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The advances benefiting humanity’s health today and tomorrow. Follow along as Singularity Hub discusses the future of health and latest trends in health.

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Do We Have the Right to Edit the Genes of an Entire Species?

Scientists can now more cheaply and efficiently edit animal and human DNA using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system. But should we edit species, and if so, to what extent? An interesting way to consider this question...

VR Promises a Surprising Tech Alternative to Painkillers in Deadly Opioid Crisis

As the United States teeters on the brink of a national state of emergency, more than 100 Americans now die every day due to opioid overdose. Ted Jones, a clinical psychologist with Pain Consultants...

Robots and AI Will Take Over These 3 Medical Niches First

We're no stranger to robotics in the medical field. Robot-assisted surgery is becoming more and more common. Many training programs are starting to include robotic and virtual reality scenarios to provide hands-on training for...
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Tech-X-Planations | Introducing a New Original Weekly Video Series

We’ve all name-dropped a new technology that sounds awesome—like CRISPR/Cas9—without really knowing the basics. This is why we’ve created Tech-x-planations, Singularity Hub’s new weekly video series that explores fundamental ideas in science, technology, and the...

This Chip Uses Electricity to Reprogram Cells for Healing

It sounds like science fiction: with a light zap of electricity, a tiny stamp-like device transforms your skin cells into reservoirs of blood vessels or brain cells, ready to heal you from within. Recently, a...

Breakthrough Stem Cell Study Offers New Clues to Reversing Aging

What causes the body to age? The Greek Philosopher Aristotle thought it was the heart—a “hot, dry” organ at the seat of intelligence, motion and sensation. Fast-forward a few centuries, and the brain has overthrown the...

The Age of Cyborgs Has Arrived

How many cyborgs did you see during your morning commute today? I would guess at least five. Did they make you nervous? Probably not; you likely didn’t even realize they were there. In a presentation...

The Era of Human Gene Editing Is Here—What Happens Next Is Critical

Scientists in Portland, Ore., just succeeded in creating the first genetically modified human embryo in the United States, according to Technology Review. A team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University is reported to “have...

Is the Brain Augmentation Hype Justified? Here’s an Expert’s Take

Despite bold predictions from several tech firms about the future of neural interfaces, the science of brain augmentation is still in the early days. So, what do academics think of all the hype coming...

Designing Antiviral Proteins via Computer Could Help Halt the Next Pandemic

As Bill Gates sees it, there are three main threats to our species: nuclear war, climate change, and the next global pandemic. Speaking on pandemic preparedness at the Munich Security Conference earlier this year, Gates...

Here Are the Microsurgeons That Will Soon Roam Our Bodies

On a crisp fall evening in 2006, Dr. Sylvain Martel held his breath as a technician slipped an anesthetized pig into a whirling fMRI machine. His eyes stared intently at a computer screen, which...

What Happens When Cyborg Tech Goes Beyond Medicine?

The age of the cyborg may be closer than we think. Rapidly improving medical robotics, wearables, and implants means many humans are already part machine, and this trend is only likely to continue. It is...

Limitless Lab-Grown Blood Is ‘Tantalizingly Close’ After 20 Years

Blood stem cells are things of wonder: hidden inside each single cell is the power to reconstitute an entire blood system, like a sort of biological big bang. Yet with great power comes greater vulnerability....

Bizarre Mini Brains Offer a Fascinating New Look at the Brain

Brain balls sound like something straight out of a Tim Burton movie: starting as stem cells harvested from patients, they eventually develop into masses of living neurons, jumbled together in misshapen blobs. Just like the...

Are We About to Unlock the Secrets to Peak Performance?

“How many surf bums who can’t keep a job washing dishes will be up at 5 AM putting on a gritty, sandy wetsuit to paddle out in cold, sharky water for just one shot...

These Cells Are Engineered to Be Controlled by a Smartphone

To Dr. Mark Gomelsky, a professor at the University of Wyoming, genetically engineered therapeutic cells are like troops on a mission. The first act is training. Using genetic editing tools such as CRISPR, scientists can...

