Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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


MULTIMEDIA: Health Topics

How we can start winning the war against cancer

What you need to know about CRISPR

Technology hasn’t changed love. Here’s why

How we’re harnessing nature’s hidden superpowers

The era of personal DNA testing is here

The Future of Pain!

Gene Drives: Saving Lives Or Powering Extinctions?

The Science of Compulsive Online Behavior

Humanity’s Greatest Challenges Aren’t Technical – They’re Human

Online Dating Has Created a Six-Fold Increase in Sexual Assaults

How Parasites Commandeer and Change Our Neurocircuits

Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR

A new way to heal hearts without surgery

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Health Topics

Why the Human Lifespan Ends at 122

by George Dvorsky

The oldest human to have ever lived died at the age of 122—and that was nearly 20 years ago. A recent analysis of global demographic data suggests this may very well be the maximum age attainable by humans, and that it’s extremely unlikely anyone will ever live much beyond this advanced age. That is, unless we science the shit out of this problem.

Le vieillissement est-il une maladie ?

by Alexandre Maurer

Qu’est-ce qui différencie le vieillissement d’une maladie, au fond ? Il en a toutes les caractéristiques ! Cette question un brin provocatrice est une invitation à nous interroger sur l’arbitraire de nos catégories.

FDA Approves World’s First Automated Insulin Pump for Diabetics

by George Dvorsky

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G, a medical device that monitors a diabetic’s sugar levels, and then automatically injects the required dose of insulin.

Our Last Line of Defense Against Gonorrhea Is Failing

by George Dvorsky

Health officials in the US have identified a cluster of gonorrhea infections that exhibited unusual resistance against the last two main antibiotics known to work against the dreaded sexually transmitted disease.

Monsanto Just Got Access to the World’s Most Powerful Gene-Editing Tool

by George Dvorsky

Agriculture company Monsanto has acquired a non-exclusive global licensing agreement from MIT’s Broad Institute and Harvard to use the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. The firm will use it to design and grow new seeds and plants, but there are key restrictions on its use to prevent Monsanto from abusing this revolutionary new technology.

Alcor Life Extension Foundation sponsors health clinic in Nyakiyumbu, Uganda

by Hank Pellissier

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the “world leader in cryonics, cryonics research, and cryonics technology”, is sponsoring a health clinic for orphans in the impoverished village of Nyakiyumbu, Uganda.

Mylan’s New Generic EpiPen is Still Too Goddamned Expensive

by George Dvorsky

Pharmaceutical company Mylan has announced plans to launch its first generic EpiPen. But at a cost of $300—which is half of the branded product’s list price—it’s still a heap of money for this critically important medicine.

Who knows best? Personal Happiness and the Search for a Good Life

by John Danaher

I would like to be happier. I would like to live a good life. But I often get it wrong. Once upon a time I thought that getting a PhD would make me happy. It didn’t. It made me painfully aware of my own ignorance and more anxious about the future. Another time I thought that going on holidays to Spain for a week would make me happy: what could be better than a week relaxing in the sunshine, without a care in the world? Surely it would be just the balm that my overactive mind needed? But it didn’t make me happy either. It was too hot and I quickly got bored. By the end of the week I was itching to get home.

Should Couples Who Want Healthy Babies Deliberately Expose Themselves to Zika

by Valerie Tarico

For a woman who wants to safeguard against fetal brain damage from Zika, the surest protection may be a Zika infection that begins and ends prior to pregnancy—but questions remain about some adult risks.

Paralyzed Patients Learn to Walk Again Using Virtual Reality

by George Dvorsky

A groundbreaking new experiment shows that brain-machine interfaces, when used in conjunction with exoskeletons and virtual reality, can trigger partial recovery in patients recovering from spinal cord injuries.

Peter Thiel is Right About One Thing

by George Dvorsky

Billionaire douchebag Peter Thiel has plenty of crazy ideas, but his commitment to radical life extension isn’t one of them.

Global Warming Will Make It Nearly Impossible to Hold the Summer Olympics

by George Dvorsky

Olympic organizers have made climate change a central theme at the current games—and for good reason. A sobering new study shows that by the 2084 Olympics, rising temperatures will make it practically impossible for most cities to host the summer games.

Vers une reconnaissance d’un droit à la longévité

by Hadrian Pourbahman

Hadrien Pourbahman, étudiant en Master 2 spécialisé en droit de la santé et des biotechnologies, a effectué un stage au sein de l’AFT Technoprog. Cet article synthétise ses travaux et fournit des références pour vous permettre d’approfondir les sujets.

Ancient Campfires May Have Unleashed Humanity’s Top Bacterial Killer

by George Dvorsky

The ability to control fire brought our ancestors countless benefits, but as a new study by Australian researchers suggests, it may have also triggered the spread of one of the worst blights to afflict our species: tuberculosis.

Medical Harpoon Reduces Need for Open-Heart Surgery

by George Dvorsky

An experimental medical device called the Harpoon TSD-5 is proving its worth in clinical trials, repairing heart valves with perfect success—and without the need to perform open-heart surgery.

Transhumanist Hank Pellissier on Being an “Atheist Missionary”

by Hank Pellissier

Hank Pellissier is certainly an inimitable individual. As a transhumanist and humanitarian, he applies science and technology to inform his approach to alleviating suffering, such as through his efforts to supplement the diet of the Philippines’ Mangyan community with soylent to improve brain health and nutrition. Currently, his work as the director of the Brighter Brains Institute is focused in Uganda, where he spearheads projects to establish and support humanist schools, health clinics, and orphanages.

