September 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm (mutate) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

cyclone550

On October 10, 2009, a Cyclone of Slack will slam into Portland bringing true SubGenius mutation back to Stumptown for the first time in a decade!

Cast aside your false profiteers and your hipster biscuits, and bask in the Yetisyn glow of true Dobbsian mutation! Experience the gene-twisting joy of a SubGenius Devival in all of its mutated glory!

* See the psychedelic sights not meant for mere Normals!
* Hear the hindbrain-boggling ranting of SubGenius Doktors directly channeling the Elder Gods!
* Smell the third-nostril opening aromas of full-bore Yetis in heat!
* Feel the tidal wave of the TRUE SLACK that we were all meant to experience

when the CYCLONE OF SLACK hits Portland!

Featuring:

REV. IVAN STANG!
DR. HOWLAND OWL!
PRINCESS WEI R. DOE!
REV. DR. ONAN CANOBITE!
THE DUKE OF UKE!
REV. CRAWFORD!

With the Musical Stylings of:

POWER CIRCUS!
NEQUAQUAM VACUUM!
CULT OF ZIR!

And:

an utter lack of NENSLO!



pdx devival

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Open Source DNA

September 1, 2009 at 6:02 am (science) (, , )

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In the chilling science fiction movie Gattaca, Ethan Hawke stars as a man with “inferior genes” who assumes another’s genetic identity to escape a dead-end future. The 1997 film illustrates the very real fear swirling around today’s genome research — fear that private genetic information could be used negatively against us.

Last year, after a published paper found serious security holes in the way DNA data is made publicly available, health institutes in the United States and across the world removed all genetic data from public access.

“Unfortunately, that knee-jerk response stymied potential breakthrough genetic research,” says Dr. Eran Halperin of Tel Aviv University’s Blavatnik School of Computer Sciences and Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. He wants to put this valuable DNA information back in circulation, and has developed the tool to do it — safely.

TAU

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A SHORT COURSE ON SYNTHETIC GENOMICS

August 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm (mad science, mutate) (, , , , , )

6 hours worth of videos on synthetic genomics presented by George Church and J. Craig Venter.
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Link to lecture videos via Edge

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This is Your Brain on Neurotechnology

August 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm (mad science, mutate) (, , , )

An Interview with Zack Lynch, author of The Neuro Revolution

Colorful brain

Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin’s Press, July 2009). Neurotechnology is the emerging science of brain imaging and other new tools for both understanding and influencing our brains.

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=This well-received and well-written book was conceived as a work of popular science “to broaden the conversation” on what Lynch characterizes as the coming neurosociety. Lynch looks at how neurotechnology will impact the financial markets, law enforcement, politics, advertising and marketing, artistic expression, warfare, and even the nature of human spirituality.

The book has received accolades in the mainstream press (including Jane Pauly, at NBC) and from tech figures like Vint Cerf at Google.

Lynch is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company.

He earned an M.A in economic geography, and a double B.S. in evolutionary biology and environmental science with high honors from UCLA. His master’s thesis examined how the Internet transforms communications and commerce.

You can follow Zack on Twitter at @neurorev

h+: You characterize the Neuro Revolution as the next revolution after the agricultural, industrial, and information revolutions. Others have characterized the Nanotechnology Revolution (for example, the ability to assemble goods at the molecular level) as such a paradigm-shattering period. Do you see a relationship between these two upcoming “revolutions?”

ZACK LYNCH: Nanotechnology is an enabling technology that will fundamentally drive progress in the neurotech sector. What makes this fundamentally unique, and why the neurotechnology revolution is so profoundly important, is that we are directing our informational and nano technologies at an entirely new domain of human progress: tools for the human mind.

We’ve spent human history — the past several thousand years as I said in the book — developing tools to improve our physical world. Now we are focused on developing tools that will take our wisdom, knowledge, and capital to develop tools that will improve our inner domain. Nanotechnology will be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of drugs, devices, diagnostics, and brain imaging technologies.

h+: You describe a number of emerging neurotechnologies in your book, fMRI being somewhat the granddaddy of the Neuro Revolution. Where should the smart investor be watching for the next fMRI?

