What is an iPlant?

March 01 2008 / by iPlant
Category: Biotechnology   Year: General   Rating: 14

When will iPlants enter clinical trials?

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Comment Thread (9 Responses)

  1. That is awesome – surprisingly not more publicized. Interesting that it targets dopamine receptors, as drugs do. Could people become “addicted” to repetitive, high value tasks? Or is the dopamine level monitored so that one keeps getting the same emotional kick-back even over time? With drugs, the more you do, the more you need. I wonder if a similar trends are seen with iPlant technologies. It might open up the doors (or prob already has?) for very interesting research – could a cocaine addict be rehabilitated by getting a similar dopamine-driven emotional and physical high from exercise or work instead?

    Posted by: Marisa Vitols   March 01, 2008
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  2. Ai chihuahua. It’s like a remote control for yourself. I’d love to see an extensive list of pros and cons for such technology applied in humans.

    In the shorter term, I’d think this would be / is of great interest to governments, defense groups and security organizations. I see rooms of analysts, squads of soldiers, crews of astronauts could all benefit.

    In the mid-term, the iPlant might appeal to big business: stock traders, airline pilots, bored assembly line workers, video store clerks. ;)

    In the long-term, everyone is game.

    Powerful. Disruptive. Scary. Miraculous when applied in the right situations.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   March 02, 2008
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  3. Well one of the potential downfalls is that everybody could go get one and if they were somehow remotely switched on and off you could quite easily get into a mind control situation where people are only rewarded for completing the tasks they are told. Personally i think we need to understand the human brain much more before we get interested in stimulating it. Augmentation im all for (memory processing etc) but stimulation is really really risky as highlighted by drug abuse and probably other sources.

    Posted by: Virulent   March 02, 2008
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  4. They don’t even discuss the long-term implications of an iPlant in the video. The brain is an extremely adaptive organ and will do everything it can to bring its electrochemical back to balance. How is this going to impact the functioning of this greater than 3 months?

    Posted by: iveta   March 02, 2008
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  5. Well actually if you look at for instance brain pacemakers being used for patients with severe depression its already been shown that they will continue to work over a long period of time. And sometimes the electrochemical balance of the brain isnt in balance, infact a lot of the time it isnt.. its just at a sustainable state. The ethical considerations of such a technology are imo FAR greater than for instance stem cell research.

    Posted by: Virulent   March 03, 2008
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  6. So habituation is not a factor? Oh boy, we’re in for a ride.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   March 03, 2008
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  7. Marisa, there’s certainly potential for various forms of addiction – I think the most challenging one is that people might damage their self-dicipline by relying on the chip too much – we need to work on ways to protect against this.

    Virulent, risk and trust will be critical but I think it’s a bit like Google Health – sounds insane now but once people see how secure and effective it is they may start to reconsider.

    Posted by: iPlant   March 03, 2008
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  8. Google health is completely different to tampering with the very machinery that drives a human being to desire something. Im all for implants as ive said but not for motivation i think thats a bit of a no go for a very long time, i think it would be far more practical to develop memory and processing implants first since human beings are motivated enough (some to the point of broken families) it would be much better to augment that productivity they currently possess rather than causing more stress. The new technological world is an information bombardment as it is, we need means to counter that so its more managable then we can utilise the information more correctly. If we do motivation first we’ll end up getting into lots of problems because we arent as intelligent as we need to be to deal with such a powerful influence on our society. Of course you could argue such with the internet and other breakthroughs but this is a very intimate internal change far closer to the realms of what makes us human than anything else.

    Posted by: Virulent   March 04, 2008
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  9. Virulent, I don’t agree that humans are “motivated enough”, maybe some are but they are not the ones who would want an iPlant. Just look at the obesity epidemic. “Memory and processing implants” sound good but I’m looking for a brain implant that could be developed NOW. Your concerns that we might not be intelligent enough to deal with iPlants or that they would rob us of our humanity are extremely interesting and hard questions. I don’t have a ready answer but please keep an eye on the ethics section of the iPlant website.

    Posted by: iPlant   March 08, 2008
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