Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Living Forever

Is immortality coming in your lifetime? Medical advances, cryonics, cloning, genetic engineering, and other advances offer tantalizing promises. We'll look at the possibilities.
Ray Kurzweil's Plan for Cheating Death By Terry Grossman

A cure for aging may be found in the next fifty years. The trick now is to live long enough to be there when it happens. In his two new books, Ray Kurzweil has painted a clear picture of the future and provided a blueprint for how to get there. (Added February 3rd 2006)

Interview with Robert A. Freitas Jr. Part 2 By Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Sander Olson

There are very few diseases or conditions--including infectious diseases--aside from physical brain damage, that cannot be cured using nanomedicine, says nanomedicine pioneer Robert A. Freitas Jr. He believes nanomedicine's greatest power will emerge in a decade or two as we learn to design and construct complete artificial nanorobots using diamondoid nanometer-scale parts and subsystems. (Added February 2nd 2006)

Ray Kurzweil's Dangerous Idea By Ray Kurzweil
"What is your dangerous idea?" Over one hundred big thinkers answered this question, as part of The Edge's Annual Question for 2006. Ray Kurzweil's dangerous idea? We can achieve immortality in our lifetime. (Added January 17th 2006)

Open-Source Biology And Its Impact on Industry By Rob Carlson
Technology based on intentional, open-source biology is on its way, whether we like it or not. Distributed biological manufacturing is the future of the global economy and will occur as inexpensive, quality DNA sequencing and synthesis equipment becomes available to anyone. In 2050, garage biology hacking will be well under way. Fear of potential hazards should be met with increased research and education, rather than closing the door on the profound positive impacts that distributed biological technology will have on human health, human impacts on the environment, and increasing standards of living around the world. (Added March 3rd 2004)

Foreword to Electronic Reporting in the Digital Medical Enterprise By Ray Kurzweil
Doctors in the year 2012 will have access to full-immersion virtual-reality training and surgical systems, microchip-based protein and gene analysis systems, knowledge-based systems providing automated guidance and access to the most recent medical research, and always-present visual displays of patient data for instant interaction via voice. (Added June 6th 2003)

The Future of Life By Ray Kurzweil
A coming era of personalized genetic medicine, breakthroughs that radically extend the human lifespan, nanomedicine, and the merger of our biological species with our own technology were among the future visions presented at TIME's "The Future of Life" conference. (Added March 31st 2003)

Human Body Version 2.0 By Ray Kurzweil
In the coming decades, a radical upgrading of our body's physical and mental systems, already underway, will use nanobots to augment and ultimately replace our organs. We already know how to prevent most degenerative disease through nutrition and supplementation; this will be a bridge to the emerging biotechnology revolution, which in turn will be a bridge to the nanotechnology revolution. By 2030, reverse-engineering of the human brain will have been completed and nonbiological intelligence will merge with our biological brains. (Added February 17th 2003)

Death is an Outrage By Robert A. Freitas Jr.
Each year, we allow a destruction of knowledge equivalent to three Libraries of Congress with an average value of about $2 million dollars for each human life lost. The solution: "dechronification"--nanomedicine tools that can arrest biological aging and reduce your biological age. (Added January 10th 2003)

Human Cloning is the Least Interesting Application of Cloning Technology By Ray Kurzweil
Cloning is an extremely important technology--not for cloning humans but for life extension: therapeutic cloning of one's own organs, creating new tissues to replace defective tissues or organs, or replacing one's organs and tissues with their "young" telomere-extended replacements without surgery. Cloning even offers a possible solution for world hunger: creating meat without animals. (Added January 4th 2003)

Dialogue between Ray Kurzweil, Eric Drexler, and Robert Bradbury By K. Eric Drexler, Ray Kurzweil, and Robert Bradbury
What would it take to achieve successful cryonics reanimation of a fully functioning human brain, with memories intact? A conversation at the recent Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension between Ray Kurzweil and Eric Drexler sparked an email discussion of this question. They agreed that despite the challenges, the brain's functions and memories can be represented surprisingly compactly, suggesting that successful reanimation of the brain may be achievable. (Added December 4th 2002)

The Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension By Ray Kurzweil
On November 15-17, 2002, leaders in life extension and cryonics came together to explore how the emerging technologies of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and cryonics will enable humans to halt and ultimately reverse aging and disease and live indefinitely. (Added November 21st 2002)

The Vasculoid Personal Appliance By Robert A. Freitas Jr.
Robert A. Freitas Jr. (author, "Nanomedicine") visualizes a future "vasculoid" (vascular-like machine) that would replace human blood with some 500 trillion nanorobots distributed throughout the body’s vasculature as a coating. It could eradicate heart disease, stroke, and other vascular problems; remove parasites, bacteria, viruses, and metastasizing cancer cells to limit the spread of bloodborne disease; move lymphocytes faster to improve immune response; reduce susceptibility to chemical, biochemical, and parasitic poisons; improve physical endurance and stamina; and partially protect from various accidents and other physical harm. (Added October 22nd 2002)

External Counterpulsation -- A New Paradigm for Treating Heart Disease By Terry Grossman
External Counterpulsation (ECP) is an ingenious method for treating angina that doesn't use drugs, is non-invasive, inexpensive and safe -- unlike conventional surgical procedures such as angioplasty and bypass surgery. Physicians should inform patients of all the treatment options available for ischemic heart disease, including FDA-approved ECP, says physician Dr. Grossman. (Added June 17th 2002)