Drug Discovery AI Can Do in a Day What Currently Takes Months

To create a new drug, researchers have to test tens of thousands of compounds to determine how they interact. And that’s the easy part; after a substance is found to be effective against a...

Tricorder XPRIZE Awards $2.5M for Device That Detects Illness Using Your Phone

In a few hundred years, doctors will scan their patient with a handheld device called a Tricorder to diagnose virtually any ailment. That’s according to Star Trek. Way back here in the 21st century,...

CRISPR Pill May Be Key in Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

Even since Alexander Fleming stumbled across penicillin—the first antibiotic drug—scientists knew our fight with evolution was on. Most antibiotics work by blocking biological processes that allow bacteria to thrive and multiply. With prolonged, low-dosage use,...

The Brain: A Radical Rethink Is Needed to Understand It

Understanding the human brain is arguably the greatest challenge of modern science. The leading approach for most of the past 200 years has been to link its functions to different brain regions or even...

4 Ways Scientists Hope Nanobots Will Make You Healthier

For most people the phrase “medical robot” probably brings to mind the ground-breaking da Vinci surgical system that has revolutionized minimally-invasive surgery. Either that or the 2-1B droid from Star Wars: the Empire Strikes...

3 Exciting Biotech Trends to Watch Closely in 2017

As I start to look at the emerging trends of 2017 from the vantage of IndieBio, where we see hundreds of biotech startup applications and technologies per year, a few key themes are already emerging....

Are We Ready for Cyborgs? The Tech Is on Its Way

Are we ready for cyborgs? More specifically, people with implants that enhance beyond the superficially cosmetic and into the realms of evolved beings? Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja), Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)...

Does Zapping Your Brain Actually Help You Learn Faster?

A cognitive neuroscientist and his team at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California, seem to have achieved the impossible. According to a press release, the team “measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military...

This Neural Probe Is So Thin, The Brain Doesn’t Know It’s There

Wiring our brains up to computers could have a host of exciting applications – from controlling robotic prosthetics with our minds to restoring sight by feeding camera feeds directly into the vision center...

Would You Want a Dog That Was Genetically Engineered to Be Healthier?

“Dogs have more genetic diseases than any other species on the planet.” David Ishee told me this early in our conversation. His claim makes sense: there’s no other animal that humans have purposefully bred...

Connecting the Big Data Dots to Optimize Health and Manage Disease

The era of "Quantified Self" (a term coined in 2007 by US WIRED founding executive editor Kevin Kelly) is relatively new. The first Fitbit digital step counters launched in late 2009, and we've since seen an...

New Tech Makes Brain Implants Safer and Super Precise

When Jan Scheuermann volunteered for an experimental brain implant, she had no idea she was making neuroscience history. Scheuermann, 54 at the time of surgery, had been paralyzed for 14 years due to a neurological...

Our Health Data Can Save Lives, But We Have to Be Willing to Share

Organ donation has saved countless lives, but could donating our personal data have an even more transformative impact on healthcare? The potential impact of Big Data and machine learning on healthcare is only just beginning...

Talking to a Computer May Soon Be Enough to Diagnose Illness

In recent years, technology has been producing more and more novel ways to diagnose and treat illness. Urine tests will soon be able to detect cancer. Smartphone apps can diagnose STIs. Chatbots can provide...

Families Finally Hear From Completely Paralyzed Patients Via New Mind-Reading Device

Wendy was barely 20 years old when she received a devastating diagnosis: juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an aggressive neurodegenerative disorder that destroys motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord.* Within half a...

Wearable Devices Can Actually Tell When You’re About to Get Sick

Feeling run down? Have a case of the sniffles? Maybe you should have paid more attention to your smartwatch. No, that’s not the pitch line for a new commercial peddling wearable technology, though no doubt...

Young Blood Offered as Anti-Aging Therapy — But Is It Ready?

When 68-year-old Mark Thompson* walked into a private clinic on the outskirts of Monterey, California, $8,000 in hand, he had one hope in mind: to leave the clinic feeling physically and mentally back in...

Could Having Too Much Become a Bigger Problem Than Having Too Little?

