Page 4«..3456..1020..»

Nanoscopy for nanomedicine Institute for Bioengineering …

The main goal of our group is to use Super Resolution Microscopy (nanoscopy) to visualize and track in living cells and tissues self-assembled nanomaterials with therapeutic potential (nanomedicine).

TEM image of novel self-assembled nanofibers synthesized in the group.

The understanding of materials-cell interactions is the key towards the development of novel nanotechnology-based therapies for treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.Our group aims to use a multidisciplinary approach, at the interface of chemistry, physics and biology, to develop novel nanomaterials for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.

We aim at the development of novel nanocarriers for drug delivery based on self-assembly, i.e. able to build themselves. Molecular self-organization is ubiquitous in the biological world and represents for us a source of inspiration for the design of nanostructures with biomedical potential. In particular we focus on the development of self-assembled nanoparticles and nanofibers able to selectively target diseased cells and deliver locally therapeutic moieties such as drugs and genetic material (e.g. DNA, siRNA, mRNA).

A key point towards the development of novel nanotechnology-based therapies is the understanding of the behavior of nanomaterials in the complex biological environment. Here we use super resolution microscopy to track nanomaterials during their voyage in the biological environment and to visualize the interactions with blood components, immune system and target cells. We make use of a variety of super resolution techniques based on single molecule detection such a stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), point accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (PAINT), and single particle tracking (SPT). These methods allow to achieve a resolution down to few nanometers and are therefore ideal to visualize nanosized synthetic objects in the biological environment. Super resolution microscopy provides a molecular picture of structure-activity relations and represent a guide towards the design of innovative materials for nanomedicine.

Eight IBECers were in the Netherlands on 13th and 14th September for the first ever IBEC-ICMS Symposium, NanoSens&Med.

Two IBEC groups have clubbed together to combine their expertise and reveal new knowledge that could advance the design of micro- and nanomotors for applications in health.

Three of IBECs women researchers have been successful in BISTs recent To the Mothers of Science call.

The Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine group has studied Single-Chain Polymeric Nanoparticles (SCPNs) mimicking enzymes as possible drug activators in biological environments, like the living cell.

An article by BIOCAT profiles the three winners in Catalonia of the last round of ERC Starting Grants, including IBECs Lorenzo Albertazzi.

A paper published in Small last month by Lorenzo Albertazzis group is featured in Advanced Science News, Wiley publishing companys in-house news website. This platform presents advances in various fields of research for a general audience.

The Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine junior group leader was successful in the European Research Councils 2017 call for Starting Grants, of which just 17 out of the total of 406 have been awarded to scientists working in Spain.

IBEC junior group leader Lorenzo Albertazzi is a contributor to the 2017 edition of ChemComm Emerging Investigators, which is published annually by the UKs Royal Society of Chemistry.

The AXA Research Fund, the international scientific philanthropy initiative of global insurer AXA, officially announced last week that it will devote 15.6m in 2016 to 44 new research projects with leading academic institutions in 16 countries.

New IBEC junior group leader Lorenzo Albertazzi and his former colleagues at the Eindhoven University of Technology, working together with industry partner Novartis, have made a leap in drug delivery vectors by developing a new type of carrier with some groundbreaking improvements.

Lorenzo Albertazzis research project funded by AXA, Novel approaches for Pandemic Virus Targeting Using Adaptive Polymers, is featured on the Granted Projects section of their website.

New IBEC junior group leader Lorenzo Albertazzi is profiled in El Mundos Personajes nicos section this week.

Dr Lorenzo Albertazzi, a nanoscientist whose research focuses on creating smart self-assembling materials for therapeutic applications, is joining IBEC this September.

(See full publication list in ORCID)

Liu, Yiliu, Pujals, Slvia, Stals, Patrick J. M., Paulhrl, Thomas, Presolski, Stanislav I., Meijer, E. W., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Palmans, Anja R. A., (2018). Catalytically active single-chain polymeric nanoparticles: Exploring their functions in complex biological media Journal of the American Chemical Society 140, (9), 3423-3433

Dynamic single-chain polymeric nanoparticles (SCPNs) are intriguing, bioinspired architectures that result from the collapse or folding of an individual polymer chain into a nanometer-sized particle. Here we present a detailed biophysical study on the behavior of dynamic SCPNs in living cells and an evaluation of their catalytic functionality in such a complex medium. We first developed a number of delivery strategies that allowed the selective localization of SCPNs in different cellular compartments. Live/dead tests showed that the SCPNs were not toxic to cells while spectral imaging revealed that SCPNs provide a structural shielding and reduced the influence from the outer biological media. The ability of SCPNs to act as catalysts in biological media was first assessed by investigating their potential for reactive oxygen species generation. With porphyrins covalently attached to the SCPNs, singlet oxygen was generated upon irradiation with light, inducing spatially controlled cell death. In addition, Cu(I)- and Pd(II)-based SCPNs were prepared and these catalysts were screened in vitro and studied in cellular environments for the carbamate cleavage reaction of rhodamine-based substrates. This is a model reaction for the uncaging of bioactive compounds such as cytotoxic drugs for catalysis-based cancer therapy. We observed that the rate of the deprotection depends on both the organometallic catalysts and the nature of the protective group. The rate reduces from in vitro to the biological environment, indicating a strong influence of biomolecules on catalyst performance. The Cu(I)-based SCPNs in combination with the dimethylpropargyloxycarbonyl protective group showed the best performances both in vitro and in biological environment, making this group promising in biomedical applications.

Patio, Tania, Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Arqu, Xavier, Miguel-Lpez, Albert, Jannasch, Anita, Stumpp, Tom, Schffer, Erik, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Snchez, Samuel, (2018). Influence of enzyme quantity and distribution on the self-propulsion of non-Janus urease-powered micromotors Journal of the American Chemical Society 140, (25), 7896-7903

The use of enzyme catalysis to power micro- and nanomachines offers unique features such as biocompatibility, versatility, and fuel bioavailability. Yet, the key parameters underlying the motion behavior of enzyme-powered motors are not completely understood. Here, we investigate the role of enzyme distribution and quantity on the generation of active motion. Two different micromotor architectures based on either polystyrene (PS) or polystyrene coated with a rough silicon dioxide shell (PS@SiO2) were explored. A directional propulsion with higher speed was observed for PS@SiO2 motors when compared to their PS counterparts. We made use of stochastically optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) to precisely detect single urease molecules conjugated to the micromotors surface with a high spatial resolution. An asymmetric distribution of enzymes around the micromotor surface was observed for both PS and PS@SiO2 architectures, indicating that the enzyme distribution was not the only parameter affecting the motion behavior. We quantified the number of enzymes present on the micromotor surface and observed a 10-fold increase in the number of urease molecules for PS@SiO2 motors compared to PS-based micromotors. To further investigate the number of enzymes required to generate a self-propulsion, PS@SiO2 particles were functionalized with varying amounts of urease molecules and the resulting speed and propulsive force were measured by optical tracking and optical tweezers, respectively. Surprisingly, both speed and force depended in a nonlinear fashion on the enzyme coverage. To break symmetry for active propulsion, we found that a certain threshold number of enzymes molecules per micromotor was necessary, indicating that activity may be due to a critical phenomenon. Taken together, these results provide new insights into the design features of micro/nanomotors to ensure an efficient development.

Delcanale, Pietro, Miret-Ontiveros, Bernat, Arista-Romero, Maria, Pujals, Silvia, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2018). Nanoscale mapping functional sites on nanoparticles by Points Accumulation for Imaging in Nanoscale Topography (PAINT) ACS Nano 12, (8), 7629-7637

The ability of nanoparticles to selectively recognize a molecular target constitutes the key toward nanomedicine applications such as drug delivery and diagnostics. The activity of such devices is mediated by the presence of multiple copies of functional molecules on the nanostructure surface. Therefore, understanding the number and the distribution of nanoparticle functional groups is of utmost importance for the rational design of effective materials. Analytical methods are available, but to obtain quantitative information at the level of single particles and single functional sites, i.e., going beyond the ensemble, remains highly challenging. Here we introduce the use of an optical nanoscopy technique, DNA points accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (DNA-PAINT), to address this issue. Combining subdiffraction spatial resolution with molecular selectivity and sensitivity, DNA-PAINT provides both geometrical and functional information at the level of a single nanostructure. We show how DNA-PAINT can be used to image and quantify relevant functional proteins such as antibodies and streptavidin on nanoparticles and microparticles with nanometric accuracy in 3D and multiple colors. The generality and the applicability of our method without the need for fluorescent labeling hold great promise for the robust quantitative nanocharacterization of functional nanomaterials.

