New memory tech will change how we think & learn

July 21 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 8 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

If there was a pill that could immediately improve your memory, enabling you to recall any selected event in your past with sharp detail, would you take it? How about a pill that would erase an unwanted memory, like a traumatic childhood event that still bothers you in adult life?

And even more radical, would you like to download knowledge directly into your brain enabling you to immediately speak and understand a new language, or instantly learn any new subject matter, without suffering through the lengthy process of learning from scratch?

Memory-management drugs that address the first two questions are being developed now and should be available in about five years, according to Memory Pharmaceuticals, www.memorypharma.com, a leading New Jersey drug research firm.

Most of these memory remedies focus on boosting recall, but some address the 13 million Americans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder with drugs that will dim, or even erase, traumatic memories. Such products promise to revolutionize psychotherapy. Instead of trying to overcome a past trauma, patients will soon be able to simply erase all memories of the event as if it had never happened – problem solved.

A more radical and futuristic technology, downloading knowledge directly into our brain, could be available in the near future, according to Peter Passaro, graduate student at Georgia Tech, in his article posted at www.betterhumans.com. Passaro suggests that mind-machine interfaces will be available by 2020, and he mentions how this might be accomplished. (cont.)

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Nanotech wonders hyped at Wash. DC conference

September 01 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

At the First Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology held in Washington DC, researchers discussed the possibilities expected of this new wonder science, including glittering visions of abundance and long, healthy life spans.

Within 20 years, a small Star Trek-like replicator called a “nanofactory” could sit on your kitchen counter and let you order up any product you want – food, clothing, appliances, or whatever your dreams desire – at little or no cost.

Nanofactories work by collecting atoms from something as inexpensive as dirt or seawater, and using software downloaded from the Internet, directs those atoms to “grow” into the final product. A nanofactory can even “grow” another nanofactory.

This wild technology sounds like science fiction, but its not. Foresight Institute sociologist Bryan Bruns said nanotech will provide solutions for some 2.7 billion people now living on less than $2 per day, and eliminate poverty worldwide.

Bruns envisions a “2025 Whole Earth Catalog” which would offer economic water filtration systems that purify 100,000 gallons of water a day; inexpensive solar roofing panels that come in rolls like Saran Wrap; powerful inexpensive computers that fit inside eyeglass frames; and suitcase-size nanoclinics with a full range of diagnostics and treatments.

“Turn trash into treasure”, could become the slogan of the 2020s. Nanorefineries will break down unwanted consumer items, sewage sludge, and other waste materials, and re-build them into food, clothing, or household items.

Institute for Molecular Manufacturing’s Robert Freitas added, “not only will nanotech provide us with a lot of cool stuff and eliminate global poverty; it will also help us live a really long time”. Freitas predicted by 2015, nanoproducts will diagnose illnesses and destroy cancer cells – and by mid-2020s, tiny cell-repair mechanisms will roam through our bodies keeping us strong, youthful, and forever healthy.

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Glowing future predicted by UN "State of the Future Report"

July 30 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: 2008   Rating: 4 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

We’ve seen the future … and we may not be doomed. The just published 2008 United Nations report, with input from 2,500 experts from around the world finds life is improving for people worldwide – but governments are failing to grasp the opportunities offered.

“This is a unique time in history. Mobile phones, the Internet, international trade, language translation and jet planes are giving birth to an interdependent humanity that can create and implement global strategies to improve its prospects,” the report states. “It is increasingly clear that the world has the resources to address our common challenges. Ours is the first generation with the means for many to know the world as a whole, identify global improvement systems, and seek to improve them.”

The world is about to enjoy a prosperous future with an unprecedented ability to extend lifespan and increase the power of ordinary people. The life extension movement is growing exponentially and could be the next significant field targeted by venture capitalists as alternative energy and clean tech wane.

Made possible by soaring healthcare costs, unfunded Medicare-type liabilities in every industrialized nation, and the demographic aging of populations, the rapidly expanding life extension industry encompasses the commercialization of scientific findings from stem cell, genetic engineering, regenerative medicine, human enhancements, and other areas of health research.

“Advances in science, technology, education, economics, and management,” the report continues, “seems capable of making the world work far better than it does today.” Medical breakthroughs are offering the hope of defeating inherited diseases, tailoring cures to individual patients – and even creating replacement body parts.

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Scientists take aim at body's killers

August 08 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 4

By Dick Pelletier

Eliminating the top three major causes of death may sound like science fiction, but revolutionary new medical techniques are being developed that could protect most Americans from these killers by as early as 2020.

In two recent PBS programs, “Innovations” and “Charlie Rose,” experts declared we are at war with the three leading causes of death in America – heart disease, cancer, and obesity. The problems are enormous, researchers said, but all were confident we could win this war. As early as the third decade, they claimed, death from all three of these horrible diseases could be completely eliminated.

Stem cells are rapidly becoming the “magic bullet” of choice in this war. Scientists are identifying the genetic signals that instruct stem cells to grow new tissues in spinal cords, hearts, bones, brains, teeth; even aging skin. U.S. clinical trials are a ways off, but experimentations are already underway in Portugal and China.

Dr. Carlos Lima, at Egas Moniz Hospital in Lisbon and Dr. Hongyun Huang at Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing are treating quadriplegic and heart attack patients today. They harvest stem cells from patients’ noses and transplant them into damaged spinal cord and heart muscle sites. Healing is slow, but as more stem cell “secrets” are unraveled, recovery time will speed up.

False teeth will soon become a thing of the past also, thanks to stem cell research conducted by Professor Paul Sharpe at Kings College in London. Successful tests on mice suggest that people will soon be able to grow new tooth buds. Human trials could begin in two years, and the cost per tooth is expected to be about the same as synthetic implants.

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