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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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Brain Implants: The Laser Eye Surgery of the Future?

Brain Implants: The Laser Eye Surgery of the Future? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Brain implants today are where laser eye surgery was several decades ago, fraught with risk, applicable only to a narrowly defined set of patients – but a sign of things to come. 

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aanve's curator insight, March 20, 12:34 AM
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zwilenkosi's curator insight, March 25, 11:41 AM

new brain implants that could revive your memory and makes you to learn things fast.

 

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The Next Generation in Neural Prosthetics

The Next Generation in Neural Prosthetics | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Following up on the success of cochlear and retinal prostheses for people who have lost sensory function, neuroscientists see a limitless horizon for related devices that are able to read electrical and chemical signals from the nervous system to stimulate capability and restore quality of life in persons suffering injury and disease.

In the future, according to researchers, the devices – known as neural prosthetics – will help epileptics, persons with treatment-resistant depression and chronic pain, victims of Alzheimer’s disease, wounded war veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, persons with speech disabilities, and individuals who have sustained spinal cord injury and loss of limbs, among other applications in the research pipeline.

But before neural prosthetics can advance, engineers will be called on to make innovative use of materials to design and fabricate devices that allow sustained electronic functioning in the harsh environment of the human body, without causing tissue infection and other serious adverse conditions. Research efforts have focused on enhancing the performance of various types of materials used in neural prosthetics, in addition to developing interface technologies that enable the micro devices to be safely implanted in human tissue for long periods.

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aanve's curator insight, March 1, 7:05 PM

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Richard Platt's curator insight, March 2, 8:46 AM

Very interesting wearable - on the inside of the body, - their big issue is having to solve the contradiction of stiff and flexible, turns out it is what is known as Physical Contradiction based on time.  Numerous inventive principles for solving that problem. 

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Nanotechnology needle arrays for drug delivery

Nanotechnology needle arrays for drug delivery | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The ultimate goal of nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery, especially with regard to cancer therapy, is to ferry most of the administered drug to the target, while eliminating the accumulation of the drug at any non-target tissues.
Nanomedicine applications with targeted nanoparticles are expected to revolutionize cancer therapy. The use of such nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic agents is currently being studied as a promising method by which drugs can be effectively targeted to specific cells in the body, such as tumor cells.

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New Pills Deliver Bacteria, Not Drugs, To Cure Us

New Pills Deliver Bacteria, Not Drugs, To Cure Us | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

It seems that nearly every day, scientists connect another medical condition to atypical gut bacteria populations. Researchers have claimed that gut bacteria play a role not just in digestive health but even in basic brain function and mental health.
Certain bacteria are so clearly good for us that several companies are looking to market pills filled not with chemical drugs, but with bacteria.
A few pharmaceutical startups have already begun testing bacterial medicines in hopes of finding the right strain or stains of bacteria to cure widespread and still mysterious illnesses.

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Ji-Wei's curator insight, January 16, 10:02 PM

New pills are being developed that cure us by using something different. These new pills are not using drugs but are using help bacteria. Scientists are testing these new drugs to find cures for widespread and mysterious diseases. I am wondering when these pills will become more widespread?

 

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New drug approach could lead to cures for wide range of diseases

New drug approach could lead to cures for wide range of diseases | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A team led by a longtime Oregon Health & Science University researcher has demonstrated in mice what could be a revolutionary new technique to cure a wide range of human diseases -- from cystic fibrosis to cataracts to Alzheimer's disease -- that are caused by "misfolded" protein molecules.

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CRISPR technology leaps from lab to industry

CRISPR technology leaps from lab to industry | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Instead of taking prescription pills to treat their ailments, patients may one day opt for genetic 'surgery' — using an innovative gene-editing technology to snip out harmful mutations and swap in healthy DNA.
The system, called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), has exploded in popularity in the past year, with genetic engineers, neuroscientists and even plant biologists viewing it as a highly efficient and precise research tool. Now, the gene-editing system has spun out a biotechnology company that is attracting attention from investors as well.