Ardizzone, Antonio, Kurhuzenkau, Siarhei, Illa-Tuset, Slvia, Faraudo, Jordi, Bondar, Mykhailo, Hagan, David, Van Stryland, Eric W., Painelli, Anna, Sissa, Cristina, Feiner, Natalia, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Veciana, Jaume, Ventosa, Nora, (2018). Nanostructuring lipophilic dyes in water using stable vesicles, quatsomes, as scaffolds and their use as probes for bioimaging Small , 14, (16), 1703851

Abstract A new kind of fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) is obtained using quatsomes (QSs), a family of nanovesicles proposed as scaffolds for the nanostructuration of commercial lipophilic carbocyanines (1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethyl-indocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI), 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethyl-indodicarbocyanine perchlorate (DiD), and 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethyl-indotricarbocyanine iodide (DiR)) in aqueous media. The obtained FONs, prepared by a CO2-based technology, show excellent colloidal- and photostability, outperforming other nanoformulations of the dyes, and improve the optical properties of the fluorophores in water. Molecular dynamics simulations provide an atomistic picture of the disposition of the dyes within the membrane. The potential of QSs for biological imaging is demonstrated by performing superresolution microscopy of the DiI-loaded vesicles in vitro and in cells. Therefore, fluorescent QSs constitute an appealing nanomaterial for bioimaging applications.

Krivitsky, Adva, Polyak, Dina, Scomparin, Anna, Eliyahu, Shay, Ofek, Paula, Tiram, Galia, Kalinski, Hagar, Avkin-Nachum, Sharon, Feiner Gracia, N., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Satchi-Fainaro, Ronit, (2018). Amphiphilic poly()glutamate polymeric micelles for systemic administration of siRNA to tumors Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine , 14, (2), 303-315

RNAi therapeutics carried a great promise to the area of personalized medicine: the ability to target undruggable oncogenic pathways. Nevertheless, their efficient tumor targeting via systemic administration had not been resolved yet. Amphiphilic alkylated poly()glutamate amine (APA) can serve as a cationic carrier to the negatively-charged oligonucleotides. APA polymers complexed with siRNA to form round-shaped, homogenous and reproducible nano-sized polyplexes bearing ~50 nm size and slightly negative charge. In addition, APA:siRNA polyplexes were shown to be potent gene regulators in vitro. In light of these preferred physico-chemical characteristics, their performance as systemically-administered siRNA nanocarriers was investigated. Intravenously-injected APA:siRNA polyplexes accumulated selectively in tumors and did not accumulate in the lungs, heart, liver or spleen. Nevertheless, the polyplexes failed to induce specific mRNA degradation, hence neither reduction in tumor volume nor prolonged mice survival was seen.

Casellas, Nicolas M., Pujals, Slvia, Bochicchio, Davide, Pavan, Giovanni M., Torres, Toms, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Garca-Iglesias, Miguel, (2018). From isodesmic to highly cooperative: Reverting the supramolecular polymerization mechanism in water by fine monomer design Chemical Communications 54, (33), 4112-4115

Two structurally-similar discotic molecules able to self-assemble in water, forming supramolecular fibers, are reported. While both self-assembled polymers are indistinguishable from a morphological point-of-view, a dramatic change in their polymerization mechanism is observed (i.e., one self-assemble via an isodesmic mechanism, while the other shows one of the highest cooperativity values).

van Elsland, Daphne M., Pujals, Slvia, Bakkum, Thomas, Bos, Erik, Oikonomeas-Koppasis, Nikolaos, Berlin, Ilana, Neefjes, Jacques, Meijer, Annemarie H., Koster, Abraham J., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, van Kasteren, Sander I., (2018). Ultrastructural imaging of salmonella-host interactions using super-resolution correlative light-electron microscopy of bioorthogonal pathogens ChemBioChem , 19, (16), 1766-1770

The imaging of intracellular pathogens inside host cells is complicated by the low resolution and sensitivity of fluorescence microscopy and by the lack of ultrastructural information to visualize the pathogens. Herein, we present a new method to visualize these pathogens during infection that circumvents these problems: by using a metabolic hijacking approach to bioorthogonally label the intracellular pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium and by using these bioorthogonal groups to introduce fluorophores compatible with stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) and placing this in a correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) workflow, the pathogen can be imaged within its host cell context Typhimurium with a resolution of 20nm. This STORM-CLEM approach thus presents a new approach to understand these pathogens during infection.

Oria, Roger, Wiegand, Tina, Escribano, Jorge, Elosegui-Artola, Alberto, Uriarte, Juan Jose, Moreno-Pulido, Cristian, Platzman, Ilia, Delcanale, Pietro, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Navajas, Daniel, Trepat, Xavier, Garca-Aznar, Jos Manuel, Cavalcanti-Adam, Elisabetta Ada, Roca-Cusachs, Pere, (2017). Force loading explains spatial sensing of ligands by cells Nature 552, 219-224

Cells can sense the density and distribution of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules by means of individual integrin proteins and larger, integrin-containing adhesion complexes within the cell membrane. This spatial sensing drives cellular activity in a variety of normal and pathological contexts1,2. Previous studies of cells on rigid glass surfaces have shown that spatial sensing of ECM ligands takes place at the nanometre scale, with integrin clustering and subsequent formation of focal adhesions impaired when single integrinligand bonds are separated by more than a few tens of nanometres3,4,5,6. It has thus been suggested that a crosslinking adaptor protein of this size might connect integrins to the actin cytoskeleton, acting as a molecular ruler that senses ligand spacing directly3,7,8,9. Here, we develop gels whose rigidity and nanometre-scale distribution of ECM ligands can be controlled and altered. We find that increasing the spacing between ligands promotes the growth of focal adhesions on low-rigidity substrates, but leads to adhesion collapse on more-rigid substrates. Furthermore, disordering the ligand distribution drastically increases adhesion growth, but reduces the rigidity threshold for adhesion collapse. The growth and collapse of focal adhesions are mirrored by, respectively, the nuclear or cytosolic localization of the transcriptional regulator protein YAP. We explain these findings not through direct sensing of ligand spacing, but by using an expanded computational molecular-clutch model10,11, in which individual integrinECM bondsthe molecular clutchesrespond to force loading by recruiting extra integrins, up to a maximum value. This generates more clutches, redistributing the overall force among them, and reducing the force loading per clutch. At high rigidity and high ligand spacing, maximum recruitment is reached, preventing further force redistribution and leading to adhesion collapse. Measurements of cellular traction forces and actin flow speeds support our model. Our results provide a general framework for how cells sense spatial and physical information at the nanoscale, precisely tuning the range of conditions at which they form adhesions and activate transcriptional regulation.

Duro-Castano, Aroa, Nebot, Vicent J., Nio-Pariente, Amaya, Armin, Ana, Arroyo-Crespo, Juan J., Paul, Alison, Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Vicent, Mara J., (2017). Capturing extraordinary soft-assembled charge-like polypeptides as a strategy for nanocarrier design Advanced Materials , 29, (39), 1702888

The rational design of nanomedicines is a challenging task given the complex architectures required for the construction of nanosized carriers with embedded therapeutic properties and the complex interface of these materials with the biological environment. Herein, an unexpected charge-like attraction mechanism of self-assembly for star-shaped polyglutamates in nonsalty aqueous solutions is identified, which matches the ubiquitous ordinaryextraordinary phenomenon previously described by physicists. For the first time, a bottom-up methodology for the stabilization of these nanosized soft-assembled star-shaped polyglutamates is also described, enabling the translation of theoretical research into nanomaterials with applicability within the drug-delivery field. Covalent capture of these labile assemblies provides access to unprecedented architectures to be used as nanocarriers. The enhanced in vitro and in vivo properties of these novel nanoconstructs as drug-delivery systems highlight the potential of this approach for tumor-localized as well as lymphotropic delivery.

Keywords: Charge-like, Drug delivery, Polymer therapeutics, Polypeptides, Self-assembly

Labernadie, A., Kato, T., Brugus, A., Serra-Picamal, X., Derzsi, S., Arwert, E., Weston, A., Gonzlez-Tarrag, V., Elosegui-Artola, A., Albertazzi, L., Alcaraz, J., Roca-Cusachs, P., Sahai, E., Trepat, X., (2017). A mechanically active heterotypic E-cadherin/N-cadherin adhesion enables fibroblasts to drive cancer cell invasion Nature Cell Biology , 19, (3), 224-237

Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) promote tumour invasion and metastasis. We show that CAFs exert a physical force on cancer cells that enables their collective invasion. Force transmission is mediated by a heterophilic adhesion involving N-cadherin at the CAF membrane and E-cadherin at the cancer cell membrane. This adhesion is mechanically active; when subjected to force it triggers -catenin recruitment and adhesion reinforcement dependent on -catenin/vinculin interaction. Impairment of E-cadherin/N-cadherin adhesion abrogates the ability of CAFs to guide collective cell migration and blocks cancer cell invasion. N-cadherin also mediates repolarization of the CAFs away from the cancer cells. In parallel, nectins and afadin are recruited to the cancer cell/CAF interface and CAF repolarization is afadin dependent. Heterotypic junctions between CAFs and cancer cells are observed in patient-derived material. Together, our findings show that a mechanically active heterophilic adhesion between CAFs and cancer cells enables cooperative tumour invasion.

Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Buzhor, Marina, Fuentes, Edgar, Pujals, S., Amir, Roey J., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2017). Micellar stability in biological media dictates internalization in living cells Journal of the American Chemical Society 139, (46), 16677-16687

The dynamic nature of polymeric assemblies makes their stability in biological media a crucial parameter for their potential use as drug delivery systems in vivo. Therefore, it is essential to study and understand the behavior of self-assembled nanocarriers under conditions that will be encountered in vivo such as extreme dilutions and interactions with blood proteins and cells. Herein, using a combination of fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy, we studied four amphiphilic PEGdendron hybrids and their self-assembled micelles in order to determine their structurestability relations. The high molecular precision of the dendritic block enabled us to systematically tune the hydrophobicity and stability of the assembled micelles. Using micelles that change their fluorescent properties upon disassembly, we observed that serum proteins bind to and interact with the polymeric amphiphiles in both their assembled and monomeric states. These interactions strongly affected the stability and enzymatic degradation of the micelles. Finally, using spectrally resolved confocal imaging, we determined the relations between the stability of the polymeric assemblies in biological media and their cell entry. Our results highlight the important interplay between molecular structure, micellar stability, and cell internalization pathways, pinpointing the high sensitivity of stabilityactivity relations to minor structural changes and the crucial role that these relations play in designing effective polymeric nanostructures for biomedical applications.

Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Beck, Michaela, Pujals, Slvia, Tosi, Sbastien, Mandal, Tamoghna, Buske, Christian, Linden, Mika, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2017). Super-resolution microscopy unveils dynamic heterogeneities in nanoparticle protein corona Small , 13, (41), 1701631

The adsorption of serum proteins, leading to the formation of a biomolecular corona, is a key determinant of the biological identity of nanoparticles in vivo. Therefore, gaining knowledge on the formation, composition, and temporal evolution of the corona is of utmost importance for the development of nanoparticle-based therapies. Here, it is shown that the use of super-resolution optical microscopy enables the imaging of the protein corona on mesoporous silica nanoparticles with single protein sensitivity. Particle-by-particle quantification reveals a significant heterogeneity in protein absorption under native conditions. Moreover, the diversity of the corona evolves over time depending on the surface chemistry and degradability of the particles. This paper investigates the consequences of protein adsorption for specific cell targeting by antibody-functionalized nanoparticles providing a detailed understanding of corona-activity relations. The methodology is widely applicable to a variety of nanostructures and complements the existing ensemble approaches for protein corona study.

Keywords: Heterogeneity, Mesoporous silica nanoparticles, Protein corona, Super-resolution imaging, Targeting

Van Onzen, A. H. A. M., Albertazzi, L., Schenning, A. P. H. J., Milroy, L. G., Brunsveld, L., (2017). Hydrophobicity determines the fate of self-assembled fluorescent nanoparticles in cells Chemical Communications 53, (10), 1626-1629

The fate of small molecule nanoparticles (SMNPs) composed of self-assembling intrinsically fluorescent -conjugated oligomers was studied in cells as a function of side-chain hydrophobicity. While the hydrophobic SMNPs remained intact upon cellular uptake, the more hydrophilic SMNPs disassembled and dispersed throughout the cytosol.

Pujals, S., Tao, K., Terradellas, A., Gazit, E., Albertazzi, L., (2017). Studying structure and dynamics of self-Assembled peptide nanostructures using fluorescence and super resolution microscopy Chemical Communications 53, (53), 7294-7297

Understanding the formation and properties of self-Assembled peptide nanostructures is the basis for the design of new architectures for various applications. Here we show the potential of fluorescence and super resolution imaging to unveil the structural and dynamic features of peptide nanofibers with high spatiotemporal resolution.

Caballero, David, Blackburn, Sophie M., de Pablo, Mar, Samitier, Josep, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2017). Tumour-vessel-on-a-chip models for drug delivery Lab on a Chip , 17, 3760-3771

Nanocarriers for drug delivery have great potential to revolutionize cancer treatment, due to their enhanced selectivity and efficacy. Despite this great promise, researchers have had limited success in the clinical translation of this approach. One of the main causes of these difficulties is that standard in vitro models, typically used to understand nanocarriers’ behaviour and screen their efficiency, do not provide the complexity typically encountered in living systems. In contrast, in vivo models, despite being highly physiological, display serious bottlenecks which threaten the relevancy of the obtained data. Microfluidics and nanofabrication can dramatically contribute to solving this issue, providing 3D high-throughput models with improved resemblance to in vivo systems. In particular, microfluidic models of tumour blood vessels can be used to better elucidate how new nanocarriers behave in the microcirculation of healthy and cancerous tissues. Several key steps of the drug delivery process such as extravasation, immune response and endothelial targeting happen under flow in capillaries and can be accurately modelled using microfluidics. In this review, we will present how tumour-vessel-on-a-chip systems can be used to investigate targeted drug delivery and which key factors need to be considered for the rational design of these materials. Future applications of this approach and its role in driving forward the next generation of targeted drug delivery methods will be discussed.

Bakker, Maarten H., Lee, Cameron C., Meijer, E. W., Dankers, Patricia Y. W., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2016). Multicomponent supramolecular polymers as a modular platform for intracellular delivery ACS Nano 10, (2), 1845-1852

Supramolecular polymers are an emerging family of nanosized structures with potential use in materials chemistry and medicine. Surprisingly, application of supramolecular polymers in the field of drug delivery has received only limited attention. Here, we explore the potential of PEGylated 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxamide (BTA) supramolecular polymers for intracellular delivery. Exploiting the unique modular approach of supramolecular chemistry, we can coassemble neutral and cationic BTAs and control the overall properties of the polymer by simple monomer mixing. Moreover, this platform offers a versatile approach toward functionalization. The core can be efficiently loaded with a hydrophobic guest molecule, while the exterior can be electrostatically complexed with siRNA. It is demonstrated that both compounds can be delivered in living cells, and that they can be combined to enable a dual delivery strategy. These results show the advantages of employing a modular system and pave the way for application of supramolecular polymers in intracellular delivery.

Beun, L. H., Albertazzi, L., Van Der Zwaag, D., De Vries, R., Cohen Stuart, M. A., (2016). Unidirectional living growth of self-assembled protein nanofibrils revealed by super-resolution microscopy ACS Nano 10, (5), 4973-4980

Protein-based nanofibrils are emerging as a promising class of materials that provide unique properties for applications such as biomedical and food engineering. Here, we use atomic force microscopy and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy imaging to elucidate the growth dynamics, exchange kinetics, and polymerization mechanism for fibrils composed of a de novo designed recombinant triblock protein polymer. This macromolecule features a silk-inspired self-assembling central block composed of GAGAGAGH repeats, which are known to fold into a roll with turns at each histidine and, once folded, to stack, forming a long, ribbon-like structure. We find several properties that allow the growth of patterned protein nanofibrils: the self-assembly takes place on only one side of the growing fibrils by the essentially irreversible addition of protein polymer subunits, and these fibril ends remain reactive indefinitely in the absence of monomer (“living ends”). Exploiting these characteristics, we can grow stable diblock protein nanofibrils by the sequential addition of differently labeled proteins. We establish control over the block length ratio by simply varying monomer feed conditions. Our results demonstrate the use of engineered protein polymers in creating precisely patterned protein nanofibrils and open perspectives for the hierarchical self-assembly of functional biomaterials.

Keywords: Nanofibrils, Protein polymers, Self-assembly, STORM microscopy

Garzoni, M., Baker, M. B., Leenders, C. M. A., Voets, I. K., Albertazzi, L., Palmans, A. R. A., Meijer, E. W., Pavan, G. M., (2016). Effect of H-bonding on order amplification in the growth of a supramolecular polymer in water Journal of the American Chemical Society 138, (42), 13985-13995

While a great deal of knowledge on the roles of hydrogen bonding and hydrophobicity in proteins has resulted in the creation of rationally designed and functional peptidic structures, the roles of these forces on purely synthetic supramolecular architectures in water have proven difficult to ascertain. Focusing on a 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxamide (BTA)-based supramolecular polymer, we have designed a molecular modeling strategy to dissect the energetic contributions involved in the self-assembly (electrostatic, hydrophobic, etc.) upon growth of both ordered BTA stacks and random BTA aggregates. Utilizing this set of simulations, we have unraveled the cooperative mechanism for polymer growth, where a critical size must be reached in the aggregates before emergence and amplification of order into the experimentally observed fibers. Furthermore, we have found that the formation of ordered fibers is favored over disordered aggregates solely on the basis of electrostatic interactions. Detailed analysis of the simulation data suggests that H-bonding is a major source of this stabilization energy. Experimental and computational comparison with a newly synthesized 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxyester (BTE) derivative, lacking the ability to form the H-bonding network, demonstrated that this BTE variant is also capable of fiber formation, albeit at a reduced persistence length. This work provides unambiguous evidence for the key 1D driving force of hydrogen bonding in enhancing the persistency of monomer stacking and amplifying the level of order into the growing supramolecular polymer in water. Our computational approach provides an important relationship directly linking the structure of the monomer to the structure and properties of the supramolecular polymer.