Longévité et surpopulation : déconstruire une idée reçue

by Alexandre Maurer

Lorsqu’on parle d’allonger radicalement l’espérance de vie, on se heurte à une objection quasi-systématique : “Mais cela va conduire à une crise de surpopulation !”

Joycelyn Elders Clinic at Uganda Humanist School offers Sex Education, Free Condoms, AFRIpads

by Hank Pellissier

“Joycelyn Elders Clinic” was recently launched by a USA nonprofit, to serve the 329 students attending Garama Humanist Secondary School in the village of Kisinga, in western Uganda.

Youths and the Imperative of Humanism in Africa

by Leo Igwe

Humanism has become a necessity for Africa and for Africans particularly for young people across the region who are struggling to make sense of life and existence.  Youths are critical to any human endeavor because they are the agents of hope, continuity, change and promise. Without young people, any society or initiative will go into extinction. Without young people, there is no future for humanity. So, it is with Africa and the humanist movement in the region.

Transhumanisme et écologie

by Marc Roux

Le mois de décembre 2015 a vu la signature d’un accord dit « universel », par 195 pays, et qui marquera peut-être un tournant dans la manière dont les humains envisagent collectivement leur rapport à la Terre. Les technoprogressistes pourront s’en réjouir à double titre. D’une part il doit permettre de mieux affronter les immenses défis que nous imposent les crises climatiques, mais d’autre part, loin d’un écologisme fondamentaliste, il reconnaît, dans son article 10, « l’importance qu’il y a à donner pleinement effet à la mise au point et au transfert de technologies de façon à accroître la résilience … ».

Longevity = Overpopulation: The Erroneous Equation

by Alexandre Maurer

A classic objection to the radical extension of life is: “But such an extension will lead to an overpopulation crisis!”

The idea is simple: as the resources and space of our planet are not unlimited, if the older generations stop dying and the newer generations continue to be born, then sooner or later, we will run out of both space and resources.

Mens Health Week: One Doctor Thinks We Should Be Talking about Better Birth Control for Guys

by Valerie Tarico

Dr. Stephanie Page at the University of Washington talks about why male birth control matters.

The Centers for Disease Control declared June 13 to 19 of 2016 as “National Men’s Health Week.” If it was Women’s Health Week, media experts would be talking a lot about sexual health and, especially, how women can safeguard against ill-timed or unwanted pregnancy. But for guys, pregnancy prevention is not even on the list, which instead emphasizes sleep, tobacco, food choices, and exercise.

Some Antidepressants Might Actually Be Harmful to Children and Teens

by George Dvorsky

A discouraging new study concludes that most antidepressants are ineffective for children and adolescents, and may even be harmful in some cases. But the researchers caution that the low quantity and quality of clinical trials are obscuring the true effects of these drugs.

Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

by George Dvorsky

Canadian scientists have uncovered a single genetic mutation that significantly heightens a person’s chance of developing a progressive and severe form of multiple sclerosis. While no single factor is responsible for causing the neurological disease, the discovery points to possible treatment options.

New Details Emerge About the Plan to Build an Artificial Human Genome

by George Dvorsky

Last month, a group of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered in secret to discuss the possibility of creating a synthetic human genome from scratch. Details of the plan have finally been made public, and it’s as ambitious as it sounds. But critics say they founders of the new project are avoiding the tough ethical questions.

Is Effective Altruism Fair to Small Donors? (Guest Post by Iason Gabriel)

by John Danaher

NOTE: This is a guest post by Iason Gabriel from St. John’s College Oxford. I recently did a series on Iason’s excellent article ‘Effective Altruism and its Critics’. In this post, Iason develops his counterfactual critique of effective altruism. Be sure to check out more of Iason’s work on his academia page.)

Developing countries – help yourselves! A case study of Kazakhstan

by Ilia Stambler

On May 19, 2016, the World Health Organization released its report “World Health Statistics: Monitoring Health for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” describing the recent state of global health. The news is rather encouraging. The global life expectancy increased by 5 years, from about 66.5 to 71.4 presently, recording the fastest increase since the 1960s. The rightly so-called “developing” countries generally showed a much faster improvement compared to the complacently “developed” ones. Thus, Africa generally had the lowest life expectancy.

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Publishes New Paper in Journal: Bioethics

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher published a new paper coming out in the journal Bioethics. It’s about the philosophy of education and student use of cognitive enhancement drugs. It suggests that universities might be justified in regulating their students’ use of enhancement drugs, but only in a very mild, non-compulsory way. It suggests that a system of voluntary commitment contracts might be an interesting proposal. The details are below.

Full Story...
Link to Bioethics

Is Effective Altruism Methodologically Biased?

by John Danaher

(Part One; Part Two)

After a long hiatus, I am finally going to complete my series of posts about Iason Gabriel’s article ‘Effective Altruism and its Critics’ (changed from the original title ‘What’s wrong with effective altruism?). I’m pleased to say that once I finish the series I am also going to post a response by Iason himself which follows up on some of the arguments in his paper. Let me start today, however, by recapping some of the material from previous entries and setting the stage for this one.

Trading Modern Medicine for Cheap Meat

by Brynn Arborico

How our dwindling antibiotic supply is misspent in agriculture and what we must do to stop it

A “superbug” resistant to all known antibiotics has surfaced in the United States for the first time, in a woman being treated for a urinary tract infection. Unless radical changes are made in how antibiotics get used, doctors fear that the near future may take us back a pre-antibiotic pattern of death by infection. 

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