Posts Tagged ‘NBICS Disabled people’

Human Rights for the 21st Century:Rights of the Person to Technological Self-Determination

In Disabled People, Health, nano on January 12, 2007 at 11:08 pm

IHEU- Appignani Humanist
Center for Bioethics and

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


Human Rights for the 21st Century:

Rights of the Person to Technological Self-Determination

New York City

May 11-13, 2007

Cocktail Reception: Friday May 11, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Location: TBD

Conference: Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13, 9:00 am – 3:45 pm

Location: 777 UN Plaza, 2nd Floor, New York City, NY 10017

The 2007 conference “Human Rights for the 21st Century: Rights of the Person to Technological Self-Determination” will focus on (a) human rights in the context of bodily autonomy as well as reproductive and cognitive liberties, (b) emerging biotechnologies which may contribute to the exercise of such rights, and (c) challenges to the essentialist ideas of human identity underlying some human rights discourse.

The conference will address the various roles of emerging technologies and other products of scientific progress in today’s society, as well as their implications for the pursuit of bioethics. Potential topics to be considered include nanotechnology in medical treatment, novel vaccines against addictive behaviors, Internet-enabled social networking and engineering, designer genetic engineering, novel transplantable tissue and organ generation, neuroscience and its application to medical advances, as well as reproductive science and women’s rights. The conference intends to provide an open forum for interaction between various stakeholders in this debate, including those representing public, private, and international sectors.

These topics will be addressed through paper presentations and panel discussions. The deadline for the submission of papers is March 20, 2007. Accepted papers will be peer-reviewed and considered for publication in the Journal of Evolution and Technology (http://jetpress.org). Virtual registrations will be also available for those unable to attend the Conference who still wish to submit a paper for review and possible publication.


Registration for presenters and early registrants is $50, payable by May 1, 2007.

Registration fee includes attendance at the two-day conference.

Cocktail reception: $15 extra.

The conference fee for students who attend is $25, for the general public (after May 1) $75.

The address for the submission of papers, registration fees (by check, payable to “IHEU”) or inquiries:


P.O. Box 4104 Grand Central Station New York, NY 10162

Phone: (212) 687 3324 analita@iheu.org

Or by Paypal (online) to


Registration forms and other details will be posted on:

http://www.iheu.org/bioethics and at http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/rights2007


Accommodation packages are available, on a first-come-first-serve basis, from the Pickwick Hotel, E 51st Street and Second Avenue. Tel: 212 355 0300, e-mail: info@pickwickarms.com.

Fifteen hotel rooms have been booked at Millenium UN Plaza Hotel New York, United Nations Plaza, 44th Street between First and Second Avenues, New York,NY, USA 10017-3575 Tel: 212 758 1234 fax: 212 702 5051 reservation: 866 866 8086 email: unplaza@mhrmail.com. Please quote Conference name when booking.


The IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics focuses on raising awareness of bioethical issues confronting the international community and developing and implementing an international program for lobbying. The Center is a new initiative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. IHEU holds a special consultative status with ECOSOC at the United Nations, a general consultative status with UNICEF and the Council of Europe as well as operational relations with UNESCO in Paris.

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies examines the social implications of technological progress, promoting public policies that distribute the benefits and reduce the risks of accelerating innovation. The IEET is chaired by Dr. Nick Bostrom of Oxford University, and served by Dr. James Hughes of Trinity College (Hartford CT) as its Executive Director. The thirteen Fellows of the IEET span expertise from nanotechnology, neurotechnology, biotechnology and information science to bioethics, philosophy and health policy. The IEET publishes the Journal of Evolution and Technology (jetpress.org) and hosts the Changesurfer podcast.

Ultrastrong Carbon-Nanotube Muscles

In nano on December 8, 2006 at 7:42 am

Artificial muscles made from carbon nanotubes are 100 times stronger than human muscles.
Read more at Source

Driving a Wheelchair with Your Shirt

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2006 at 6:31 pm

Adaptive, sensor-laden garments could provide a new way for quadriplegics to control their wheelchairs. The system, which is still in an early stage of development, identifies the ideal set of movements that can be employed as control commands for each individual user. “We think this will benefit the most difficult patients, such as those who can move only their head or shoulders,” says Alon Fishbach, a scientist at Northwestern who is among those developing the device.
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Light-sensitive photoswitches could restore sight to blind retinas

In Health on November 1, 2006 at 5:14 am

(Nanowerk News) A research center newly created by the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) aims to put light-sensitive switches in the body’s cells that can be flipped on and off as easily as a remote control operates a TV.
Optical switches like these could trigger a chemical reaction, initiate a muscle contraction, activate a drug or stimulate a nerve cell – all at the flash of a light.
One major goal of the UC Berkeley-LBNL Nanomedicine Development Center is to equip cells of the retina with photoswitches, essentially making blind nerve cells see, restoring light sensitivity in people with degenerative blindness such as macular degeneration.
“We’re asking the question, ‘Can you control biological nanomolecules – in other words, proteins – with light?'” said center director and neurobiologist Ehud Y. Isacoff, professor of molecular and cell biology and chair of the Graduate Group in Biophysics at UC Berkeley. “If we can control them by light, then we could develop treatments for eye or skin diseases, even blood diseases, that can be activated by light. This challenge lies at the frontier of nanomedicine.”

Read more at source

Grow Your Own Limbs

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2006 at 2:52 am

By Kristen Philipkoski| Also by this reporter
02:00 AM Sep, 22, 2006

In response to the hundreds of soldiers coming home from war with missing arms or legs, Darpa is spending millions of dollars to help scientists learn how people might one day regenerate their own limbs.