Aloi, Antonio, Vargas Jentzsch, Andreas, Vilanova, Neus, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Meijer, E. W., Voets, Ilja K., (2016). Imaging nanostructures by single-molecule localization microscopy in organic solvents Journal of the American Chemical Society 138, (9), 2953-2956

The introduction of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy (SRM) opened an unprecedented vista into nanoscopic length scales, unveiling a new degree of complexity in biological systems in aqueous environments. Regrettably, supramolecular chemistry and material science benefited far less from these recent developments. Here we expand the scope of SRM to photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) imaging of synthetic nanostructures that are highly dynamic in organic solvents. Furthermore, we characterize the photophysical properties of commonly used photoactivatable dyes in a wide range of solvents, which is made possible by the addition of a tiny amount of an alcohol. As proof-of-principle, we use PALM to image silica beads with radii close to Abbes diffraction limit. Individual nanoparticles are readily identified and reliably sized in multicolor mixtures of large and small beads. We further use SRM to visualize nm-thin yet m-long dynamic, supramolecular polymers, which are among the most challenging molecular systems to image.

da Silva, Ricardo M. P., van der Zwaag, Daan, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Lee, Sungsoo S., Meijer, E. W., Stupp, Samuel I., (2016). Super-resolution microscopy reveals structural diversity in molecular exchange among peptide amphiphile nanofibres Nature Communications 7, 11561

The dynamic behaviour of supramolecular systems is an important dimension of their potential functions. Here, we report on the use of stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy to study the molecular exchange of peptide amphiphile nanofibres, supramolecular systems known to have important biomedical functions. Solutions of nanofibres labelled with different dyes (Cy3 and Cy5) were mixed, and the distribution of dyes inserting into initially single-colour nanofibres was quantified using correlative image analysis. Our observations are consistent with an exchange mechanism involving monomers or small clusters of molecules inserting randomly into a fibre. Different exchange rates are observed within the same fibre, suggesting that local cohesive structures exist on the basis of [beta]-sheet discontinuous domains. The results reported here show that peptide amphiphile supramolecular systems can be dynamic and that their intermolecular interactions affect exchange patterns. This information can be used to generate useful aggregate morphologies for improved biomedical function.

DeKoker, Stefaan, Cui, Jiwei, Vanparijs, Nane, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Grooten, Johan, Caruso, Frank, DeGeest, Bruno G., (2016). Engineering polymer hydrogel nanoparticles for lymph node-targeted delivery Angewandte Chemie – International Edition , 55, (4), 1334-1339

The induction of antigen-specific adaptive immunity exclusively occurs in lymphoid organs. As a consequence, the efficacy by which vaccines reach these tissues strongly affects the efficacy of the vaccine. Here, we report the design of polymer hydrogel nanoparticles that efficiently target multiple immune cell subsets in the draining lymph nodes. Nanoparticles are fabricated by infiltrating mesoporous silica particles (ca. 200nm) with poly(methacrylic acid) followed by disulfide-based crosslinking and template removal. PEGylation of these nanoparticles does not affect their cellular association invitro, but dramatically improves their lymphatic drainage invivo. The functional relevance of these observations is further illustrated by the increased priming of antigen-specific Tcells. Our findings highlight the potential of engineered hydrogel nanoparticles for the lymphatic delivery of antigens and immune-modulating compounds.

Keywords: Dendritic cells, Disulfides, Hydrogels, Nanoparticles, Vaccines

Li, Hui, Fierens, Kaat, Zhang, Zhiyue, Vanparijs, Nane, Schuijs, Martijn J., Van Steendam, Katleen, Feiner Gracia, Natlia, De Rycke, Riet, De Beer, Thomas, De Beuckelaer, Ans, De Koker, Stefaan, Deforce, Dieter, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Grooten, Johan, Lambrecht, Bart N., De Geest, Bruno G., (2016). Spontaneous protein adsorption on graphene oxide nanosheets allowing efficient intracellular vaccine protein delivery ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces , 8, (2), 1147-1155

Nanomaterials hold potential of altering the interaction between therapeutic molecules and target cells or tissues. High aspect ratio nanomaterials in particular have been reported to possess unprecedented properties and are intensively investigated for their interaction with biological systems. Graphene oxide (GOx) is a water-soluble graphene derivative that combines high aspect ratio dimension with functional groups that can be exploited for bioconjugation. Here, we demonstrate that GOx nanosheets can spontaneously adsorb proteins by a combination of interactions. This property is then explored for intracellular protein vaccine delivery, in view of the potential of GOx nanosheets to destabilize lipid membranes such as those of intracellular vesicles. Using a series of in vitro experiments, we show that GOx nanosheet adsorbed proteins are efficiently internalized by dendritic cells (DCs: the most potent class of antigen presenting cells of the immune system) and promote antigen cross-presentation to CD8 T cells. The latter is a hallmark in the induction of potent cellular antigen-specific immune responses against intracellular pathogens and cancer.Nanomaterials hold potential of altering the interaction between therapeutic molecules and target cells or tissues. High aspect ratio nanomaterials in particular have been reported to possess unprecedented properties and are intensively investigated for their interaction with biological systems. Graphene oxide (GOx) is a water-soluble graphene derivative that combines high aspect ratio dimension with functional groups that can be exploited for bioconjugation. Here, we demonstrate that GOx nanosheets can spontaneously adsorb proteins by a combination of interactions. This property is then explored for intracellular protein vaccine delivery, in view of the potential of GOx nanosheets to destabilize lipid membranes such as those of intracellular vesicles. Using a series of in vitro experiments, we show that GOx nanosheet adsorbed proteins are efficiently internalized by dendritic cells (DCs: the most potent class of antigen presenting cells of the immune system) and promote antigen cross-presentation to CD8 T cells. The latter is a hallmark in the induction of potent cellular antigen-specific immune responses against intracellular pathogens and cancer.

van der Zwaag, Daan, Vanparijs, Nane, Wijnands, Sjors, De Rycke, Riet, De Geest, Bruno G., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2016). Super resolution imaging of nanoparticles cellular uptake and trafficking ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces , 8, (10), 6391-6399

Understanding the interaction between synthetic nanostructures and living cells is of crucial importance for the development of nanotechnology-based intracellular delivery systems. Fluorescence microscopy is one of the most widespread tools owing to its ability to image multiple colors in native conditions. However, due to the limited resolution, it is unsuitable to address individual diffraction-limited objects. Here we introduce a combination of super-resolution microscopy and single-molecule data analysis to unveil the behavior of nanoparticles during their entry into mammalian cells. Two-color Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) addresses the size and positioning of nanoparticles inside cells and probes their interaction with the cellular machineries at nanoscale resolution. Moreover, we develop image analysis tools to extract quantitative information about internalized particles from STORM images. To demonstrate the potential of our methodology, we extract previously inaccessible information by the direct visualization of the nanoparticle uptake mechanism and the intracellular tracking of nanoparticulate model antigens by dendritic cells. Finally, a direct comparison between STORM, confocal microscopy, and electron microscopy is presented, showing that STORM can provide novel and complementary information on nanoparticle cellular uptake.Understanding the interaction between synthetic nanostructures and living cells is of crucial importance for the development of nanotechnology-based intracellular delivery systems. Fluorescence microscopy is one of the most widespread tools owing to its ability to image multiple colors in native conditions. However, due to the limited resolution, it is unsuitable to address individual diffraction-limited objects. Here we introduce a combination of super-resolution microscopy and single-molecule data analysis to unveil the behavior of nanoparticles during their entry into mammalian cells. Two-color Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) addresses the size and positioning of nanoparticles inside cells and probes their interaction with the cellular machineries at nanoscale resolution. Moreover, we develop image analysis tools to extract quantitative information about internalized particles from STORM images. To demonstrate the potential of our methodology, we extract previously inaccessible information by the direct visualization of the nanoparticle uptake mechanism and the intracellular tracking of nanoparticulate model antigens by dendritic cells. Finally, a direct comparison between STORM, confocal microscopy, and electron microscopy is presented, showing that STORM can provide novel and complementary information on nanoparticle cellular uptake.

Beuwer, Michael A., Knopper, M. F., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, van der Zwaag, Daan, Ellenbroek, Wouter G., Meijer, E. W., Prins, Menno W. J., Zijlstra, Peter, (2016). Mechanical properties of single supramolecular polymers from correlative AFM and fluorescence microscopy Polymer Chemistry , 7, (47), 7260-7268

We characterize the structure and mechanical properties of 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxamide (BTA) supramolecular polymers using correlative AFM and fluorescence imaging. AFM allows for nanoscale structural investigation but we found that statistical analysis is difficult because these structures are easily disrupted by the AFM tip. We therefore correlate AFM and fluorescence microscopy to couple nanoscale morphological information to far-field optical images. A fraction of the immobilized polymers are in a clustered or entangled state, which we identify based on diffraction limited fluorescence images. We find that clustered and entangled polymers exhibit a significantly longer persistence length that is broader distributed than single unentangled polymers. By comparison with numerical simulations we find significant heterogeneity in the persistence length of single unentangled polymers, which we attribute to polymer-substrate interactions and the presence of structural diversity within the polymer.

