TagBiopunk

Wired on subdermal body art

Subdermals are old news in my book, but Wired News has this piece that makes it more compelling:

Shannon Larratt was a child when he first dreamed about modifying his body. When his father would make pizza and sit with him to watch Star Trek, Larratt was captivated by the diverse looks of people from other worlds. He was particularly taken with the forehead ridges.

In Larratt’s ideal world, “Everyone looks interesting, everyone looks different.” So when body modification artist Steve Haworth invented a way to implant jewelry under human skin, Larratt jumped on the opportunity.

Wired News: Body Artists Customize Your Flesh

Personalised drugs ‘decades away’

BBC reports:

Individually tailored medicines have been ‘over hyped’ and are still many years away, leading scientists say.

BBC: Personalised drugs ‘decades away’

(via Brennio)

Organic Warfare: Red Dawn of Gaia

We may place ourselves in a situation where vast systems such as the atmosphere, planktons, the oceans and plate tectonics are preserving their own gigantic equilibriums in ways that may impinge upon human existence in yet-unforseen ways. It is a sort of warfare, but without malice or plan; Gaia is just acting to preserve balances and is not aware of us. But civilians in shelled cities die just the same as soldiers.

Full Story: Organic Warfare: Red Dawn of Gaia

Organic Warfare is one of the most interesting new blogs I’ve seen in a long time. From their description: “Evolutionary and biological models and metaphors in modern warfare: from the Afghan war to the Iraq insurgency.”

(via Abstract Dynamics)

Greening the Ghetto

In opposition to the debasing welfare programs of both church and state stands EcoVillage Farm just outside the heart of Richmond, CA’s inner city. For anyone who has never been to Richmond, VA don’t think South Bronx- think Gary, IN, Springfield, MA, “the Bricks”, Compton, &c. Richmond resembles many other forgotten post-industrial towns whose residents have committed the ultimate crime of being poor in America.

Which seems only one reason why EcoVillage farm represents such a revolutionary attack on the status quo. Food no longer comes in plastic wrapped packages which cannot be smelled or handled but out of the soil and the toil of those tilling. “Ownership society” falls in the category of “phrases GWB perverts into right-wing bullshit.” However EcoVillage farm seems to represent an “ownership society” that anyone with a brain could get behind. Far from just another bourgeois “organic” farm stand, EcoVillage not only provides food but relevant skills.

This type of social welfare contains more tangible benefits than I can name. First, it puts food on people’s plates. Secondly, the co-op teaches useful skills which instill a sense of pride. Few things make a person hold their head up higher than the knowledge “I can produce something.”

Terrain Magazine Article: Shabaka’s Seedlings

Biopunk: the Iraq blood black market

IRIN reports:

Iraqis are selling their own blood to people who are buying supplies for relatives in need, due to a shortage, doctors say. This has caused concern over the spread of disease since the supplies are not checked for blood-bourne infections.

Every day hundreds of donors can be seen standing outside the blood bank at the Iraqi National Centre for Blood Donations (INCBD) in the capital, Baghdad.

IRIN: Iraqis sell their blood to survive

(via Robot Wisdom)

Weird news: Zombie outbreak, raining shrimp, and bacteria

Apparently a hoax: Zombie Outbreak in Cambodia (can’t find this in the bbc archives or any other reference to it on google news… and it just sounds crazy)
(via Hyperstition).

Apparently real: It rained shrimp in California saw something about this on the Cabal yesterday, found this story on Google News.

And an old link from Slashdot: Bacteria programmed to act like computer.

New Genesis P. Orridge Interview

Speaking of Genesis P. Orridge, here’s a new interview with him:

I had an epiphany about the nature of the words themselves. Each word behaves in ways that attest to the idea that in a very particular way it, THE WORD is alive and can even have its own agenda as a result of repetition and transmission in ever more compressed layers over linear time whilst apparently serving the message of the being using the word. I believe words are alive then in a very literal sense, and because each word is alive it?s another hologram, another iceberg. Everyone who has ever said that particular word has invested it with their story and anyone who hears that word puts the context of their life around that word. So each word is a memory box and a prophecy box simultaneously. They’re very precious, powerful particles of thought and energy.

Link

(via New World Disorder)

Russia: ahead of the biopunk curve

It’s happening already:

While scientists worldwide are only studying stem cells, dozens of Russian clinics and beauty salons claim they are already using both adult and embryonic stem cells to treat everything from wrinkles to Parkinson’s disease to impotence.

Scientists warn that while stem cells are still being researched in laboratories, treatment by clinics claiming to use stem cells may cost patients their health and fortunes. Moreover, they say, even though it’s illegal, enforcement is lax and no one knows if the injections patients are getting contain stem cells.

Link.

Biopunk: the biotechnology black market

The word biopunk has been bandied about for some time now. Google already has over 1,000 results for a search on the term. R.U. Sirius wrote a piece in Rolling Stone a couple years ago about the possibility of garage biotechnologists, a movement he called biopunk. But I’d like to throw a new meaning for the concept out there: the near future (already here?) biotechnology black market.

The biotechnology market has already captured the imaginations of the business world. For the past few years it’s been hyped as the next big thing, the new dot-com bubble. For instance, Paul Allen wants to turn a neighborhood in Seattle into a biotech industry fueled urbanist utopia.

Ample private and federal investment is being poured into biotech research, but I expect U.S policies banning cloning research and limiting funding for stem cell research will effectively limit the U.S.’s role in biotechnology development. Less restrictive policies and/or cheaper labor will give Europe, Russia, and Asia advantages in the global biotech industry.

But other factors will drive an underground biotechnology market: the crippling expense of prescription drugs, health insurance, malpractice insurance, and student loan debts.

Chemistry students have been making money manufacturing LSD, MDMA, and other illegal drugs for years. But the demand for black market prescription drug clones could create a new use for the college chemistry lab. Imagine thousands of undergrads manufacturing HIV meds and other expensive drugs for cheap underground resale.

Meanwhile, medical school students, un-licensed doctors, or even licensed doctors trying to keep up with insurance payments will be performing a myriad of unauthorized procedures. Genesis P. Orridge could be at the forefront of a movement again. Sex changes are nothing new, but P. Orridge and Lady Jaye’s sex change as installation art project is on the forefront of the body modification movement, which constantly grows more extreme. Face transplants are about to become a reality. But these black market surgical procedures won’t be limited to weird body art projects. Uninsured Americans will be seeking all types of surgical procedures on the black market, and finding students and doctors to perform them will become increasingly easier.

Of course, those policy restrictions will create another biotech black market: clandestine cloning research labs and illegal human testing projects. Illegal human testing is almost certainly already a reality. And even with recent improvements in the job market, there are still thousands of desperate unemployed people to be taken advantage of.

And let’s not forget R.U. Sirius’s frightening prediction from his Rolling Stone article: garage production of germ weapons.

Students create biodiseal production plant

Three students at my alamater have created a biodiseal production plant to power the college’s organic farm. Great job guys! I love seeing small-scale projects like this.

Link (via Last Word Blog).

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