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3rd Annual Seymour Benzer Lecture - Aliens, computers and the bio-economy - An introduction to synthetic biology

Our capacity to partner with biology to make useful things is limited by the tools that we can use to specify, design, prototype, test, and analyze natural or engineered biological systems. However, biology has typically been engaged as a "technology of last resort" in attempts to solve problems that other more mature technologies cannot. This lecture will examine some recent progress on virus genome redesign and hidden DNA messages from outer space, building living data storage, logic, and communication systems, and how simple but old and nearly forgotten engineering ideas are helping make biology easier to engineer.

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In The Hospital Of The Future, Big Data Is One Of Your Doctors

In The Hospital Of The Future, Big Data Is One Of Your Doctors | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

From our genomes to Jawbones, the amount of data about health is exploding. Bringing on top Silicon Valley talent, one NYC hospital is preparing for a future where it can analyze and predict its patients' health needs--and maybe change our understanding of disease.

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Ricardo Pimenta's curator insight, December 6, 2013 10:38 AM

Big Data and Health Science in the Hospital

Mlik Sahib's curator insight, December 9, 2013 7:40 PM

"We’re going to build a health care system where complex models are firing on an almost day-to-day basis."

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Unraveling the mysteries of life

Unraveling the mysteries of life | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Time, space and matter were created 13.7 billion years ago, when the Big Bang occurred. This pale, blue planet, so termed by Carl Sagan, our earth, came into existence about 4.5 billion years ago. Life originated on earth about 3.8 billion years ago. Our species, the home sapiens, came much later at about 0.2 million years while recorded history is merely 6000 years old.
However in the last 60 years or so, man has started to unravel many secrets of his own existence. There have been extremely rapid advances in science and mankind is now grappling with very profound aspects of life from intelligence, perception, aging all the way to death itself.
Moving forward to the next 60 years, there are several areas of research, which will have an extraordinary impact on our lives as we move forward.

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This Robot Is Changing How We Cure Diseases

Every week at an NIH drug-testing lab, a robotics system performs millions of experiments faster and with greater precision than any human could. The simple goal: to find new treatments and cures. 

 

Visit the full project at http://wsj.com/trials 

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Mechanical Walking Space Man's curator insight, November 19, 2013 12:00 PM

It's what they do best - let the computers do the mass production and we can concentrate on being [good] human…

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Interactive Live Holography - From Science Fiction to Science Fact

Introducing live medical holography - the world's first 3D holographic display and interface system, initially for medical imaging applications. To learn more visit: http://www.realviewimaging.com/

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Lasers might be the cure for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Lasers might be the cure for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, together with researchers at the Polish Wroclaw University of Technology, have made a discovery that may lead to the curing of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (the so called mad cow disease) through photo therapy.
The researchers discovered that it is possible to distinguish aggregations of the proteins, believed to cause the diseases, from the the well-functioning proteins in the body by using multi-photon laser technique.

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A New Scorecard Explains How the World Is Getting Better. Really.

A New Scorecard Explains How the World Is Getting Better. Really. | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
For centuries, optimists and pessimists have argued over the state of the world.

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For centuries, optimists and pessimists have argued over the state of the world. Pessimists see a world where more people means less food, where rising demand for resources means depletion and war, and, in recent decades, where boosting production capacity means more pollution and global warming. One of the current generation of pessimists’ sacred texts, The Limits to Growth, influences the environmental movement to this day.

 

The optimists, by contrast, cheerfully claim that everything—human health, living standards, environmental quality, and so on—is getting better. Their opponents think of them as  “cornucopian” economists, placing their faith in the market to fix any and all problems.

But, rather than picking facts and stories to fit some grand narrative of decline or progress, we should try to compare across all areas of human existence to see if the world really is doing better or worse. Together with 21 of the world’s top economists, I have tried to do just that, developing a scorecard spanning 150 years. Across 10 areas—including health, education, war, gender, air pollution, climate change, and biodiversity—the economists all answered the same question: What was the relative cost of this problem in every year since 1900, all the way to 2013, with predictions to 2050.