Read this article:
Nanoscopy for nanomedicine Institute for Bioengineering …

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

A New Generation of Transhumanists Is Emerging | HuffPost

A new generation of transhumanists is emerging. You can feel it in handshakes at transhumanist meet-ups. You can see it when checking in to transhumanist groups in social media. You can read it in the hundreds of transhumanist-themed blogs. This is not the same bunch of older, mostly male academics that have slowly moved the movement forward during the last few decades. This is a dynamic group of younger people from varying backgrounds: Asians, Blacks, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, and Latinos. Many are females, some are LGBT, and others have disabilities. Many are atheist, while others are spiritual or even formally religious. Their politics run the gamut, from liberals to conservatives to anarchists. Their professions vary widely, from artists to physical laborers to programmers. Whatever their background, preferences, or professions, they have recently tripled the population of transhumanists in just the last 12 months.

“Three years ago, we had only around 400 members, but today we have over 10,000 members,” says Amanda Stoel, co-founder and chief administrator of Facebook group Singularity Network, one of the largest of hundreds of transhumanist-themed groups on the web.

Transhumanism is becoming so popular that even the comic strip Dilbert, which appears online and in 2000 newspapers, recently made jokes about it.

Despite its growing popularity, many people around the world still don’t know what “transhuman” means. Transhuman literally means beyond human. Transhumanists consist of life extensionists, techno-optimists, Singularitarians, biohackers, roboticists, AI proponents, and futurists who embrace radical science and technology to improve the human condition. The most important aim for many transhumanists is to overcome human mortality, a goal some believe is achievable by 2045.

Transhumanism has been around for nearly 30 years and was first heavily influenced by science fiction. Today, transhumanism is increasingly being influenced by actual science and technological innovation, much of it being created by people under the age of 40. It’s also become a very international movement, with many formal groups in dozens of countries.

Despite the movement’s growth, its potential is being challenged by some older transhumanists who snub the younger generation and their ideas. These old-school futurists dismiss activist philosophies and radicalism, and even prefer some younger writers and speakers not have their voices heard. Additionally, transhumanism’s Wikipedia page — the most viewed online document of the movement — is protected by a vigilant posse, deleting additions or changes that don’t support a bland academic view of transhumanism.

Inevitably, this Wikipedia page misses the vibrancy and happenings of the burgeoning movement. The real status and information of transhumanism and its philosophies can be found in public transhumanist gatherings and festivities, in popular student groups like the Stanford University Transhumanist Association, and in social media where tens of thousands of scientists and technologists hang out and discuss the transhuman future.

Jet-setting personality Maria Konovalenko, a 29-year-old Russian molecular biophysicist whose public demonstrations supporting radical life extension have made international news, is a prime example.

“We must do more for transhumanism and life extension,” says Konovalenko, who serves as vice president of Moscow-based Science for Life Extension Foundation. “This is our lives and our futures we’re talking about. To sit back and and just watch the 21st Century roll by will not accomplish our goals. We must take our message to the people in the streets and strive to make real change.”

Transhumanist celebrities like Konovalenko are changing the way the movement gets its message across to the public. Gauging by the rapidly increasing number of transhumanists, it’s working.

A primary goal of many transhumanists is to convince the public that embracing radical technology and science is in the species’ best interest. In a mostly religious world where much of society still believes in heavenly afterlives, some people are skeptical about whether significantly extending human lifespans is philosophically and morally correct. Transhumanists believe the more people that support transhumanism, the more private and government resources will end up in the hands of organizations and companies that aim to improve human lives and bring mortality to an end.

Go here to see the original:
A New Generation of Transhumanists Is Emerging | HuffPost

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

Transhumanism | Future | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Transhumanism (sometimes abbreviated >H or H+) is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of new sciences and technologies to enhance human cognitive and physical abilities and ameliorate what it regards as undesirable and unnecessary aspects of the human condition, such as disease, aging, and death. Transhumanist thinkers study the possibilities and consequences of developing and using human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies for these purposes. Possible dangers, as well as benefits, of powerful new technologies that might radically change the conditions of human life are also of concern to the transhumanist movement.

Although the first known use of the term “transhumanism” dates from 1957, the contemporary meaning is a product of the 1980s, when a group of scientists, artists, and futurists based in the United States began to organize what has since grown into the transhumanist movement. Transhumanist thinkers postulate that human beings will eventually be transformed into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label “posthuman”.

The transhumanist vision of a profoundly transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters as well as critics from a wide range of perspectives. Transhumanism has been described by a proponent as the “movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative, and idealistic aspirations of humanity,” while according to a prominent critic, it is the world’s most dangerous idea.

In his 2005 article A History of Transhumanist Thought, philosopher Nick Bostrom locates transhumanism’s roots in Renaissance humanism and the Enlightenment. The Marquis de Condorcet, an eighteenth century French philosopher, is the first thinker whom he identifies as speculating about the use of medical science to extend the human life span. In the twentieth century, a direct and influential precursor to transhumanist concepts was J.B.S. Haldane’s 1923 essay Daedalus: Science and the Future, which predicted that great benefits would come from applications of genetics and other advanced sciences to human biology.

Biologist Julian Huxley, brother of author Aldous Huxley (a childhood friend of Haldane’s), appears to have been the first to use the actual word “transhumanism”. Writing in 1957, he defined transhumanism as “man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature”. This definition differs substantially from the one commonly in use since the 1980s.

The coalescence of an identifiable transhumanist movement began in the last decades of the twentieth century. In 1966, FM-2030 (formerly F.M. Esfandiary), a futurist who taught “new concepts of the Human” at The New School for Social Research in New York City, began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and world views transitional to “posthumanity” as “transhuman” (short for “transitory human”). In 1972, Robert Ettinger contributed to the popularization of the concept of “transhumanity” in his book Man into Superman. FM-2030 published the Upwingers Manifesto in 1973 to stimulate transhumanly conscious activism.

The first self-described transhumanists met formally in the early 1980s at the University of California, Los Angeles, which became the main center of transhumanist thought. Here, FM-2030 lectured on his “third way” futurist ideology. At the EZTV Media venue frequented by transhumanists and other futurists, Natasha Vita-More presented Breaking Away, her 1980 experimental film with the theme of humans breaking away from their biological limitations and the earth’s gravity as they head into space. FM-2030 and Vita-More soon began holding gatherings for transhumanists in Los Angeles, which included students from FM-2030′s courses and audiences from Vita-More’s artistic productions. In 1982, Vita-More authored the Transhumanist Arts Statement, and, six years later, produced the cable TV show TransCentury Update on transhumanity, a program which reached over 100,000 viewers.

In 1988, philosopher Max More founded the Extropy Institute and was the main contributor to a formal transhumanist doctrine, which took the form of the Principles of Extropy in 1990.[ In 1990, he laid the foundation of modern transhumanism by giving it a new definition:

“Transhumanism is a class of philosophies that seek to guide us towards a posthuman condition. Transhumanism shares many elements of humanism, including a respect for reason and science, a commitment to progress, and a valuing of human (or transhuman) existence in this life. [] Transhumanism differs from humanism in recognizing and anticipating the radical alterations in the nature and possibilities of our lives resulting from various sciences and technologies [].” In 1998, philosophers Nick Bostrom and David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), an organization with a liberal democratic perspective. In 1999, the WTA drafted and adopted The Transhumanist Declaration. The Transhumanist FAQ, prepared by the WTA, gave two formal definitions for transhumanism:

The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. A number of similar definitions have been collected by Anders Sandberg, an academic with a high profile in the transhumanist movement.

In 2006, the board of directors of the Extropy Institute made a decision to cease operations of the organization, stating that its mission was “essentially completed”. This left the World Transhumanist Association as the leading international transhumanist organization.

For a list of notable individuals who have identified themselves, or been identified by others, as advocates of transhumanism, see the list of transhumanists.

While many transhumanist theorists and advocates seek to apply reason, science and technology for the purposes of reducing poverty, disease, disability and malnutrition around the globe, transhumanism is distinctive in its particular focus on the applications of technologies to the improvement of human bodies at the individual level. Many transhumanists actively assess the potential for future technologies and innovative social systems to improve the quality of all life, while seeking to make the material reality of the human condition fulfill the promise of legal and political equality by eliminating congenital mental and physical barriers.

Transhumanist philosophers argue that there not only exists an ethical imperative for humans to strive for progress and improvement of the human condition but that it is possible and desirable for humanity to enter a post-Darwinian phase of existence, in which humans are in control of their own evolution. In such a phase, natural evolution would be replaced with deliberate change. To this end, transhumanists engage in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and evaluating possibilities for overcoming biological limitations. They draw on futures studies and various fields or subfields of science, philosophy, economics, history, and sociology. Unlike philosophers, social critics and activists who place a moral value on preservation of natural systems, transhumanists see the very concept of the “natural” as an obstacle to progress. In keeping with this, many prominent transhumanist advocates refer to transhumanism’s critics on the political right and left jointly as “bioconservatives” or “bioluddites”, the latter term alluding to the nineteenth century anti-industrialisation social movement that opposed the replacement of manual labor by machines.

