News / Technology

Biohackers are not hackers. Who are they?

Biohacking is a fairly new practice that could lead to major changes in our life. You could it call citizen or do-it-your-self biology.

Biohacking takes place in small labs - mostly non-university - where all sorts of people get together to explore biology. That could mean figuring out how the DNA in plants affects their growth, or how to manipulate genes from another source to make a plant glow in the dark. It often is aimed at producing a product, like the chairs and building blocks that artist Philip Ross makes by feeding mushrooms a meal of sawdust or peanut shavings. It is experimenting on the cheap, usually without the benefit of a fancy university laboratory, and it often involves DNA and genes. If you don't know enough biology to take part at first, you learn it along the way.

"The whole idea of biohacking is that people feel entitled, they feel the ability to just follow their curiosity - where it should go - and really get to the bottom of something they want to understand." But hacking also has a negative connotation; when someone hacks your computer, you want to send him or her to jail. But that's not exactly what biohacking is. Drew Endy, a professor of bioengineering at Stanford, who considers himself a biohacker, says "I come from a tradition where hacking is a positive term, and it means learning about stuff by building, and trying to make things and seeing what happens."

Yet another concept of hacking comes from a totally different source. Dave Asprey, a computer security guy, considers himself a biohacker. Basically he hacks into his own body. Here's what he says: "There are two perspectives on biohacking. One is that biohacking is something you do to biology, outside of yourself; you're going to change a cell; you're going change an amoeba and make it glow in the dark. The other perspective on biohacking, the one where I spend my time, is that you can hack your own biology, and you can gain control of systems in your body that you would never have access to."

Accroding to wikipedia biohacking can refer to Do-it-yourself biology, a social movement in which individuals and organizations pursue biology and life science with tools equivalent to those of professional labs. Another word for biohackers is grinders.

Grinders or biohackers are people who augment their bodies with technology. This could be as crude as implanting magnets under your skin - a procedure that can be done at some tattoo and body piercing studios - or slightly more high-tech like getting microchips placed inside your body.

Grinders largely identify with transhumanist and biopunk ideologies. Transhumanism is the belief that it is both possible and desirable to so fundamentally alter the human condition through the use of technologies as to inaugurate a superior post-human being.

OK. I am done with my research. It's too much for me. See you soon.
Al-Boady-Don-Dukert, born in 1280; ... just got a strange box called iphone and found them, my fellow bio-transhumas. I am still not sure who they are.


ref.: pbs.org, abc.net.au, wikiwhat

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