Prosthetics are getting better all the time, but they will never be as good as the limbs we were born with. So two teams of scientists at 10 institutions across the country are competing to regrow the first mammalian limb.

The two groups are sharing $7.6 million in grants for a year to find a way to give humans salamander-like abilities. According to Army Medical Command, 411 soldiers who fought in Iraq and 37 in Afghanistan are amputees as a result of combat wounds. If preliminary research is successful, the scientists could receive more funding for up to four years.
Motor Heads
The New Bionics
The prosthetics of the not-so-distant future are intertwined with muscles, nerves … even neurons. By Rachel Metz.

Interactive Bionics Tour:
See applied prosthetics research in action.

DIY Prosthetics
Amputees who can’t find the right prosthetics on the market build their own — sometimes out of Legos. By Quinn Norton.

Grow Your Own Limbs
Scientists are learning how amputees might eschew the prosthetic and grow back missing limbs. By Kristen Philipkoski. [ You are here ]

I Want My Bionics
What if bionics get so good that we want them even if we don’t need them? By Chris Oakes. [ Coming Sep 25 ]

The researchers’ first milestone is to generate a blastema — a mass of cells able to develop into various organs or body parts — in a mammal.

“We have to show we can do that in a mammal by 24 months — and by 48 months we have to show that we can actually regrow digits,” said Stephen Badylak, director of the Center for Pre-Clinical Tissue Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and a principal investigator for his team. “This is really a Star Wars-type project.”

Mammals can’t naturally regenerate limbs or digits beyond the fetal stage. Amphibians like salamanders and newts, however, can regrow limbs, eyes and even spinal cords. So the scientists are on a hunt for the molecular signals responsible for controlling that regenerative ability.

“We’re looking for what genes get turned on and off to make one regenerative and one not,” Badylak said. “We can regenerate as a fetus. We know the potential is there, but it’s a matter of unlocking that potential (in adults).”

Badylak’s team is working with a remarkably regenerative mammal — a mouse discovered by accident in 1998.

Story continued on Page 2

NBICS and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

In Health, nano on September 16, 2006 at 9:27 am

My new biweekly column
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Report:Nanotech Rx Medical applications of Nano-scale technologies: What Impact on Marginalized communities?

In Health, nano on September 16, 2006 at 9:25 am

Link to Source

Issue: Medical applications of nano-scale technologies have the potential to revolutionize healthcare by delivering powerful tools for diagnosing and treating disease at the molecular level. But the current zeal for nano-enabled
medicines could divert scarce medical R&D funds away from essential health services and direct resources away from non-medical aspects of community health and wellbeing. Although nanomedicine is being touted as a solution to pressing health needs in the global South, it is being driven from the North and is designed primarily for wealthy markets. Using nano-scale technologies, the pharmaceutical industry’s ultimate goal is to make every person a patient and every patient a paying customer by “medicating” social ills with human performance enhancement (HyPE) drugs and devices. Nanoenabled HyPEs could usher in an era of two-tiered humans – Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens 2.0.

Market: As of mid-2006, 130 nanotech-based drugs and delivery systems and 125 devices or diagnostic tests are in preclinical, clinical or commercial
development. The combined market for nanoenabled medicine (drug delivery, therapeutics and diagnostics) will jump from just over $1 billion in 2005 to almost $10 billion in 2010 and the US National Science Foundation predicts
that nanotechnology will produce half of the pharmaceutical industry product line by 2015. Nanomedicine will help big pharma extend its exclusive monopoly patents on existing drug compounds and on older, under-performing drugs. Analysts suggest that nanotech-enabled medicine will increase profitability and discourage competition.

Impact: Nanomedicine may have its greatest impact in the realm of “human performance enhancement” (HyPE). Nanomedicine in combination with other new technologies will make it theoretically possible to alter the structure,
function and capabilities of human bodies and brains. In the near future, nano-enabled HyPE technologies will erase distinctions between “therapy” and “enhancement” and could change, quite literally, the definition of what it means to be healthy or human.

Reality check: Ironically, crucial questions remain about the health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials that are being used to develop nanomedicines. The nascent field of “nanotoxicology” is awash with uncertainty. Despite the fact that nano-scale products have already been commercialized (including nanomedicines), no government in the world has
developed regulations that address basic nanoscale safety issues.

Policy: Can OECD donors who have failed to deliver promised mosquito netting to malariastricken countries and who have managed to provide only one condom per adult male per annum to combat HIV/AIDS in the global
South really claim that hefty investment in new nanomedicines will pay off for poor countries? Governments urgently need broad, participatory societal and scientific, ethical, cultural, socioeconomic and environmental risk assessment to evaluate nanomedicine. Policies must be guided by the concerns of civil society and social movements, including disability rights and women’s organizations. To keep pace with technological change, an intergovernmental
framework is needed to monitor and assess the introduction of new technologies. At its next meeting in 2007, the World Health Assembly should undertake a full analysis of nanomedicine within this wider social health context.

Down Syndrome births drop in state

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2006 at 10:19 pm

Sunday, 09/03/06

Decline suggests abortions up in wake of better tests

Amid new testing procedures during pregnancy, the percentage of babies born with Down syndrome has plummeted nationwide since the late 1980s, researchers have found.

The trend — which is less pronounced in Tennessee than elsewhere — suggests to some researchers that more women are opting to terminate Down syndrome pregnancies, raising alarm among some ethicists and disability rights advocates.

Tennessean.comLink to Source