Converging Technologies, a 2002 report exploring the potential for synergy among nano-, bio-, informational and cognitive technologies (NBIC) for enhancing human performance.While some transhumanists take a relatively abstract and theoretical approach to the perceived benefits of emerging technologies, others have offered specific proposals for modifications to the human body, including inheritable ones. Transhumanists are often concerned with methods of enhancing the human nervous system. Though some propose modification of the peripheral nervous system, the brain is considered the common denominator of personhood and is thus a primary focus of transhumanist ambitions. More generally, transhumanists support the convergence of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC), and hypothetical future technologies such as simulated reality, artificial intelligence, mind uploading, and cryonics. Transhumanists believe that humans can and should use these technologies to become more than human. Transhumanists therefore support the recognition or protection of cognitive liberty, morphological freedom and procreative liberty as civil liberties, so as to guarantee individuals the choice of enhancing themselves and progressively become posthuman, which they see as the next significant evolutionary steps for the human species. Some speculate that human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies may facilitate such a transformation by the midpoint of the twenty first century.

A 2002 report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, commissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce, contains descriptions and commentaries on the state of NBIC science and technology by major contributors to these fields. The report discusses potential uses of these technologies in implementing transhumanist goals of enhanced performance and health, and ongoing work on planned applications of human enhancement technologies in the military and in the rationalization of the human-machine interface in industry.

Some theorists, such as Raymond Kurzweil, believe that the pace of technological evolution is accelerating and that the next fifty years may yield not only radical technological advances but possibly a technological singularity, which may fundamentally change the nature of human beings. Transhumanists who foresee this massive technological change generally maintain that it is desirable. However, they also explore the possible dangers of extremely rapid technological change, and frequently propose options for ensuring that advanced technology is used responsibly. For example, Bostrom has written extensively on existential risks to humanity’s future welfare, including risks that could be created by emerging technologies.

On a more practical level, as proponents of personal development and body modification, transhumanists tend to use existing technologies and techniques that supposedly improve cognitive and physical performance, while engaging in routines and lifestyles designed to improve health and longevity. Depending on their age, some transhumanists express concern that they will not live to reap the benefits of future technologies. However, many have a great interest in life extension practices, and funding research in cryonics in order to make the latter a viable option of last resort rather than remaining an unproven method. Regional and global transhumanist networks and communities with a range of objectives exist to provide support and forums for discussion and collaborative projects.

There is a variety of opinion within transhumanist thought. Many of the leading transhumanist thinkers hold complex and subtle views that are under constant revision and development. Some distinctive currents of transhumanism are identified and listed here in alphabetical order:

Although some transhumanists report a very strong sense of spirituality, they are for the most part secular. In fact, many transhumanists are either agnostics or atheists. A minority, however, follow liberal forms of Eastern philosophical traditions or, as with Mormon transhumanists, have merged their beliefs with established religions.

Despite the prevailing secular attitude, some transhumanists pursue hopes traditionally espoused by religions, such as immortality albeit a physical one. Several belief systems, termed new religious movements, originating in the late twentieth century, share with transhumanism the goals of transcending the human condition by applying technology to the alteration of the body (Ralism) and mind (Scientology). While most thinkers associated with the transhumanist movement focus on the practical goals of using technology to help achieve longer and healthier lives, some speculate that future understanding of neurotheology will enable humans to achieve control of altered states of consciousness and thus “spiritual” experiences. A continuing dialogue between transhumanism and faith was the focus of an academic seminar held at the University of Toronto in 2004.

The majority of transhumanists are materialists who do not believe in a transcendent human soul. Transhumanist personhood theory also argues against the unique identification of moral actors and subjects with biological humans, judging as speciesist the exclusion of nonhuman and part-human animals, and sophisticated machines, from ethical consideration. Many believe in the compatibility of human minds with computer hardware, with the theoretical implication that human consciousness may someday be transferred to alternative media.

One extreme formulation of this idea is Frank Tipler’s proposal of the Omega Point. Drawing upon ideas in physics, computer science and physical cosmology, Tipler advanced the notion that the collapse of the Universe billions of years hence could create the conditions for the perpetuation of humanity as a simulation within a megacomputer. Cosmologist George Ellis has called Tipler’s book “a masterpiece of pseudoscience”, and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter of Why People Believe Weird Things to enumerating perceived flaws in Tipler’s thesis.

For more details on this topic, see Transhumanism in fiction. Transhumanist themes have become increasingly prominent in various literary forms during the period in which the movement itself has emerged. Contemporary science fiction often contains positive renditions of technologically enhanced human life, set in utopian (especially techno-utopian) societies. However, science fiction’s depictions of technologically enhanced humans or other posthuman beings frequently come with a cautionary twist. The more pessimistic scenarios include many horrific or dystopian tales of human bioengineering gone wrong.

The cyberpunk genre, exemplified by William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984) and Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix (1985), has particularly been concerned with the modification of human bodies. Other novels dealing with transhumanist themes that have stimulated broad discussion of these issues include Blood Music (1985) by Greg Bear, The Xenogenesis Trilogy (19871989) by Octavia Butler; the “Culture” novels (19872000) of Iain Banks; The Beggar’s Trilogy (199094) by Nancy Kress; much of Greg Egan’s work since the early 1990s, such as Permutation City (1994) and Diaspora (1997); The Bohr Maker (1995) by Linda Nagata; Extensa (2002) and Perfekcyjna niedoskonao (2003) by Jacek Dukaj; Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood; Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (2002); and The Possibility of an Island (Eng. trans. 2006) by Michel Houellebecq.

Fictional transhumanist scenarios have also become popular in other media during the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Such treatments are found in films (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1979; Blade Runner, 1982; Gattaca, 1997), television series (the Ancients of Stargate SG-1, the Borg of Star Trek, the Nietzscheans of Andromeda), manga and anime (Ghost in the Shell), role-playing games (Transhuman Space) and computer games (Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, Command & Conquer). The fictional universe of the table top war game Warhammer 40,000 also makes use of genetic and cybernetic augmentation. Human characters of the Imperium often employ cybernetic devices, while the Space Marines are indeed posthuman. Many of these works are considered part of the cyberpunk genre or its postcyberpunk offshoot.

In addition to the work of Natasha Vita-More, mentioned above, transhumanism has been represented in the visual and performing arts by Carnal Art, a form of sculpture originated by the French artist Orlan that uses the body as its medium and plastic surgery as its method. The American performer Michael Jackson used technologies such as plastic surgery, skin-lightening drugs and hyperbaric oxygen treatment over the course of his career, with the effect of transforming his artistic persona so as to blur identifiers of gender, race and age. The work of the Australian artist Stelarc centers on the alteration of his body by robotic prostheses and tissue engineering. Other artists whose work coincided with the emergence and flourishing of transhumanism and who explored themes related to the transformation of the body are the Yugoslavian performance artist Marina Abramovic and the American media artist Matthew Barney. A 2005 show, Becoming Animal, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, presented exhibits by twelve artists whose work concerns the effects of technology in erasing boundaries between the human and non-human.

Read more:
Transhumanism | Future | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

Nanobiotix a nanomedicine company

NANOMEDICINE

FOR BETTER AND LONGER LIFE

Watch our

R&D Day

Experts

Dr. David Raben, MD University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USADr. Tanguy Seiwert, MD University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, IL, USADr. Colette Shen, MD, PhD University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USADr. Jared Weiss, MD University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USADr. James Welsh, MD MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

JUNE 21, 2018

Nanobiotix announces

positive phase II/III topline data

in soft tissue sarcoma with NBTXR3

NANOXRAY

A FIRST-IN-CLASS RADIOENHANCER

A FIRST-IN-CLASSRADIOENHANCER

WE WORK TO PROVIDE

INNOVATIVE TREATMENTS TO HELP PATIENTS

TO LIVE LONGER AND BETTER.

COLETTE, CLINICAL TEAM

I WORK FOR LIFE.

CLINE, DISCOVERY TEAM

WE FIGHT FOR

MEANINGFUL GOALS TOGETHER.

ALY, FINANCE TEAM

NANOMEDICINE IS MORE THAN EVOLUTION,

ITS A REVOLUTION!

REGIS, MANUFACTURING AND SUPPLY TEAM

ENTHUSIASM,

FAITH IN NANOMEDICINE

AND LOVE FOR INNOVATION!

JULIE, DISCOVERY TEAM

NANOMEDICINEFOR BETTER AND LONGER LIFE

MEET US AT:AACR 2019, Atlanta

QUICK SELECT OR SCROLL DOWN

More:
Nanobiotix a nanomedicine company

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

GHRP-2 / GHRP-6 / Sermorelin Acetate Injection (Blend …

ALERT: GHRP 2 and GHRP 6 have been placed on the FDA category 3 list and cannot be compounded. Should this change in the future, an alert will be emailed to our clients and updated on this page!