ZL: Physics and biochemistry labs. The latest trend in imaging is combined systems –- fMRI and a whole host of other imaging technologies. One of the issues with fMRI is that it’s not very good at temporal resolution. What we’re trying to do is marry multiple types of imaging technologies to get more refined spatial and temporal resolution in our imaging systems. GE, Philips, and Siemens are developing these combined systems.

h+: Neurotechnology seems like it’s an emerging market.

ZL: It’s actually a relatively mature market if you consider first generation neurotechnologies. Last year, companies involved in neurotechnology generated about 140 billion dollars in revenue. This includes drugs, medical and neurological devices, and diagnostics for neurological diseases, psychiatric illness, and nervous system injuries. One of the hallmark characteristics of each technological revolution is that when a technology is developed for one purpose — let’s say for the purpose of creating treatments for brain or nervous system illnesses — you then begin to see it in a wide variety of different endeavors far beyond it’s original intended use.

Who would have thought 10 years ago that we would be using imaging technologies to improve the effectiveness of marketing and advertising? Who would have thought that we would be on the cusp of developing truth detection technologies? Who would have thought that these technologies would be used to understand and perhaps help traders improve their profitability?

What we’re seeing across law enforcement, the arts, marketing, entertainment, and warfare is what is means to be human. These technologies are penetrating a wide variety of different endeavors across human society. That — in and of itself — highlights the fact that we are witnessing the very early stages of a Neuro Revolution.


Via: H+

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Jurrasic park is scary in the dark

August 26, 2009 at 5:33 am (ecology, mad science, mutate) (, , , )

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Jack Horner has a vision. A world-famous paleontologist who gives “an awful lot of lectures,” Horner pictures himself strolling out on stage before a crowd, just as he’s done countless times before. Instead of carrying the standard sheaf of notes or dusty slides, though, he has with him the ultimate prop: a real live dinosaur on a leash. “It’s small, but bigger than a chicken,” he writes in his new book, How to Build a Dinosaur. “Let’s say the size of a turkey, one day maybe even the size of an emu.” The emu-size dinosaur, he adds, “might have a muzzle or a couple of handlers.”

If it sounds straight out of Jurassic Park, it’s no coincidence: Horner served as scientific advisor on all three films, and is said to be an inspiration for the rugged protagonist, Alan Grant. Unlike in the movie, though, Horner thinks he can bring back a dinosaur without using its DNA—a crucial difference, because in real life, dino DNA hasn’t been recovered. Horner has a different plan. By making a few genetic tweaks to its modern-day ancestor, the bird, he wants to hatch a dinosaur straight from a chicken egg.

It’s Horner’s vision, and McGill University paleontologist Hans Larsson is working to make it happen. With Horner’s encouragement, Larsson is experimenting with chicken embryos to create the creature Horner describes: a “chickenosaurus,” they call it. If he succeeds, Larsson will have made an animal with clawed hands, teeth, a long, dinosaurian tail and ancestral plumage, one that shares characteristics with “the dinosaur we know that’s closest to birds, little raptors like the velociraptor,” Horner says.

The rest via: Next Big Future

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UFO shaped, solar powered water purifiers in Japan

August 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm (ecology, mad science, mutate) (, , )

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As part of the upcoming Aqua Metropolis festival in Osaka, engineering firm NTT Facilities has developed a pair of solar-powered, UFO-shaped floating water purifiers that will be deployed in the city’s canals and in the moat at Osaka Castle.

Pink Tentacle: ‘Solar UFO’ water cleaners afloat in Osaka canals

thanks mutateweb

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Building off-planet human environments

August 15, 2009 at 3:18 am (ecology, mad science, mutate) (, , )

Here is a slide show from the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) highlighting current work done in the pursuit of terraforming.

Building off-planet human environments: The role of microbial engineering. Building self fertilized food ecosystems.

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