Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view



UPCOMING EVENTS: Health



MULTIMEDIA: Health Topics

We can reprogram life. How to do it wisely

A new superweapon in the fight against cancer

Unnecessary Supplement Use is Rising, Even Among the Elderly

Is your phone part of your mind?

Building Better Humans

The brain may be able to repair itself — with help

How humans could evolve to survive in space

This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

Simple hacks for life with Parkinson’s

This computer will grow your food in the future

What really happens when you mix medications?

The case for optimism on climate change

How Netflix Implements Big Data Is All about You

A Lesson about the Psychology of Meetings from SNL and Google

2 New Cancer Treatments That Give Patients Hope Again




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Health Topics




Better Birth Control for Men – How Would It Work? What’s in the Pipeline?

by Valerie Tarico

Most people think of contraception as an issue of women’s health and rights. But for millennia, men too have wanted choices—the means to decide whether, when, and with whom they father a child.



Why Woman-as-Abortion-Victim is Even Worse than Endorsing Punishment

by Valerie Tarico

Republican attempts to distance from “punishment” instead liken women to feeble minded children, incapable of adult moral agency or responsibility.

If Donald Trump’s comment about punishing women for abortions exposed the bloated belly of the Pro-Life Priesthood, his retraction exposed its sulfur-spewing rear end.



Cellules souches d’embryon humain : pourquoi faut-il en permettre la recherche ?

by Marc Roux

Dans le cadre de sa campagne pour le premier tour des élections, l’actuel président de la République, M. François Hollande avait fait une déclaration qui intéresse le transhumanisme. Il a en effet annoncé que, une fois élu, il proposerait de faciliter la recherche sur les cellules souches embryonnaires, sous entendu : humaine (CSEh) (L’Express, 22/02/2012).



Atheism Reduces Maternal Mortality in Nigeria

by Leo Igwe

If you are one of those who think that atheism is of no benefit to Africa and Africans, that disbelieving in god has no social value or significance for this people then you may rethink your position after reading this.

Full Story...



Intelligence Squared Debate: Are Lifespans Long Enough?

by Jules Hamilton

I attended the intelligence squared debate for aging.  The motion was “Are Lifespans Long Enough?” Honestly, it almost seems like a rigged question.

However, its framing does challenge a common philosophy language trap. “Are Lifespans Long Enough?” What is “enough?” Is it what we have? Is it the minimum to expect? Is it always more?

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Nuclear Waste Pollution is an Existential Risk that Threatens Global Health

by Margaret Morris

Deadly environmental pollution has become an existential risk that threatens the prospect for the long-term survival of our species and a great many others. Here we will focus on the nuclear waste aspect of the problem and ways to mitigate it before there is a critical tipping point in our global ecosystem.

As philosopher Nick Bostrom said in his 2001 paper titled “Existential Risks,” published in the Journal of Evolution and Technology, “Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges.”1

Full Story...



“Tracking and Hacking - Values and Happiness with AI” - interview with John C. Havens

by Hank Pellissier

John C. Havens is the author of Heartificial Intelligence: Embracing Our Humanity To Maximize Machines and Hacking Happiness: Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World. He is the founder of The Happathon Project, a non-profit utilizing emerging technology and positive psychology to increase human wellbeing.  John has spoken at TEDx, and is a contributor to Mashable, The Guardian, HuffPo and TechCrunch.

I interviewed him recently via email on his technoprogressive ideas.

Full Story...



FDA Thwarts Abortion Foes by Updating Medication Abortion Regimen

by Valerie Tarico

Updated medication abortion regimen is cheaper and more effective.

Think of a medication you take. Now imagine that state legislators passed a law saying that any doctor prescribing that medication had to administer three times the necessary dose—just because that’s the way it was done in the 1990s. That is exactly what has been happening with mifepristone, one of two medications used to induce therapeutic miscarriage, also known as medication abortion. The same meddling legislators have forced doctors to prescribe the other medication, misoprostol, at a lower than ideal dosage, increasing the risk of an incomplete miscarriage.

Full Story...



Longévité, condition féminine et travail reproductif

by Audrey Arendt

L ’allongement net de la durée de la jeunesse biologique soulève à tort les questions de surpopulation et de croissance démographique, lorsqu’au contraire tout porte à anticiper les effets inverses.



