Ebola – Virulence Per Outbreak

In a deviation from standard posts, I turn to the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The infographic from Forbes below may shed some light on the relative extent and virulence of this outbreak. EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE: VIRULENCE PER OUTBREAK. Rectangles are outbreaks, labelled with year. Size is number of disease cases. Color is virulence, the case fatality rate from 0% yellow … Continue reading Ebola – Virulence Per Outbreak

DecNef – Learning Through Brain Mapping “Matrix” Style

** SPOILER ALERT **  If you have not read Cohesion Lost but plan to, then do not read this.  It contains information that will spoil the plot. In the novel Cohesion Lost, Tenbu and his classmates use plexus beds to relive the lives of historic figures.  What a way to learn history.   Historical dates are no longer abstract.  When was the battle of Waterloo? If you … Continue reading DecNef – Learning Through Brain Mapping “Matrix” Style

Cybernetics: Bionic Eyes

The bionic eye is an artificial device that gives site to the blind or enhanced sight to those who can see on their own — a cybernetic device.   Currently, bionic eyes for the blind are experimental with some success depending on when the patient was blinded and what cause the blindness. According to Wikipedia, there are at least 11 ongoing bionic eye projects: Argus Retinal … Continue reading Cybernetics: Bionic Eyes

Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) – Part 1

Earlier this week, The Associated Press reported that a paralyzed man remotely controlled a simple robot using only thoughts.  (The images shown here are not from that experiment, but from one done three years ago by Honda.  More on that later.) The robot was a small, simple device that moved on wheels, was equipped with a camera, and had a laptop computer perched on top.  … Continue reading Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) – Part 1

Healing Stones – Part 3: More Targeted Cancer Therapy

All that glitters is not gold.  Sometimes it is cancer. How about gold-plated cancer? We can do that now, or more technically: gold nanoparticles infused with an antibody called cetuximab attach to growth factors (EGFR) expressed on the surface of some cancer cells.  In other words, bind just the right antibodies to gold nanoparticles, inject them into tissue, and cancer cells will be covered with gold. Ok, … Continue reading Healing Stones – Part 3: More Targeted Cancer Therapy

Healing Stones – Part 2: Targeted Cancer Therapy

How do you get a nano-robot to target and kill just cancer cells but leave healthy cells alone? Think like a suicide bomber: Carry a concealed mass killing weapon like a bomb, Act and look like you belong, Get into the enemy’s site, and Blow it up. Nanotechnology for medicine does not necessarily mean robotic machinery. On the nanometer scale, the mechanism is more like … Continue reading Healing Stones – Part 2: Targeted Cancer Therapy

Healing Stones – Part 1: Bio-Nano-Robots to the Rescue

I just got back from the doctor for a cybernetic implant tune-up.  She got on my case for going beyond the six month recommended tune-up cycle.  I also haven’t been taking the prescribed minerals the nano-factories need to spit out the little doctors. Tsk tsk. What? You haven’t heard about little doctors? (Yes, this is fictional.) How about nanites? No? What century are you living in, the 21st?  OK, I’ll explain.  … Continue reading Healing Stones – Part 1: Bio-Nano-Robots to the Rescue