Imagine a computer chip, powered by a mini-lithium battery, implanted in your brain that helps you control your weight, enable web browsing and telepathy with your thoughts, and also soothes, if not eliminates, mental instabilities.
Science fiction? For now, yes, but it could be very real in the near future.
It’s called Neuralink, the brainchild of Elon Musk, and it has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to proceed with the first-in-human clinical trials.
Musk is so confident in the system’s ability to cure a range of conditions including obesity, autism, depression, schizophrenia and other applications, he said last year he would be willing to implant them in his children.
Scientists and legal scholars question the rationale for the use of insects to disperse infectious genetically engineered (GE) viruses engineered to edit the chromosomes in plants, warning that the technology could very easily be weaponized.
This Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program is the first to propose and fund the development of viral horizontal environmental genetic alteration agents with the capacity to perform genetic engineering in the environment.
The $27 million project, called “Insect Allies,” is trying to take advantage of insects’ natural ability to spread crop diseases, but instead of carrying disease, they would spread plant-protective traits.
The opinion paper “Agricultural Research, or a New Bioweapon System?” argues that if plant modification were really the ultimate goal, a far simpler and more targeted agricultural delivery system could be used.
There are also serious concerns about environmental ramifications, as the insects’ spread cannot be controlled. It would also be impossible to prevent the insects from genetically modifying organic crops.
There is no better sign of the impact that the Macdonald-Laurier Institute has had than the fact that the Kremlin wanted the world to know they shouldn’t pay any attention to us.
Funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Virginia, Insect Allies aims to use insects such as aphids or whiteflies to infect crops with tailor-made viruses that can deliver certain genes to mature plants; it’s essentially gene therapy for crops. Other uses may be classified.
A US military program dubbed ‘Insect Allies’ could be used as a biological weapon, a group of European scientists warns. The Pentagon’s research arm claims they are intended to defend crops, but doesn’t deny ‘dual-use’ potential.