Technology and Caregiving go Hand in Hand

by Marie Miguel

Hungry? You can order some pizza and pay for it online. Need to pay your bills? You don’t have to go to the bank or to the billing company to do it. You can either do it online on your desktop or on your smartphone. Need to buy a gift for your nephew whose birthday is this weekend? No need to go out during your lunch break to buy a gift. Just order online and you can have it delivered at your door step.

Full Story...



The Penalty for Poverty Should Not Be Death

by Richard Eskow

The Brookings Institution recently issued a report showing that poor Americans die at a much earlier age than rich Americans, and that this life expectancy gap between rich and poor is growing rapidly. A professor of public health at Yale University told the New York Times, “It’s embarrassing.”

Yes, it is.

Full Story...



Google Hedonics

by Andrés Gómez Emilsson

Hello my children!
Hello my sons!
Hello my daughters!
Hello my brothers and sisters!
I’m here to tell you that the world’s last unpleasant experience…
Will be a precisely dateable event!
Yes! It will happen in our lifetimes if we commit all of our energy today…

To the task of Paradise Engineering!

– Yacht, Paradise Engineering

(referencing David Pearce’s Hedonistic Imperative

Full Story...



Review of Michael Bess’, Our Grandchildren Redesigned

by John G. Messerly

Vanderbilt University’s Michael Bess has written an extraordinarily thoughtful new book: Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life In The BioEngineered Society Of The Near Future. The first part of the book introduces the reader to the technologies that will enhance the physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities of our children and grandchildren: pharmaceuticals, bioelectronics, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and virtual reality.



Should India Promote Scientific Research on Aging?

by Kalluri Subba Rao

Should India promote scientific research on aging? This was the question put to me by a learned friend of mine during our discussion on the ever increasing population of India and in particular that section of the population beyond 60 years of age. I was suggesting, rather emotionally, that it is high time that India had taken the health and other problems of senior citizens seriously and active research be promoted on the phenomenon of getting old and such age associated health and social problems.

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Body-based Trades and the Ethics of Divided Labour

by John Danaher

This post focuses on a particular argument about the ethics of body-based trades, in particular surrogacy and reproductive labour. The argument comes from Anne Phillips and is presented in her book Our Bodies, Whose Property?

Full Story...



Longevity and the Indian Tradition

by Ilia Stambler

Does the pursuit of longevity, or even radical longevity, have future in India? The following article will consider this question mainly in ideological, cultural and historical terms, rather than in terms of analyzing current technological and demographic trends. In demographic terms, as was also noted earlier, the life expectancy in India is till relatively low compared to other countries (about 65-66 years), yet it is clearly on the rise[1] and no limit can be set for this increase.

Full Story...



Frankenburger ?

by Marc Roux

Cette semaine a été proposée à Londres la première dégustation publique d’un steak haché entièrement issu de la culture in vitro de cellules souches. Cette originalité gastronomique permise par la prouesse de l’équipe du professeur Mark Post de l’université de Maastricht aux Pays-Bas a donné lieu à des réactions diverses, dont celle de l’appellation péjorative de « Frankenburger » donnée à ce premier plat produit par biologie de synthèse (ex : “Frankenburger” : dégustation du premier steak de bœuf “in vitro”).



Beauty Will Be in the Bionic Eye of the Beholder

by B. J. Murphy

How might we define beauty in a future of cyborgs and the genetically enhanced?

Today we live in a world that has been radically transformed by the hands of advanced science and technology. Depending on which sci-fi literature you might’ve read, one could accurately portray today’s reality as a sci-fi future. A future where everyone is interconnected using tiny computational devices which fit in their pockets, biological limbs being replaced by advanced bionic prosthetics, and disease being combated using gene-editing tools.

Full Story...



Some potential interventions to ameliorate degenerative aging

by Ilia Stambler

The interventions into the degenerative aging process are still in their infancy. A long effortful road will yet need to be traveled from basic research on cell cultures and animal models to effective, safe and widely available human therapies. And many dangers to human health (such as overdose and overstimulation) and many unsubstantiated false claims yet await on this road that need to be guarded against as much as possible. Yet vast promising research is progressing, especially as regards potential pharmaceutical interventions into the aging process.[1] [2] [3] Below are some examples.

