The objective is to construct the first comprehensive “cell atlas,” or map of human cells, a technological marvel that should comprehensively reveal, for the first time, what human bodies are actually made of and provide scientists a sophisticated new model of biology that could speed the search for drugs.
To perform the task of cataloguing the 37.2 trillion cells of the human body, an international consortium of scientists from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Israel, the Netherlands, and Japan is being assembled to assign each a molecular signature and also give each type a zip code in the three-dimensional space of our bodies.
All over the world, in fact, evidence for alcohol production from all kinds of crops is showing up, dating to near the dawn of civilization. University of Pennsylvania biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern believes that’s not an accident. From the rituals of the Stone Age on, he argues, the mind-altering properties of booze have fired our creativity and fostered the development of language, the arts, and religion. Look closely at great transitions in human history, from the origin of farming to the origin of writing, and you’ll find a possible link to alcohol. “There’s good evidence from all over the world that alcoholic beverages are important to human culture,” McGovern says. “Thirty years ago that fact wasn’t as recognized as it is now.” Drinking is such an integral part of our humanity, according to McGovern, that he only half jokingly suggests our species be called Homo imbibens.
I started using my Fitbit on December 25, 2013. In the 40 months, it tells me I have walked 10.9 million steps ( 5,277 miles), an average of 9,000 steps a day. I have lost it twice and it has come back to faithfully serve me and sends me flattering badges (like the Africa one when I crossed 5,000 miles). I return the favor and religiously charge it once a week. To say it has kept me somewhat disciplined would be an understatement.
The company is celebrating its tenth anniversary and they shared some staggering numbers tracking the 60 million devices they have sold
3,724,731,035,482 steps taken (that’s 3.7 trillion)
1,480,356 trips around the world
3 Billion nights of sleep tracked
Here is a nice infograph on their history so far – click to enlarge
Harbisson, whose U.K. passport shows he’s the first legally recognized cyborg, was born colorblind. He designed his antenna—which translates colors into one of 360 musical tones he’s memorized—back in 2003 with help from a cyberneticist. At first, he connected it to headphones and a laptop. Eventually, he persuaded a surgeon to drill into his skull, implant a chip, and fuse the antenna to his occipital bone.
The couple say merging technology with their bodies has created new senses. “We are transspecies,” says Ribas, whose three-year-old seismic implant vibrates at different intensities based on data from online seismographs. As with other biohackers, their claims—he says my color registers as an F sharp, for example—are difficult to verify. But their London startup, Cyborg Nest, is manufacturing DIY kits meant to bring their transhumanism closer to the mainstream.
The global market is projected to hit $2.7 billion in 2017, a 35 percent rise since 2010, according to the research company Statista. Breaking this down, hair-restoration surgical operations rose 57 percent from 2010 to 2014, and more than 3 percent of all U.S. households use a hair-loss product.
With all that money on the table, more than 55 labs around the globe are experimenting with solutions that range from stem cells and bioprinting to hair cloning and robotic transplants. The San Diego–based biotech company Samumed has been getting a lot of attention for its hair-loss drug, the evocatively named SM04554, a topical solution that targets the same genes that control fetal growth. Zap the right gene the right way, and you feasibly can regrow hair. Since 2008, the firm has raised $220 million and has set its sights on a valuation of $12 billion. (Its market cap currently is $6 billion.) Hong Kong–based Pineworld Capital has invested $6 million in Histogen, another regenerative medical company based in San Diego. It markets an injectable neonatal-cell scalp treatment that is slated to go on the market in China next year. The Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido has invested an undisclosed amount since 2013 in a partnership with RepliCel Life Sciences, a stem-cell research outfit (see video below) RepliCel Life Sciences plans to launch a $1,000 treatment by 2018, most likely in the form of topical dermal injectors.
West Los Angeles Animal Hospital may be the apotheosis of corporate veterinary care. When it became VCA’s first purchase, in 1986, it was already the biggest pet hospital west of the Mississippi River. Today it occupies a three-story building with an attached parking garage and is staffed by 60 doctors, including cardiologists, neurologists, oncologists, even a psychologist. There are underwater treadmills for overweight cats and gimpy dogs and a sterile isolation room for pets recovering from bone marrow transplants, a cancer treatment that can easily cost $16,000. “All the advancements that you hear about in veterinary medicine? None of that would be possible if it was just your neighbor working by himself like it used to be,” says VCA Chief Executive Officer Bob Antin.
“A political action committee that seeks to get more scientists and engineers to run for elective office, 314 Action, has seen a surge of interest in its programs, with more than 2,000 people registering at its website. The group is planning a training program for scientist-candidates, whether they want to run for local or state offices or Congress.
Other scientists have organized demonstrations — including a march now set for Earth Day, April 22 — submitted letters or opinion articles to news organizations or joined efforts to preserve government data that they fear may otherwise disappear. “
Time on how science affects many US public policies