SermorelinAcetate is prescribed for the stimulation of the pituitary gland and increase the natural production of growth hormone (HGH), within the limits of endocrine system capacity.

The dosage presentation available for GHRP-2 / GHRP-6 / Sermorelin Acetate is an Injection Solution. Absolute Pharmacys injection solutions are combined under the strict standards of USP 797 for the sterile composition of each batch. Our quality assurance process ensures the uniformity of each compound dispensed.

GHRP-2 is a peptide that is only a member of the large family of peptide growth factors and is very similar in structure and function to GHRP-6.

Both act by stimulating the pituitary gland which causes an increased release of GH. GHRP-2 is used for a variety of medical problems such as low GH production and natural weight gain promoting abnormally thin individuals.

GHRP-2 has been extensively studied for its utility and action as growth hormone secretagogue (GHS), meaning it stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. This is a hexapeptide with potent properties. GHRP-2 is basically a sterile white lyophilized powder. It is considered to be the most potent classes in the GHRP family.

This peptide has been shown to be useful in adults and can be given through the oral, intravenous and intranasal route. GHRPs is not simply substituted for GHRH, instead, GHRP-6 is an artificial activator of a receptor called Secretagogues newly discovered receptor (GHS-R).

While both peptides of the amino acid release GH, there is a noticeable difference in GHRP-6, this speeds up digestion taking into account a larger consumption of food. It is worth adding that this particular peptide is a first generation GHRP. Get the absolute most value from GH releases.

While GHRH stimulates adenylate cyclase activity and increases cAMP production (21), synthetic GHs do not bind to the pituitary receptor for GHRH (22), generating depolarization and inhibition of potassium channels in somatotropic cells, activating the Protein kinase C and increasing the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol (7,9,21,22).

Recently, the existence of a specific high-affinity binding site in pituitary membranes has been shown to mediate the activity of these secretagogues. Accordingly, the receptor mediating the GH-secreting activities of GHRP-6, L-692,429 and L-163,191 (MK-0677) is bound to a G protein. In addition, the same authors indicate that they have characterized A similar receptor in hypothalamic membranes.

It is a hormonal peptide treatment known as a secretagogue that induces the secretion of human growth hormone. For this reason, Sermorelin is known as a growth hormone releasing agent.

Sermorelin Acetate (also known as GRF 1-29) is an analog of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH). GHRH is produced in the brain (in the hypothalamus) and is subsequently transported through the bloodstream into the pituitary gland where its role is to stimulate and release growth hormone (GH).

Sermorelin (GRF 1-29) has a short molecule, comprising 29 amino acids (for example, for comparison the HGH molecule is substantially larger comprising 191 amino acids). The Sermorelin GRF 1-29 sequence is a part of the endogenous human GHRH and is currently considered as the short synthetic peptide which possesses the full range of GHRH activity.

Sermorelin is often used as an effective anti-aging therapy product in men, usually in relation to testosterone. Sermorelin can be considered as an excellent alternative to recombinant growth hormone (rhGH), especially in people looking for similar hormones with anti-aging effects for achieving anti-aging goals. Sermorelin is so safe that in the USA. It is prescribed for children as a treatment for growth hormone deficiency or for patients who need to lose weight quickly and efficiently.

Sermorelin stimulates the patients own pituitary gland by binding to specific receptors that increase the production and secretion of endogenous or own HGH from the body. Because Sermorelin increases the natural endogenous hormones by stimulating the pituitary gland is considered as an excellent treatment.

Sermorelin stimulates your pituitary gland to make HGH more natural. Your pituitary gland will only produce what you need and no more. Its secretory effects are regulated by the pituitary gland through the negative feedback loop and the release of somatostatin so as to avoid the side effects of too much endogenous HGH.

Cell and tissue exposure to HGH released by the pituitary under the influence of Sermorelin is a natural physiological response to doses administered mimicking normal human physiology. By stimulating the pituitary gland it retains more of the neuroendocrine hormone growth hormone and loop feedback that deteriorates over time due to the aging process.

The pituitary stimulation resulting from Sermorelin injections helps mitigate the endocrine deficiency that occurs during the aging composition of the juvenile body and physiology. GH peptide therapy provides patients with all the benefits of HGH replacement therapy.

It is used in adults who take hormone replacement therapy for human growth hormone. A patient can take GH peptides alone or together with injections of human growth hormone to enhance the effects of bio-identical therapy.

Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor will need to know if you have diabetes, hypothyroidism, or a history of problems with your blood sugar.

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medication. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems such as interactions with drugs or other interactions.

In case you miss a dose, take it as soon as you notice it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take extra doses to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you are losing your doses regularly, it is recommended to set an alarm or ask a family member to remind you. Please consult your doctor to discuss changes to the dosing schedule or a new schedule to compensate for missed doses if you have missed many doses recently.

In all studies, it has been observed that Sermorelin does not modify uterine activity, nor does it present sensitization phenomena on this organ. All studies show that it shows no mutagenic activity.

Chest tightness or fast heart rate.Fainting or fainting.Redness, pain, blisters, or rash at the injection site.

It should be kept refrigerated at 2C to 8C. During the period of conservation there are no qualitative or quantitative changes of the active principle, so its pharmacological action remains unchanged.

Link:
GHRP-2 / GHRP-6 / Sermorelin Acetate Injection (Blend …

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy | Menopause …

RejuvinAge, a Virginia Beach Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Center, focuses on Individualizing Hormone Therapy for Women and Men. RejuvinAge specializes in Hormone Replacement for approved indications of Menopause for women and Low Testosterone Replacement Therapy for men.

Women and men are very comfortable and confident in our boutique setting for hormone replacement. Programs are individualized; one size does not fit all. Every program is physician managed; appointments are always on time with our hormone replacement doctor, Jennifer Krup, M.D. Personalized care is our focus; we recognize the importance of one on one attention.

Focusing on menopause for women, Dr. Krup encourages every woman to embrace this phase of their life.Understanding BHRT empowers women with the knowledge to make the right decisions and successfully manage menopausal symptoms. Understanding appropriate dosages, appropriate routes of administration and the appropriate length of treatment for each woman keeps RejuvinAge in the forefront

Offering Low T options for men, Dr. Krup will help determine ifTestosterone Replacement Therapyis right for you. Making the right choice for TRT is an important decision for men today.

The RejuvinAge approach to Bio Identical Hormone Replacement for women and men is based on sound medicine. Hormone optimization takes patience, compliance, great communication and a partnership with you. Our Virginia Beach Hormone Replacement center is easily accessible to the surrounding cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton Newport News, Williamsburg and beyond. Make your appointment today-meet Dr. Krup in her Virginia BeachBio-Identical Hormone Center.

Go here to see the original:
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy | Menopause …

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

Top 5 Companion Supplements for Hormone Balance – EVEXIAS …

Men and women alike struggle with hormonal imbalance, and these imbalances can have serious impacts on our mental, physical, and emotional state. Our hormones are powerful; theyre chemical messengers can control our appetite, weight, and mood, among other things.

If you think you may be struggling with hormonal imbalance, check out our symptom checklist for men and women. Once we identify your imbalance, we can create a customized treatment plan for you, and part of the treatment plan may involve natural supplements.

At EVEXIAS Medical Centers, we use a safe, all-natural, and effective hormone treatment known as BHRT Pellet Therapy; you can read more about it here.

To offer patients a complete solution and long-lasting treatment, we often suggest certain supplements to complement the natural pellet therapy. Today well go over 5 of these companion supplements and what you can get from them.

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a natural plant nutrient that comes from cruciferous plants (like broccoli or cabbage). Both women and men may benefit from DIM as it supports estrogen metabolization and frees testosterone from binding agents in the blood.

DIM may be prescribed to enhance hormone optimization and to promote breast, uterine, cervical and prostate health. DIM may also reignite sex drive, decrease body fat and alleviate premenstrual and menopausal symptoms.

Methyl B-Complex is made up of eight B vitamins, along with essential support nutrients. The formulation helps support the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system and may be prescribed to improve memory, mental health, and energy levels. This supplement is essential in hormone optimization treatment and toxins from the body.

Essential for managing a vast number of diseases and conditions and also plays a crucial role in the production of thyroid hormone and receptor activity of other hormones. This powerful nutrient supports hormone optimization while also aiding patients with blood sugar issues and cancer of the:

Mega Probiotic

ND is a dairy-free probiotic formulation composed of several all-natural strains of beneficial microorganisms. Along with probiotics, the formulation includes soluble fiber and a pre-biotic.

Your body uses mega Probiotic-ND to maintain gut health and helps ensure hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone), and neurotransmitters like serotonin (the happiness chemical) are working in harmony to help you experience more energy.

Omega 3 HP-D is a high-potency supplement that combines high yield with omega 3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA along with 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3. Hormones need Omega 3 fatty acids to build themselves, and they can also help transport hormones throughout the body by improving blood flow. Also, theyre anti-inflammatory and can help deal with certain symptoms.

You can read more about these five supplements and more here. When beginning your journey to wellness, one of the EVEXIAS team members will review your history, your goals, and much more to provide you with the most efficient hormone optimization treatment possible.