Full Story...



A Pressing Issue — Lack of Knowledge about Global Health

by Natasha Vita-More

Global health could easily be the most pressing global issue today, due in large part to humanity’s general lack of knowledge about health and what this lack of knowledge means to humanity’s future.

Which disease—from the array of infectious diseases, cancer, Tay-Sachs, sickle-cell anemia to Alzheimer’s—should we as a world community invest in curing?

Full Story...



Understanding Exploitation: Unfair advantage and the lack of consent

by John Danaher

I feel like there is a lot of exploitation in the world. When I buy clothes, I worry that they have been made by exploited workers, labouring in appalling conditions in sweatshops in developing countries. When I use my mobile phone, I worry that the coltan that is used to manufacture the chips has been sourced from exploited workers in conflict zones, and that the phones themselves have been assembled by exploited workers in large factory complexes somewhere in Asia. Of course, I still buy the clothes and use the phone (like pretty much everybody else). So the question arises: should I worry about the exploitation?

Full Story...



Arthur Caplan in Forbes article on football safety

IEET Trustee Arthur Caplan was referenced in a Forbes article that analyzed college football safety.

Full Story...
Link to Forbes



First Uterus Transplant in US Offers Hope to Thousands of Infertile Women

by George Dvorsky

A team of surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic have performed the first uterus transplant in the United States. A 26-year-old woman underwent the nine-hour operation on Wednesday, setting the stage for a future pregnancy—and what might possibly become a routine procedure in US hospitals.

Full Story...



Longevity Cookbook: Pharmacological Extension of Lifespan

by Maria Konovalenko

Here is a teaser from the Longevity Cookbook project.

The first chapter is on pharmacologic enhancement of lifespan. This chapter includes different ways of trying to develop pharmaceuticals to combat aging.

Full Story...



Brain Implant Will Let Amputees Move Individual Fingers on Prosthetics With Thoughts Alone

by George Dvorsky

For the first time ever, researchers have successfully demonstrated a system that enables a person to move the individual fingers of a prosthetic hand using just their thoughts.

Full Story...



Health Insurance to Cover Exoskeleton Suits, One Step Closer to Humai Acceptance

by B. J. Murphy

According to ReWalk Robotics Ltd. via PR Newswire:

“ReWalk Robotics Ltd., the leading global exoskeleton developer and manufacturer, announced today that a commercial health plan in the Northwest region of the United States has approved coverage and reimbursement for a ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system, following the ruling of an external independent review organization that overturned the health plan’s initial denial of coverage.”

Full Story...



Smart machines are our allies against dumb machines

by David Orban

The trend is clearly visible: sensors, and actuators, together with computation, memory and communication capabilities, are making all the objects around us smarter and smarter. Too many times, wether we call them robots, or AIs, the trend is depicted in menacing tones, represented in the dystopian futures preferred by Hollywood movies, and shape the gut reactions of policymakers eager to please the reactionary impulses of their electorates.

Full Story...



Longévité, IA, risques existentiels : dangers et opportunités (partie B)

by Didier Coeurnelle

Partie B : Que faire ? > Lien vers la partie A de l’article

4. Faire avancer la recherche en matière de longévité sera plus facile avec l’aide de l’intelligence artificielle

De nombreuses approches sont possibles lorsqu’il s’agit d’augmenter notre espérance de vie maximale. La recherche se focalise en général sur les domaines suivants :



H+ Clinic Fights Child Malnutrition to Improve Ugandan Future Brain Power and Economic Production

by Hank Pellissier

H+ Clinic in rural Bwethe, Uganda, was established in 2015 by “Transhumanitarians” and other supporters in a GoFundMe campaign.

Full Story...



Ontological Qualia: The Future of Personal Identity

by Andrés Gómez Emilsson

*WARNING* If you are not psychologically robust, this *may* be a memetic hazard. It talks about ideas that may affect hedonic tone in people susceptible to bad philosophical experiences.

Personal Identity

What is personal identity? The word consciousness has many meanings.

Full Story...

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