Via Wildcat2030
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For his next act, genome wiz Craig Venter takes on aging

For his next act, genome wiz Craig Venter takes on aging | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Craig Venter, the U.S. scientist who raced the U.S. government to map the human genome over a decade ago and created synthetic life in 2010, is now on a quest to treat age-related disease.
Venter has teamed up with stem cell pioneer Dr Robert Hariri and X Prize Foundation founder Dr Peter Diamandis to form Human Longevity Inc, a company that will use both genomics and stem cell therapies to find treatments that allow aging adults to stay healthy and functional for as long as possible.
"We're hoping to make numerous new discoveries in preventive medicine. We think this will have a huge impact on changing the cost of medicine," Venter said on a conference call announcing his latest venture.

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AR helps amputee experience first pain-free night in 48 years

AR helps amputee experience first pain-free night in 48 years | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

An augmented reality game has helped an amputee suffering from phantom limb pain (PLP) enjoy a good night's sleep for the first time in 48 years.

The system, which works by translating muscular electrical signals picked up by electrodes at the site of the amputation into movements onscreen, was developed by a team at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and nearby Sahlgrenska University Hospital. It is an offshoot of work done by Max Ortiz Catalan, who in 2012 developed and trialled a groundbreaking technique for implanting thought-controlled robotic arms and their electrodes directly to the bones and nerves of amputees. He says the idea for the AR phantom pain system came from listening to the struggles of amputee patients at his own clinic. When he decided to trial it, there was one individual whose case was known to be particularly difficult. 

The effects of the trial, have been transformative for that individual. 

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CRISPR and Other Genome Editing Tools Boost Medical Research and Gene Therapy’s Reach

CRISPR and Other Genome Editing Tools Boost Medical Research and Gene Therapy’s Reach | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Over the last decade, as DNA-sequencing technology has grown ever faster and cheaper, our understanding of the human genome has increased accordingly. Yet scientists have until recently remained largely ham-fisted when they’ve tried to directly modify genes in a living cell. Take sickle-cell anemia, for example. A debilitating and often deadly disease, it is caused by a mutation in just one of a patient’s three billion DNA base pairs. Even though this genetic error is simple and well studied, researchers are helpless to correct it and halt its devastating effects.

Now there is hope in the form of new genome-engineering tools, particularly one called CRISPR. This technology could allow researchers to perform microsurgery on genes, precisely and easily changing a DNA sequence at exact locations on a chromosome. Along with a technique called TALENs, invented several years ago, and a slightly older predecessor based on molecules called zinc finger nucleases, CRISPR could make gene therapies more broadly applicable, providing remedies for simple genetic disorders like sickle-cell anemia and eventually even leading to cures for more complex diseases involving multiple genes. Most conventional gene therapies crudely place new genetic material at a random location in the cell and can only add a gene. In contrast, CRISPR and the other new tools also give scientists a precise way to delete and edit specific bits of DNA—even by changing a single base pair. This means they can rewrite the human genome at will.

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BigField GEG-tech.com's curator insight, February 15, 3:51 AM

In little more than a year, CRISPR has begun reinventing genetic research.


http://geg-tech.com

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Nanomedicine: DNA clamp to grab cancer before it develops

Nanomedicine: DNA clamp to grab cancer before it develops | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

As part of an international research project, a team of researchers has developed a DNA clamp that can detect mutations at the DNA level with greater efficiency than methods currently in use. Their work could facilitate rapid screening of those diseases that have a genetic basis, such as cancer, and provide new tools for more advanced nanotechnology.

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Geraldine Hamilton: Body parts on a chip

It's relatively easy to imagine a new medicine, a better cure for some disease. The hard part, though, is testing it, and that can delay promising new cures for years. In this well-explained talk, Geraldine Hamilton shows how her lab creates organs and body parts on a chip, simple structures with all the pieces essential to testing new medications -- even custom cures for one specific person.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, December 15, 2013 9:26 PM

We think this is an aweeome video, Geraldine Hamilton is totally awesome she is really geting at the heart of issues in the big pharma and healthcare field and addressing the issues intelligently, nothing but right on the lady, well worth every minute of this short video. Check it out it also has play in the semiconductor realm as well, (also why we like this too)

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Nanotechnology in Life Sciences

Nanotechnology in Life Sciences | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The fusion of nanotechnology and medicine is changing healthcare as we know it. Organizations and government entities are investing huge amounts in nanotech R&D; life science technology innovators across the world are delivering new products and technologies that almost seem straight from a sci-fi movie.
Take the "lab-on-a-chip" (LOC) concept, for example. Originally based on technology pursued by the U.S. military for detection of biological and chemical warfare agents, the LOC is now being used to examine DNA strands to identify cancer. Soon, researchers expect to have an LOC capable of rendering a complete diagnostic workup using just a drop of blood of urine.