To schedule your completely confidential consultation, get in touch with us!

Image attribution.

Summary

Article Name

Top 5 Companion Supplements for Hormone Balance

Description

When you come to EVEXIAS youll get a completely integral treatment that utilizes various resources to help you reach your wellness goals. Learn about 5 supplements we recommend for hormone optimization.

Read the original post:
Top 5 Companion Supplements for Hormone Balance – EVEXIAS …

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

International Journal of Nanomedicine | Call For Papers …

About JournalEditorsPublishing Fees Peer Reviewers Articles Open Outlook: Nanomedicine Aims and ScopeCall For PapersInterview: Dr Webster

The International Journal of Nanomedicine is indexed online:

Journal Impact Factor:4.370 (5 year impact 5.154)

What is the advantage to you of publishing in the International Journal of Nanomedicine?

To recover our editorial and production costs and continue to provide our content at no cost to readers we charge authors or their institution a publication processing fee.

PubMed CentralThe International Journal of Nanomedicine is indexed on PubMed Central and MedLine (title abbreviation: Int J Nanomedicine). All published papers in this journal are submitted to PubMed for indexing straight away.

Become a Favored Author and receive real benefitsIf you haven’t already joined the Dove Press Favored Author ProgramI would encourage you to do so. Why? To receive real benefits like fast-tracking and a personal co-ordinatorfor your paper,as well as a discount on the publication processing fee. Click here to go through to the Favored Author signup page, you’ll just need to supply the working title of your next paper and when you intend to submit by.

Yours sincerelyDr Thomas J WebsterEditor-in-ChiefInternational Journal of Nanomedicine

Email: Editor-in-Chief

Excerpt from:
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Call For Papers …

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

What Are the Side Effects of Testosterone Replacement …

Disclaimer: This information isnt a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a common way to increase testosterone and treat the symptoms of low testosterone. But one of the most common sideeffects of testosterone replacement therapy is low sperm count. A risk of TRT is that artificially high testosterone levels can trick your brain into stopping LH and FSH production. And when you stop making FSH, you stop making sperm.

Testosterone production is a feedback loop.When your brain senses low testosterone levels in your blood, it ramps up testosterone production in the testicles by releasing two hormones:

When you add external testosterone (from replacement therapy), your brain stops producing LH and FSH because it thinks you dont need anymore. But FSH is directly responsible for sperm production in the testicles.Decreased FSH levels together with already low natural levels of testosterone can decrease your sperm count. A lot. In fact, men using Testosterone replacement therapy can have a sperm count of zero.

Low testosterone production in the testicles means low sperm count. But too much testosterone can mean the same thing. Many of the side effects of low testosteronelike acne and mood shiftsare reversible. But TRT can have long-term effects on your sperm count and fertility. Talk to a doctor to find out if testosterone replacement therapy is right for you. Then work to find the right dose to make sure your testosterone levels stay within normal levels to reduce your risk of side effects.

Read more:
What Are the Side Effects of Testosterone Replacement …

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...

Yudkowsky – Simplified Humanism

Frank Sulloway once said: Ninety-nine per cent of what Darwinian theory says about human behavior is so obviously true that we dont give Darwin credit for it. Ironically, psychoanalysis has it over Darwinism precisely because its predictions are so outlandish and its explanations are so counterintuitive that we think, Is that really true? How radical! Freuds ideas are so intriguing that people are willing to pay for them, while one of the great disadvantages of Darwinism is that we feel we know it already, because, in a sense, we do.

Suppose you find an unconscious six-year-old girl lying on the train tracks of an active railroad. What, morally speaking, ought you to do in this situation? Would it be better to leave her there to get run over, or to try to save her? How about if a 45-year-old man has a debilitating but nonfatal illness that will severely reduce his quality of life is it better to cure him, or not cure him?

Oh, and by the way: This is not a trick question.

I answer that I would save them if I had the power to do so both the six-year-old on the train tracks, and the sick 45-year-old. The obvious answer isnt always the best choice, but sometimes it is.

I wont be lauded as a brilliant ethicist for my judgments in these two ethical dilemmas. My answers are not surprising enough that people would pay me for them. If you go around proclaiming What does two plus two equal? Four! you will not gain a reputation as a deep thinker. But it is still the correct answer.

If a young child falls on the train tracks, it is good to save them, and if a 45-year-old suffers from a debilitating disease, it is good to cure them. If you have a logical turn of mind, you are bound to ask whether this is a special case of a general ethical principle which says Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad. If so and here we enter into controversial territory we can follow this general principle to a surprising new conclusion: If a 95-year-old is threatened by death from old age, it would be good to drag them from those train tracks, if possible. And if a 120-year-old is starting to feel slightly sickly, it would be good to restore them to full vigor, if possible. With current technology it is not possible. But if the technology became available in some future year given sufficiently advanced medical nanotechnology, or such other contrivances as future minds may devise would you judge it a good thing, to save that life, and stay that debility?

The important thing to remember, which I think all too many people forget, is that it is not a trick question.

Transhumanism is simpler requires fewer bits to specify because it has no special cases. If you believe professional bioethicists (people who get paid to explain ethical judgments) then the rule Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad holds only until some critical age, and then flips polarity. Why should it flip? Why not just keep on with life-is-good? It would seem that it is good to save a six-year-old girl, but bad to extend the life and health of a 150-year-old. Then at what exact age does the term in the utility function go from positive to negative? Why?

As far as a transhumanist is concerned, if you see someone in danger of dying, you should save them; if you can improve someones health, you should. There, youre done. No special cases. You dont have to ask anyones age.

You also dont ask whether the remedy will involve only primitive technologies (like a stretcher to lift the six-year-old off the railroad tracks); or technologies invented less than a hundred years ago (like penicillin) which nonetheless seem ordinary because they were around when you were a kid; or technologies that seem scary and sexy and futuristic (like gene therapy) because they were invented after you turned 18; or technologies that seem absurd and implausible and sacrilegious (like nanotech) because they havent been invented yet. Your ethical dilemma report form doesnt have a line where you write down the invention year of the technology. Can you save lives? Yes? Okay, go ahead. There, youre done.

Suppose a boy of 9 years, who has tested at IQ 120 on the Wechsler-Bellvue, is threatened by a lead-heavy environment or a brain disease which will, if unchecked, gradually reduce his IQ to 110. I reply that it is a good thing to save him from this threat. If you have a logical turn of mind, you are bound to ask whether this is a special case of a general ethical principle saying that intelligence is precious. Now the boys sister, as it happens, currently has an IQ of 110. If the technology were available to gradually raise her IQ to 120, without negative side effects, would you judge it good to do so?

Well, of course. Why not? Its not a trick question. Either its better to have an IQ of 110 than 120, in which case we should strive to decrease IQs of 120 to 110. Or its better to have an IQ of 120 than 110, in which case we should raise the sisters IQ if possible. As far as I can see, the obvious answer is the correct one.

But you ask where does it end? It may seem well and good to talk about extending life and health out to 150 years but what about 200 years, or 300 years, or 500 years, or more? What about when in the course of properly integrating all these new life experiences and expanding ones mind accordingly over time the equivalent of IQ must go to 140, or 180, or beyond human ranges?

Where does it end? It doesnt. Why should it? Life is good, health is good, beauty and happiness and fun and laughter and challenge and learning are good. This does not change for arbitrarily large amounts of life and beauty. If there were an upper bound, it would be a special case, and that would be inelegant.

Ultimate physical limits may or may not permit a lifespan of at least length X for some X just as the medical technology of a particular century may or may not permit it. But physical limitations are questions of simple fact, to be settled strictly by experiment. Transhumanism, as a moral philosophy, deals only with the question of whether a healthy lifespan of length X is desirable if it is physically possible. Transhumanism answers yes for all X. Because, you see, its not a trick question.

So that is transhumanism loving life without special exceptions and without upper bound.

Can transhumanism really be that simple? Doesnt that make the philosophy trivial, if it has no extra ingredients, just common sense? Yes, in the same way that the scientific method is nothing but common sense.

Then why have a complicated special name like transhumanism ? For the same reason that scientific method or secular humanism have complicated special names. If you take common sense and rigorously apply it, through multiple inferential steps, to areas outside everyday experience, successfully avoiding many possible distractions and tempting mistakes along the way, then it often ends up as a minority position and people give it a special name.

But a moral philosophy should not have special ingredients. The purpose of a moral philosophy is not to look delightfully strange and counterintuitive, or to provide employment to bioethicists. The purpose is to guide our choices toward life, health, beauty, happiness, fun, laughter, challenge, and learning. If the judgments are simple, that is no black mark against them morality doesnt always have to be complicated.

There is nothing in transhumanism but the same common sense that underlies standard humanism, rigorously applied to cases outside our modern-day experience. A million-year lifespan? If its possible, why not? The prospect may seem very foreign and strange, relative to our current everyday experience. It may create a sensation of future shock. And yet is life a bad thing?

Could the moral question really be just that simple?

Yes.

View original post here:
Yudkowsky – Simplified Humanism

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Read the Rest...