Hive Mind
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Patented process preserves transplant tissues/organs

This should make transhumanists and cryonics enthusiasts sit up and pay attention:

Body tissues such as blood vessels, cartilage and skin—even whole organs such as kidneys, livers and hearts—could become more widely available for transplants as a result of a patent issued recently to Organ Recovery Systems of Chicago for a method to chill body tissues and organs well below freezing without forming ice crystals. The new process for tissue "vitrification"—-chilling tissue and organs to a disordered, glass-like solid without ice formation—-was developed with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Advanced Technology Program and the National Institutes of Health.

There is an urgent need for tissues and organs for transplantation. Doctors conducted over 24,000 organ transplants in the United States in 2002; yet someone is added to the donor waiting list every 12 minutes and 16 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant. A significant roadblock to the broader use of transplantation, regardless of the source (donated human, cross-species or artificial), has been the problem of preserving the transplant tissue. Better preservation techniques would allow transplant materials to be shipped anywhere in the world or, better yet, collected and stored in something akin to blood banks until needed.

Organs and some tissues are presently stored for short periods at refrigerator temperatures (approximately 4 °C) and freezing has not been possible due to ice crystals, which damage delicate cells and greatly reduce the viability or functions of the tissue. Chemicals called cryoprotectants reduce ice formation but have toxic effects that introduce their own problems. The Organ Recovery Systems technique combines a mixture of cryoprotectant compounds that cancel each other’s toxicity and careful control of the cooling and warming processes to minimize damage to the tissue. The technique is discussed in U.S. patent no. 6,740,484. (Patent text available at www.uspto.gov.)


Professor calls for a new branch of learning

Nanotechnology, the 'science of small things' is set to bring huge advantages in engineering, electronics, medicine and IT-- but the potential threats to health that widespread use of nanoparticles could bring need to be scrutinised, says a University of Edinburgh expert in this month's edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Professor Ken Donaldson, a lung toxicology expert and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University, calls for a new discipline--nanotoxicology-- to be built up, to address knowledge gaps and to help develop a safe nanotechnology. He wants guidelines to be developed to test all materials in the nanoscale where human health could be involved.

Professor Donaldson says: "We believe that efforts to untangle science and science fiction regarding the risks from nanotechnology are needed and that a focus on the potential harmful effects of nanoparticles is both timely and necessary. The importance of nanotechnology to the economy and to our future wellbeing is beyond debate, but its potential adverse impacts need to be studied along the same lines. A discipline of nanotoxicology would make an important contribution to the development of a sustainable and safe nanotechnology .


Children With ADHD Benefit From Time Outdoors Enjoying Nature

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Kids with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) should spend some quality after-school hours and weekend time outdoors enjoying nature, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The payoff for this "treatment" of children, 5 to 18 years old, who participated in a nationwide study, was a significant reduction of symptoms. The study appears in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

"The advantage for green outdoor activities was observed among children living in different regions of the United States and among children living in a range of settings, from rural to large city environments," wrote co-authors Frances E. Kuo and Andrea Faber Taylor. "Overall, our findings indicate that exposure to ordinary natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children."

Hey, wow, people seem to be catching on that maybe instead of force-feeding kids dangerous amphetamine-like stimulants to chemically correct any deviant behavior, we should let them spend more time playing outside.

Monday, August 23, 2004

New ARG to launch tommorrow

I recieved the following email vie the El-Centro mailing list:

There is every indication at this point that whatever the ilovebees.com thing is will launch with a massive realworld event on Tuesday, August 24th, at over 200 locations around the U.S. Players have no clue what this might be, but it looks like what has been going on so far has been a pre-game designed to build the player-base and get the word out.

For those of you who haven't been following what's been going on, ilovebees is somehow related to the upcoming Halo 2 release, and seems to be the highly anticipated work by the folks who brought us the AI game, The Beast. The story so far involves a damaged AI who has taken over a small website, and who will become "wide awake and physical" at various locations around the United States. While we have no idea what will happen on August 24th, we think it's definitely worth checking out.

Discussion regarding the game is currently underway at Unfiction, where the game is referred to as "The Haunted Apiary." This sounds pretty interesting, although my previous experience with ARG's is that keeping up eith them requires an awful lot of time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Study Shows How Consensus Is Attained In A Noisy World

EVANSTON, Ill. -- A month before the fall of the Berlin Wall, 70,000 people gathered in the streets of Leipzig, East Germany, on Oct. 9, 1989, to demonstrate against the communist regime and demand democratic reforms. Clearly, no central authority planned this event; so how did all of these people decide to come together on that particular day

A new study by researchers at Northwestern University sheds light on how individuals might obtain information about the decisions and preferences of other individuals with whom they do not have a relationship or even contact. The findings are published online this week (Aug. 2) by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The Leipzig demonstration is an example of a complex system, the result of an evolving process. The common characteristic of complex systems, whether they be social or biological in nature, is that they display organization without any external organizing principle being applied.


