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Bionics

Creators of DYI bionic Wolverine claws are raising funds on Kickstarter

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Although having actual adamantium claws like Wolverine  might not be possible just yet, thanks to modern 3D printing technology we can have something very similar. The claws might not be made out of rare metals and you will need to flex your arm a bit in order to get them out, but they most definitely fulfill their purpose of making you feel like a total badass. The creators of the device in question go by the name of Advancer Technologies and are well known for developing the Muscle Sensor v3 back in 2013. Now the company is working on various improvements that will make their way on their fourth generation sensor dubbed MyoWare. As a means of celebrating the announcement of MyoWare, Advancer Technologies released a tutorial on how to build your own bionic Wolverine claws, however, the real goal of this technology is much more noble.

The folks over at Advancer have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the MyoWare and the plan to donate one MyoWare sensor for every five backers that chip in. The sensors will be donated to Limbitless Solutions, a non-profit organization that helps children with missing limbs by offering them 3D printed ones. Not only that, but Limbitless Solutions is in the habit of designing very cool prosthetics in order to make the children feel unique. A good example of this is the story of Alex, a seven-year old boy who received an Iron Man bionic arm from Robert Downey Jr. himself with the help of Limbitless and The Collective Project.

Many future Limbitless 3D printed prosthetics will likely feature the improved MyoWare sensor if Advancer’s Kickstarter campaign ends up being successful. Granted, they probably won’t feature Wolverine claws since that could be dangerous for the children, but I’m sure Limbitless can come up with something just as awesome. With 7 more days to go, the crowdfunding campaign already raised $16, 524 from over 300 backers, thus reaching its initial goal of $10, 000. However, given that one MyoWare sensor will be donated for every five backers who contribute $25 or more it’s still very much worth pitching in and helping Advancer donate even more sensors, so please consider backing the project if you can spare a few bucks for this worthy cause.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEx5lmbCKtY

Bionics

This woman’s bionic arm is fused to her bones and nervous system

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A woman with a pioneering bionic hand that integrates her bones, nerves, and muscles is the subject of a new study. This case study shows how this tech can improve people’s lives despite its many challenges.

Over 20 years ago, Karin lost her right arm in a farming accident. Her prosthetic limb was cumbersome, and she still had excruciating phantom limb pain.

Karin stated, “It felt like I constantly had my hand in a meat grinder, which created high stress and I had to take high doses of various painkillers.”

A few years ago, she was offered a novel bionic hand surgically modified to fit her body.

A new human-machine interface developed by an international team of scientists, surgeons, and engineers allows the prosthesis to be directly attached to the user’s skeleton and connected to her nerves and muscles via implanted electrodes.

The neuromusculoskeletal implant lets the patient mentally control the prosthetic hand, picking up objects and fiddling with her fingers.

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This work has been very successful. Karin now uses the bionic hand for 80% of her daily tasks and feels much less pain.

Better prosthesis control, but most importantly, less pain. I need less medication now, she said.

I value this research because it improved my life.

Researchers like the results too. Osteointegration was used to connect the natural bone to the artificial hand, a major project challenge.

Titanium is strong and bonds with bone matter, creating a strong mechanical connection. The team fused the bionic hand to the radius and ulna, the forearm bones, using biocompatibility to load and align them evenly.

„Karin was the first person with below-elbow amputation to receive a highly integrated bionic hand that can be used independently and reliably. Professor Max Ortiz Catalan, lead researcher and head of neural prosthetics research at the Bionics Institute in Australia and founder of the Center for Bionics and Pain Research (CBPR) in Sweden, said that her ability to use her prosthesis comfortably and effectively in daily activities for years is a promising sign of the potential life-changing capabilities of this novel technology for limb-loss patients.

The EU Commission-funded DeTOP project includes Karin and three other patients. Researchers hope this high-tech prosthetic will eventually be available to everyone.

“Osteointegration, reconstructive surgery, implanted electrodes, and AI can restore human function like never before. Below elbow amputations present unique challenges, but the achieved functionality is significant for advanced extremity reconstructions, according to Professor Rickard Brånemark, MIT research affiliate, Gothenburg University associate professor, and Integrum CEO.

 

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Artificial Intelligence

A futurist predicts human immortality by 2030

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Ray Kurzweil, a computer scientist and futurist, has set specific timelines for humanity’s immortality and AI’s singularity. If his predictions are correct, you can live forever by surviving the next seven years.