Years ago I traveled to Juarez, Mexico for work, staying across the border in El Paso, Texas and driving back and forth each day. On the Texas side, American life bustled on as usual:...

Designer Babies Dilemma in Sharp Focus With Fast Moving Fertility Tech

Moral panic around “designer babies” is nothing new, but rapid advances in technology that allows adult cells to be reprogrammed into sperm and egg cells could bring the issue into sharp focus. Since the 90s...

Stem Cells Are Poised to Change Health and Medicine Forever

We are at the cusp of a stem cell revolution. Understanding and harnessing these unique cells may unlock breakthroughs in longevity and therapeutic solutions to all kinds of chronic diseases and regenerative opportunities. Last month, I...

Cellular Reprogramming Rejuvenates Old Mice and Boosts Lifespans 30%

The quest for the fountain of youth is as ancient as humanity itself. Now, it appears scientists may have found the source. Using a process designed to “reprogram” normal adult cells into pluripotent stem cells—cells...

Forget Fillings: New Study Shows How to Regrow Teeth

Few of us are graced with a perfect mouthful of teeth. If it’s not braces or cavities, it’s wisdom teeth or root canals. Adding injury to insult, while medicine has made a lot of...

Your Smartphone’s Next Big Trick? To Make You Healthier Than Ever

On a seemingly normal summer day nine years ago, planet Earth was struck by a gadget-sized blow that would reinvent nearly every facet of our lives. That day heralded the entry of the iPhone, which...

This One Equation May Be the Root of Intelligence

How does intelligence work? According to Dr. Joe Tsien, a leading neuroscientist at Augusta University in Georgia, the key lies in one simple, unassuming equation: N = 2i–1. At its core, Tsien’s theory of connectivity describes how...

New AI Mental Health Tools Beat Human Doctors at Assessing Patients

About 20 percent of youth in the United States live with a mental health condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s the bad news. The good news is that mental health professionals have...

Is Radical Life Extension Good for Society?

It’s no longer a radical question. The aging literature is replete with treatments that could prolong lifespan by 20-40%, at least in lab animals. Interventions such as caloric restriction, rapamycin and metformin have been studied...

Bioprinting Is One Step Closer to Making a Human Kidney

Bioprinting has been all over the news in the past several years with headline-worthy breakthroughs like printed human skin, synthetic bones, and even a fully functional mouse thyroid gland. 3D printing paved the way for bioprinting thanks to...

Artificial Spinal Cord Wirelessly Restores Walking in Paralyzed Monkeys

Until a few years ago, reversing paralysis was the stuff of movie miracles. Yet according to Dr. Andrew Jackson, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University in the UK, as early as the end of this decade,...

Lung Cancer Patient First to Undergo CRISPR Gene Editing

The CRISPR-Cas9 “drag-and-drop” gene editing technique has been used in its first human trial, reports Nature. Scientists at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China began a trial last month to treat a lung cancer patient....

Researchers Repair Brain Damage in Mice With Stem Cell Transplants

The human brain is a biological wonder with considerable skills. Regeneration, unfortunately, isn’t one of them. Save for one tiny V-shaped region within the hippocampus, the human brain’s ability to rebuild itself is nearly nonexistent....

Printable Organs Will Put an End to Transplant Lists

A woman living on a dialysis machine is grown a new kidney using her own cells. A father struggling with age-related vision loss has his eyesight restored. A soldier suffers extensive burns and has...

Scientists Hook Up Brain to Tablet—Paralyzed Woman Googles With Ease

For patient T6, 2014 was a happy year. That was the year she learned to control a Nexus tablet with her brain waves, and literally took her life quality from 1980s DOS to modern era...

Medicine Will Advance More in the Next 10 Years Than It Did in the Last 100

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, recently announced a $3 billion effort to cure all disease during the lifetime of their daughter, Max. Earlier this year, Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker donated $250...

Mice Born From Artificial Eggs a ‘Stunning Achievement’

Last month, a team of British scientists successfully made healthy, fertile mice from pseudo-egg cells that resembled fertilized embryos. The story made waves: compared to normal egg cells, the pseudo-eggs were more similar to...

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