Predictive Human Genomics Is Here By Terry Grossman
Thanks to breakthroughs in genomics testing, physicians now have tools for true preventive medicine. Gene chips and genomics test panels can predict one’s predisposition towards many serious -- and often preventable -- genetic diseases and allow doctors to modify gene expression through precise, targeted, individualized interventions. (Added May 29th 2002)

Respirocytes By Robert A. Freitas Jr.
An artificial nanomedical erythrocyte, or "respirocyte" -- intended to duplicate all of the important functions of the red blood cell -- could serve as a universal blood substitute, preserve living tissue, eliminate "the bends," allow for new sports records, and provide treatment for anemia, choking, lung diseases, asphyxia, and other respiratory problems. (Added May 20th 2002)

We Are Becoming Cyborgs By Ray Kurzweil
The union of human and machine is well on its way. Almost every part of the body can already be enhanced or replaced, even some of our brain functions. Subminiature drug delivery systems can now precisely target tumors or individual cells. Within two to three decades, our brains will have been "reverse-engineered": nanobots will give us full-immersion virtual reality and direct brain connection with the Internet. Soon after, we will vastly expand our intellect as we merge our biological brains with non-biological intelligence. (Added March 15th 2002)

Radical body design"Primo Posthuman" By Natasha Vita-More
Primo 3M+ is a prototype future body, a conceptual design with superlongevity in mind. Primo by design is multi-functional. It is reliable, changeable, upgradeable, and complete with enhanced senses. Primo is the new designer body. (Added February 25th 2002)

Why Sleep? By Terrence Sejnowski
The 5th Annual Edge Question reflects the spirit of the Edge motto: "To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves." Terrence Sejnowski asks: why sleep? (Added January 21st 2002)

Why is religion so important to most Americans and so trivial to most intellectuals? By David Gelernter
The 5th Annual Edge Question reflects the spirit of the Edge motto: "To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves." David Gelernter asks: why is religion important to some? (Added January 21st 2002)

Food For Thought By David Dalrymple
Ten-year-old college student David Dalrymple recently spoke at the International Food Policy Research Institute's "Sustainable Food Security for All by 2020" Conference, sharing some suggestions about solutions to world hunger and regulation of food and drugs. This paper, written months before his presentation, has some of the ideas he shared at the conference. (Added September 27th 2001)

The End Of Time: A Talk With Julian Barbour By Julian Barbour
In this talk with the Edge's John Brockman, Julian Barbour takes on the absolute framework of time. And if time truly doesn't exist, could we, hypothetically, live forever? (Added August 3rd 2001)

Foreword to 'Dark Ages II' (book by Bryan Bergeron) By Ray Kurzweil
Our civilization's knowledge legacy is at great risk, growing exponentially with the exploding size of our knowledge bases. And that doesn't count the trillions of bytes of information stored in our brains, which eventually will be captured in the future. How long do we want our lives and thoughts to last? (Added July 26th 2001)

Say Ah By Robert A. Freitas Jr.
Nanorobots the size of bacteria might one day roam people's bodies, rooting out disease organisms and repairing damaged tissue. (Added May 23rd 2001)

Diary of an Immortal Man By Richard Dooling
What would it be like to live forever? Writer Richard Dooling explores this question in this fictional piece from Esquire. (Added May 22nd 2001)

The Transhumanist FAQ By Nick Bostrom
This FAQ, written by Nick Bostrom (with the help of others—see endnote), outlines the principles of transhumanism and provides definitions of transhumanist terms and resources. This is one of many versions of the "Transhumanist FAQ" that can be found on many websites, per organization or individual. (Added April 30th 2001)

Immortality By Swami Vivekananda
Vivekananda attempts to answer the question: are we mortal or immortal? If we are mortal, no further questions need be asked. But if we are immortal, what are the logical arguments that support this idea and what is it that endures after death? From his talk delivered over a hundred years ago. (Added April 26th 2001)

Life Extension and Overpopulation By Max More
The prospect of life extension raises fears of overpopulation. Extropian Max More argues we should focus on reducing births, not on raising or maintaining death, since population growth and pollution are slowing down (from growing wealth) and in the future we can create new habitats in space. (Added April 9th 2001)

Why Cryosuspension Makes Sense By Terry Grossman
We're all genetically programmed to die, but advances in nanomedicine are expected to allow for "radical life extension" by 2050. Meanwhile, there's cryostasis--freezing the body immediately after death with a view toward resuscitation in the future. (Added April 3rd 2001)

The Transhuman Singularity By Terry Grossman
Therapeutic human cloning, stem cell therapies, synthetic organs, molecular nanotechnology, and the digital-cerebral interface may allow us to achieve immortality in this century. But keeping bionic transhumans alive until immortalilty is achieved may prove very expensive. And not everyone will want it. (Added March 27th 2001)

Human Cloning is the Least of It By Ray Kurzweil
In this message posted to the WIRED Future List, Raymond Kurzweil asserts that cloning--replicating animals, organs, and cells--has profound implications for health and well-being of both humans and animals, including a possible solution for world hunger. He also sees no problem with human cloning. (Added February 22nd 2001)

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