Five Projects by Xu Bing

Xu Bing explores the difficult dynamics of communicating across languages, cultures and species. His textual projects suggest a code that upon inspection is unable to be parsed. Animals within his work act as mute agent: acting and acted upon. Insects create and destroy texts, pigs stamped with nonsense English and Chinese characters lustily mate in captive performance - fecund communications suggesting the unlikelihood of understanding. Grand in scale and fine in detail, his work engages a bemused and quizzical poetry of obstinance.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hakim Bey has become a grumpy old man.

From Cyborg Democracy:

Peter Lamborn Wilson (perhaps better known as Hakim Bey) claims in this interview that he tried to remain open-minded for a while about the potential of the Internet and computers - although he's never owned one. Now, though, he despises them, and - by his own admission - he's stopped even bothering to listen to the tech-positive left on this issue.

Now, I should say, I'm not sure whether Wilson is at all representative of the Luddite far left. Though being on the far left myself (as a libertarian socialist), I've only encountered only a few openly luddite leftists, and of those many still appeared to have an open mind when confronted with the many upsides of technology. (Much like the general public - many of whom were alarmed at first at, say, in vitro fertilisation, and now are mostly OK with it - in secular Europe, anyway.)

As a side-note, I'd like to take issue with Wilson's view of the mass worldwide protests of Seattle and after, and the unprecedented worldwide protests against the illegal war on Iraq (Wow, he not only dismisses IT, the internet and cellphones, he also dismisses the importance of mass anti-war mobilisations, voting Bush out of office, and virtually every kind of activism you can think of, save the good-old-fashioned [and, in this interview, woolly and ill-defined] notion of "solidarity with the working class"! Seemingly not realising that many people went to the anti-G8 protests precisely to express solidarity with the working class of the global South, and call for changes to world trade and investment rules to benefit them! Calling him a "grumpy out-of-touch old man" would be totally unfair, wouldn't it? - otherwise I'd call him that!)

He is of course trivially and obviously right to point out the importance of taking concrete steps to build a better world, not just symbolic ones - but he's wrong to dismiss and ridicule the importance and power of a diversity of approaches (as radical transhumanists probably recognise better than most, there are new avenues towards greater justice and equality opening up, which can sometimes complement and sometimes obsolete previous approaches - and even new routes leading towards the end of wage-slavery and capitalism as we know it). (Via)

Hmm.. Rather unfortunate, huh? I mean, the degree of pessimism and hopelessness apparant in the interview is overwhelming. However I still don't think this newfound reactionary luddism invalidates Bey's previous works, which I still see as being relevant to contemporary anti-authoritarian politics.
Saturday, August 07, 2004

Xenolingual autoeroticism.

Randall MB, Vance RP, McCalmont TH.

Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Reports in the medical literature of autoeroticism seldom describe episodes that are nontraumatic or nonlethal. Reports of bestiality typically involve descriptions of sexual relationships between humans and animals, and are analyzed through psychological methods. No reports of bestiality involving the use of animal tissue for erotic purposes have been published. We report the use of a deer tongue as a masturbatory tool.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Minding the Planet: Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs (and aggregation sites) are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/08/
a_sonar_ping_of.html) --- results and commentary will appear there in the future.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate -- the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010
(this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google or other search engines for all blogs that participate in this experiment, once they have indexed the sites that participate). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)


To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).

REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL:http://www.post-atomic.com/

(2) I found it via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": Browsing the Web

(3) I posted this experiment at URL: http://hive-mind.blogspot.com/

(4) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 03/08/04

(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 13:40:00

(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Conroe, Texas, USA

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(7) My blog is hosted by:

(8) My age is:

(9) My gender is:

(10) My occupation is:

(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software:

(12) I use the following software to post to my blog:

(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year):

(14) My web browser is:

(15) My operating system is:



Redbeard Gets Down
Reuters Alertnet
New World Disorder
A Graboid Ate My Mommy
Science Daily
Boing Boing
Infoshop News
Posthuman Blues
Vortex Egg
Cult of the Dead Cow
Mechanical Spirit
MySociety Blog


Open Source, D.I.Y. Media/Tech:

Blackout Media Project
Biological Innovation for Open Society
Open Source Biotechnology
Downhill Battle
Bureau of Inverse Technology
Carbon Defense League
Critical Art Ensemble
Biotech Hobbyist Magazine
Ubuntu Linux


CIA World Factbook
Spunk Library
Hyperhistory Online
Noborder Network
People's Global Action
Critical Resistance


Public Library of Science
Quantum Consciousness
MIT Biology Hypertextbook


Art Crimes
Guns and Dope Party
Temple of the Screaming Electron

Brain Tools:

SMI2LE Nootropics
Bouncing Bear Botanicals

Online Books and Booksellers:

AK Press
Project Gutenberg
Feral House


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