Bioengineers Introduce "Bi-Fi" Biological Internet

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:09 AM
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You've probably heard they can now encode books into the medium of DNA, as well as jpeg images and software code. Now bioengineers at Stanford have developed what has been termed a "biological internet".

They have harnessed the ability of a virus M13 to package and broadcast arbitrary DNA strands. Strangely like how TCP/IP protocols puts wrappers around messages and sends them to a target address on the internet we are familiar with.
med.stanford.edu...


Using the virus, Ortiz and Endy have created a biological mechanism to send genetic messages from cell to cell. The system greatly increases the complexity and amount of data that can be communicated between cells and could lead to greater control of biological functions within cell communities.



M13 is a packager of genetic messages. It reproduces within its host, taking strands of DNA — strands that engineers can control — wrapping them up one by one and sending them out encapsulated within proteins produced by M13 that can infect other cells. Once inside the new hosts, they release the packaged DNA message.

The M13-based system is essentially a communication channel. It acts like a wireless Internet connection that enables cells to send or receive messages, but it does not care what secrets the transmitted messages contain.


The implications are astounding, Most of which can't even be realized yet I'd imagine.

Now we are not talking about transmitting the information through the air waves. So far they have been able to broadcast genetic messages between cells separated by a gelatinous medium at a distance of greater than 7 centimeters. A very long way on a cellular scale.

However as a recent article on Craig Venter and his synthetic cell describes....


The digital and biological worlds are becoming interchangeable, he added, describing how scientists now simply send each other the information to make DIY biological material rather than sending the material itself.

Venter also outlined a vision of small converter devices that can be attached to computers to make the structures from the digital information - perhaps the future could see us distributing information to make vaccines, foods and fuels around the world, or even to other planets. "This is biology moving at the speed of light," he said.


www.newscientist.com...

The speed of light indeed. I believe this is a little peek into the future.




posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by squiz
 


S&F

I find the implications worrying--being able to code RNA/DNA to infect people with bio-engineered viruses, but that is possibly just me expecting the worst of people.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:16 AM
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We have definitely reached a point where we will begin to see a convergence of biology and technology.

Though i fully support this type of research, i find a sense of fear scratching at the back of my mind at the prospect of what kind of horrors can be released by this "Pandora's box".

Again, let me reiterate that I fully support the advancement of technology were integration with our biology is the next step in human evolution, but the prospect of catastrophic unintended consequences looms on any scientific horizon, including this one in which we are playing with the very fabric of our being.

Erwin Schrödinger is just an amazing individual and his contributions to this field will be truly ground breaking.

I find this topic guilty of awesomeness.


S+F
edit on 8-10-2012 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by MDDoxs
...
Again, let me reiterate that I fully support the advancement of technology were integration with our biology is the next step in human evolution, but the prospect of catastrophic unintended consequences looms on any scientific horizon, including this one in which we are playing with the very fabric of our being.
...


Im all for H+ and the advancement of ourselves, but we as innovators need to be able to look at the bigger picture and not evolve ourselves into obsolescence.

Actually my main concern is research funding... but thats not in the scope of this thread.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by cartenz
 


Our innovation will promote evolution in conjunction with technology as we take more of it into our being.

Bio-tech will be a huge industry in the not to distant future. Without getting to off topic, the use of technology such as the one mentioned in the op, will enable humans to promote longevity and develop us physically.

Within the context of the OP, can you imagine being able to wireless communicate with a computer network only using some specially developed/integrated neurons? Could we potentially process information at the same level as a computer? The possibilities are limitless.

The integration of man and machine will open this doorway to us. Grant it, this is assuming this is the direction of bio-tech



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by MDDoxs
reply to post by cartenz
 
...

Within the context of the OP, can you imagine being able to wireless communicate with a computer network only using some specially developed/integrated neurons? Could we potentially process information at the same level as a computer? The possibilities are limitless.


I can imagine that, BCI (Brain Computer Interface) was what first popped into my head, and again, it might be just my pessimism but look at the average internet user and the ratio of malicious software per machine they own--and we want to connect their brains to such? a potential botnet type of infection that controls the worlds population... oh wait, thats the media.

Im cautious... paranoid even. But then again Im one of those folk who hang out on conspiracy websites

EDIT: dont let my disposition discourage your enthusiasm--I do find it refreshing
edit on 8-10-2012 by cartenz because: think +



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:49 AM
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I'm sorry, I just couldn't stop laughing..

Why?

Because in Germany the word "BiFi" describes some snack, comparable to... Well, you would get it if that Bio-Internet would be called "Oscar Meyer Wiener"..




posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by cartenz


I can imagine that, BCI (Brain Computer Interface) was what first popped into my head, and again, it might be just my pessimism but look at the average internet user and the ratio of malicious software per machine they own--and we want to connect their brains to such? a potential botnet type of infection that controls the worlds population... oh wait, thats the media.




I agree with you that the potential for malicious attacks to have a more direct influence on our persons will be increased with this type of technology.

Typically, with the emergence of the darker side of technology, controls and protections will be developed to prevent such incidents from occurring. Though we have a difficult time with this today and our personal computers being continually infected with viruses and malware.

I am surprised no one has presented the "government will controls us more" angle.

I will conclude my saying that any new innovation can be used for good and evil...
edit on 8-10-2012 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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This is interesting from the standpoint of technology and biology, and their apparent blending.

But it is even more interesting when you consider that this is the second example in the past month where we are being told that there is a near identical analog to TCP/IP in the natural world. While I am lazy and don't want to search it out at the moment (trying to get out the door), there was a link on ATS discussing ants using TCP/IP methodology to make excursions from the mound.

As above, so below. Even when we don't know it.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by MDDoxs
 


Having been a public servant for many years Im not worried about government control--more mismanagement.


but in all seriousness, its not the government that is pushing this innovation, its military-industrial sector and thats what scares me.

I was about to post an analogy with smartphones, but I feel Im being a Luddite here...



peace



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 09:32 AM
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double post...

peace
edit on 8-10-2012 by cartenz because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by squiz
 


Hey, great info in there ! It's very exciting research, but also it worries me as to what it could be used for.
I guess time will only tell.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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The first thing that came to mind was telepathy and bio engineered brain-net. Like in so many sci-fi novels (old mans war, CUSP etc..) Then all I could think of was the Andromeda strain! That folks would be bad.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 09:56 AM
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You could wipe out a selected whole family with this tech.

how sinister things are getting, it will be a low blow when they start doing this.





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