes us human. We have wandered for millenniums in a hazy dream-world of culture and Newtonian physics, but now as we break the bonds of the macro world, we enter the sphere of our origin. Reality, as perceived by humans, has never really been real, or at the most, it has been a carnival fun house mirror reflection of what we really are. The basic needs for survival, the societal/religious constraints imposed to maintain order and the oppressive control of those that enjoyed a regional monopoly on knowledge, power and/or communications have imposed a barrier on our progress towards understanding ourselves without distortion.

Man has never had the opportunity to truly pursue the truth in an unfettered manner because the "scarcity" of basic needs, education, knowledge, technology, free thought/expression, freedom, and of the access to others, as well as access of others to us. These limitations have all conspired to distract, restrain, inhibit, stigmatize, coerce, enslave, intimidate or eliminate those that attempted the "virtuous journey".

The atomization of culture is upon us. The social alloy that our coming trials will render will be of such strength to make diamond appear as water, but with this atomization, disorientation is certain to occur. That is why now, more than ever, we must abandon petty battles, selfish interests and "zero sum game" mentalities. Life is not a "zero sum game", existence is an "infinite sum process". I do not believe we are just random packets of energy and matter swirling around in a stew of chaos, but I also believe we haven't begun to understand why the universe is not random and pointless.

As we strive to move beyond the carnal, material and status-based societies that have stained our existence up to this point, we must understand that others will be unwilling to listen and unwilling to relinquish the comfort of the rudimentary, but familiar, "meta-self-awareness" that they currently embrace.

We all have work to do with regards to adjusting our perspectives and promoting a cooperative framework to meet the challenges that our species will face in the coming "Near-Singularity" era:

The politician must know they no longer occupy the throne of power, but a bubble of scrutiny.

The tyrant must know their lies are transparent and their enemies united.

The exploitive opportunist must know their gains are fleeting, but their reputation tarnished and memorialized across the globe in an instant.

The leaders of religion must distill and refine the "truth glue" that has held their dogma together for so many years prior.

The scientist must become a philosopher, and the philosopher a practitioner of the scientific method.

The activist must not abandon their pursuit of justice, but they must learn tact, diplomacy and requisite patience. Do not your cause an injustice by imprudence.

The conservative must accept that their "established way" was once "radical and new" and that change is what created that which they hold so dear and are so reluctant to change once more. Nostalgia is entertaining, but it is toxic to progress and nourishes extinction.

To the rising poor, aspire to higher heights than the developed world, but avoid its lows at all cost.

All things are threatened by this change that are not of truth. All those who prematurely claim to know truth are endangered. One should not fear truth for it has no enemies. Yet, its victims are self-selected by their lust for proving that they are "right" before and above all others.

Step forward, together, in the virtuous journey with those you have previously disagreed, bath in the light & energy released by the atomization of culture, forge a social alloy born of symmetry and fit, but most of all, respect the path and pace of your fellow travelers. If you have the good fortune to make faster progress, leave a clear path for others to follow and perhaps a note saying "Keep going! You are going to make it! I will be waiting for you..."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Advance could speed use of genetic material RNA in nanotechnology

"Scientists are reporting an advance in overcoming a major barrier to the use of the genetic material RNA in nanotechnology -- the field that involves building machines thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair and now is dominated by its cousin, DNA. Their findings could speed the use of RNA nanotechnology for treating disease."

ScienceDaily (2011-01-19) -- ... > read full article