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A Cybernetic Implant That Repairs Brain Damage

A Cybernetic Implant That Repairs Brain Damage | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

There may be an answer for people suffering from traumatic brain injuries. It's a device called a brain-machine-brain interface — and it has the potential to revolutionize the way brain damage is treated in humans.

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Pills of the future: Scientists develop way to successfully give nanoparticle therapeutics orally

Pills of the future: Scientists develop way to successfully give nanoparticle therapeutics orally | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Drugs delivered by nanoparticles hold promise for targeted treatment of many diseases, including cancer. However, the particles have to be injected into patients, which has limited their usefulness so far.

Now, researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have developed a new type of nanoparticle that can be delivered orally and absorbed through the digestive tract, allowing patients to simply take a pill instead of receiving injections.

In a paper appearing in the Nov. 27 online edition of Science Translational Medicine, the researchers used the particles to demonstrate oral delivery of insulin in mice, but they say the particles could be used to carry any kind of drug that can be encapsulated in a nanoparticle. The new nanoparticles are coated with antibodies that act as a key to unlock receptors found on the surfaces of cells that line the intestine, allowing the nanoparticles to break through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream.

This type of drug delivery could be especially useful in developing new treatments for conditions such as high cholesterol or arthritis. Patients with those diseases would be much more likely to take pills regularly than to make frequent visits to a doctor's office to receive nanoparticle injections, say the researchers.

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Bioengineer: the heart is one of the easiest organs to bioprint, we'll do it in a decade

Bioengineer: the heart is one of the easiest organs to bioprint, we'll do it in a decade | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A team of cardiovascular scientists has announced it will be able to 3D print a whole heart from the recipients' own cells within a decade

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Genetic Engineering Enables Human Immunity to Take on Cancer, Revolutionary Therapy

Genetic Engineering Enables Human Immunity to Take on Cancer, Revolutionary Therapy | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Developments in genetic engineering make it possible to 're-programme' the human immune system so that T cells - white blood cells that normally fight viruses - recognize and kill cancer cells. This approach, which directly harnesses the potency of the immune system, holds the prospect of a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer.

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Ronald 's curator insight, November 18, 2013 10:16 AM

This is the future of research in the medical field. I feel as if this is the job of a biological engineer, however, the splicing of DNA and the "reprogramming" mentioned may involve help from chemists that are contibuting to the project. I think that if this research is pursued by doctors and lab scientists, I will be able to give resolutions to cancer patients when I become a pediatrician. I hope that I will get a chance to contribute while I am attending the Univertsity of Washington, whose cancer facility, as well as the Fred Huchinson Cancer Research Center, is one of the best in the nation. I have relatives who have suffered from cancer, so I know the pain and suffering that patients have to endure. The sooner this problem is adressed, the better. In 2007, cancer took the lives of 8 million people. This number is only increasing as time goes by. WIth this newly found research, perhaps the world can be saved from this terrible disaster.

Lisa Trundley-Banks's curator insight, August 5, 5:18 PM

Curing cancer surely has to be one of the biggest hopes we have from GE.

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Tuning the Brain

Tuning the Brain | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Deep-brain stimulation is allowing neurosurgeons to adjust the neural activity in specific brain regions to treat thousands of patients with myriad neurological disorders.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, November 9, 2013 11:34 AM

Now, if we can make deep-brain stimulation a physically non-invasive procedure... 

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Compact delivery system for microbeam radiation therapy developed using nanotechnology

Compact delivery system for microbeam radiation therapy developed using nanotechnology | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) provides tremendous promise for cancer patients through its ability to destroy tumor cells while protecting surrounding healthy tissue. Yet research into its clinical use has been limited by the sheer size of the technology required to generate the beams. Until now, administering MRT required massive electron accelerators known as synchrotrons. But with a new microbeam emitter developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the technology has been scaled down, opening the doors for clinical research.

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