Kurzweil correctly predicted in 1990 that a computer would beat human world chess champions by 2000, the rise of portable computers and smartphones, the shift to wireless technology, and the Internet’s explosion before it was obvious.

He even checked his 20-year-old predictions in 2010. He claims that of his 147 1990 predictions for the years leading up to 2010, 115 were “entirely correct” 12 were essentially correct, and 3 were entirely wrong.

Of course, he miscalculates, predicting self-driving cars by 2009.

Though bold (and probably wrong), immortality claims shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Kurzweil has made bold predictions like this for years, sticking to his initial dates.

“2029 is the consistent date I have predicted for when an AI will pass a valid Turing test and therefore achieve human levels of intelligence,” Kurzweil said in 2017. “I have set the date 2045 for the ‘Singularity’ which is when we will multiply our effective intelligence a billion fold by merging with the intelligence we have created.”

Kurzweil predicts we will “advance human life expectancy” by “more than a year every year” by 2030. Part of this progress toward the singularity 15 years later will involve nanobots in our bloodstream repairing and connecting our brain to the cloud. When this happens, we can send videos (or emails if you want to think about the duller aspects of being a freaking cyborg) from our brains and backup our memories.

Kurzweil believes the singularity will make humans “godlike” rather than a threat.

We’ll be funnier. Our sexiness will increase. We’ll express love better,” he said in 2015.

“If I want to access 10,000 computers for two seconds, I can do that wirelessly,” he said, “and my cloud computing power multiplies ten thousandfold. We’ll use our neocortex.”

“I’m walking along and Larry Page comes, and I need a clever response, but 300 million modules in my neocortex won’t work. One billion for two seconds. Just like I can multiply my smartphone’s intelligence thousands-fold today, I can access that in the cloud.”

Nanobots can deliver drug payloads into brain tumors, but without significant advances in the next few years, it’s unlikely we’ll get there in seven years. Paralyzed patients can now spell sentences and monkeys can finally play Pong with brain-computer interfaces.

Kurzweil says we’re far from the future, with human-AI interactions mostly the old way. His accuracy will be determined by time. Fortunately, his predictions predict plenty of time.

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Bionics

Hackers spread 23andMe stolen data two months ago

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After hackers advertised a trove of alleged stolen user data on a hacking forum last week, 23andMe is investigating a security incident. However, the stolen data may have circulated longer than previously thought.

Hackers on Hydra, a cybercrime forum, advertised 23andMe user data that matched some of the data leaked on BreachForums last week on August 11.

In an earlier Hydra post, the hacker claimed to have 300 terabytes of 23andMe user data and contacted 23andMe, “but instead of taking the matter seriously, they asked irrelevant questions.” The hacker demanded $50 million for the data and said they would only sell it once, but did offer to sell a subset for $1,000–10,000.

At least one person saw the Hydra post and shared it online before the leak was reported last week. An unofficial 23andMe subreddit user reported the breach the same day as the Hydra forum post.

The hacker posted the alleged genetic data of a senior Silicon Valley executive in Hydra, which contained the same user profile and genetic data as one of BreachForums’ datasets featured last week. The two datasets are structured differently. The datasets advertised on BreachForums allegedly contain one million Jewish Ashkenazi and 100,000 Chinese 23andMe users.

23andMe has repeatedly refused to verify the leaked data. The company declined to comment on this story, including whether it knew about this two-month-old hacking forum post.

Compared some of the allegedly stolen data to public genealogy records published online by hobbyists and genealogists. The allegedly stolen data matches several dozen user profiles and genetic information from public genealogy records, according . This supports 23andMe’s claim that credential stuffing was used to steal data from “certain accounts” by trying passwords for one service that have already been leaked or published online on another service in hopes that the victim re-used a password.

23andMe blames users for reusing passwords and claims hackers broke into their accounts and stole their data, including their relatives.

The company also cited a feature that may explain how hackers collected so much data. 23andMe’s DNA Relatives opt-in feature lets users appear in other users’ accounts.

It’s unclear if all advertised data is real or how much hackers have. Hackers often exaggerate their data to sell it on hacking forums.

Meanwhile, 23andMe has advised users to reset and change their passwords and enable multi-factor authentication. The 23andMe password reset email recipient and non-recipient were interviewed. When logging into 23and me, the latter had to change their password.

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