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Wired Threat Level has recently posted a quick profile on Lepht Anonym, a Grinder and practical transhumanist:
Anonym’s vision of the transhuman is rather different. Less visionary, possibly, but more realistic. What she does is “grinding,” with homemade cybernetics and an intimate familiarity with medical mistakes, driven by a consuming curiosity rather than a philosophical creed.
She does her own surgery, with a scalpel and a spotter to catch her if she passes out, and an anatomy book to give her some confidence she isn’t going to slice through a vein or the very nerves she’s trying to enhance.
“The existing transhumanist movement is lame. It’s nano everything. It’s just ideas,” she says. “Anyone can do this. This is kitchen stuff.”
While we’ve mentioned Lepht here, before, the article is quick, and very much worth a read - especially to anyone interested in biohacking and homebrew enhancements who thinks they might be alone in poking at these boundaries.
[Via: Wired Threat Level]
This is a fascinating post-self-surgery wrap-up vid detailing the results of a botched self-orchiectomy. In the video YouTube user Argiope, discusses the surgical usage of super-glue and the dangers of accidentally cutting an artery while performing surgery on yourself in an hotel room.
Assuming the video is authentic, her calm and professionalism is amazing. Even though the procedure was a failure, she seems really together and focused.
(Obviously NSFW and please god don’t try this at home… though let us know if you do.)
As this video shows, the camera quality is pretty decent, and the design is frankly hilarious:http://www.vimeo.com/13992345
I am hoping this could mean the return of the Barbie Liberation Organization.
thanks for the tip-off Seej500!
I’ve made scalpel incisions in my hands, pushed five-millimeter diameter needles through my skin, and once used a vegetable knife to carve a cavity into the tip of my index finger. I’m an idiot, but I’m an idiot working in the name of progress: I’m Lepht Anonym, scrapheap transhumanist. I work with what I can get
via David Forbes
By attaching a millimeter-sized camera robot to a tether, scientists have designed a way to allow individuals with non-medical backgrounds to perform minimally invasive surgery in almost any location. Unlike room-size and expensive surgical robots, mini in vivo robots are inexpensive and mobile enough to support emergency surgeries almost anywhere, from the battlefield to outer space.
Now if that first paragraph didn’t have you pissing yourself with excitement, well…obviously you have better metaphorical bladder control than I do.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska tested these little robots with the help of 3 astronauts and a surgeon, the ‘inmates’ of a long-term underwater training facility called the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), located 20 meters underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida.
The inmates were trained in the basic ideas of bowel inspection and ‘stretch-and-dissect’ and also performed an appendectomy without any prior instruction. (Un)fortunately, they did these ops on an adominal cavity simulator, not a real person. But like I always say, the possibility is there.
The crew used two robots: one was 20 mm in diameter and 110 mm in length, and the other was 15 mm in diameter and 60 mm in length. Both robots were equipped with a CMOS camera and inserted into the abdominal cavity (which measures 20 x 15 x 8 cm when artificially inflated) through a trocar port. Controlling the robots with either a joystick or a switch, the crew members could see various angles and adjust the focus of the images, receiving feedback at 30 frames per second.
The crew members also performed the same surgeries using a standard laparoscope – a tube that’s inserted into the body in which a camera can be used. The results showed that the crew members achieved about equal levels of accuracy with both systems, but the camera robots enabled the crew members to work significantly faster at all three surgeries. Performing surgeries quicker could minimize patient trauma and the risk of infection.
Another notable result was that the crew members were able to successfully perform the appendectomy, even though they had not been trained on that procedure.
Future hopes for the mini in vivo robot include telecontrol and autonomy, not to mention possible hacks. So just in case M1k3y’s flying ambulance doesn’t get to you fast enough, this could possibly keep you together long enough for said ambucopter to get to you.
NTT has begun selling a device that transmits data across the surface of the human body and lets users communicate with electronic devices simply by touching them, the company announced on April 23.
The new product, called “Firmo,” consists of a card-sized transmitter carried in the user’s pocket. The card converts stored data into a weak AC electric field that extends across the body, and when the user touches a device or object embedded with a compatible receiver, the electric field is converted back into a data signal that can be read by the device. For now, Firmo transfers data at 230kbps, but NTT is reportedly working on a low-cost 10Mbps version that can handle audio/video data transfers.
Firmo is based on NTT’s RedTacton human area network (HAN) technology, which is designed to allow convenient human-machine data exchange through natural physical contact — even through clothing, gloves and shoes.
NTT initially hopes this human area network technology will appeal to organizations looking to boost convenience and security in the office. Obvious applications include secure entrances and keyless cabinets that recognize employees when they touch the door handle (thus bypassing the need for card-swipers and keys), or secure printers that operate only when you touch them.
Link via pinktentacle.com
I’m sure there can be very few Grinders unaware of the Easter Crucifixion rituals praticed in the Philippines. This year, Health Officials have stepped up to remind participants of the importance of getting their tetanus vaccinations before the flagellation and nailing, and to practise good hygiene.
The health department has strongly advised penitents to check the condition of the whips they plan to use to lash their backs, the Manila Times newspaper reports. In the hot and dusty atmosphere, using unhygienic whips to make deep cuts in the body could lead to tetanus and other infections. They also advise that the nails used to fix people to crosses must be properly disinfected first. Often people soak the nails in alcohol throughout the year. Grinders please take note.
Sometimes people repeat the penance year after year, like the fish vendor who will be nailed to the cross for the 15th and last time on Friday to give thanks for his mother’s recovery from tuberculosis.
A flagellant aims to share the pain of Jesus as he is beaten by a man with glass fragments embedded in a piece of wood.
And National Geographic News have a video report here to enjoy with your Easter Eggs.
Brain surgeon Henry Marsh, a distinguished consultant at St George’s hospital in south London undertakes a significant amount of pro bono work in Ukraine. However, access to some items of kit is a bit more tricky over in Kiev, so Marsh often falls back on something every Ginder needs – a Bosch PSR960 cordless drill.
One of his procedures has been captured as part of a documentary to be screened on BBC2 on March 30 – one to set the PVR for I think!
Henry Marsh, a senior consultant at St George’s hospital in Tooting, south London, has used the Bosch 9.6 volt battery-operated hand tool to open up the skulls of his patients to remove life-threatening tumours. Occasionally the battery has gone flat halfway through. The 58-year-old consultant travels to Ukraine twice a year to perform free operations at a clinic run by a fellow surgeon, Igor Petrovich.
The operation is performed with the patients fully awake – a technique that fell out of use in Britain 50 years ago. Marsh said that Ukrainians could withstand such a practice because they were “very tough”.
Speaking about the trials of his visits to Ukraine, Marsh said: “I’m not recommending that we should all use Bosch do-it-yourself drills in England, but it shows how with improvisation you can achieve a lot.”
More details at The Times Online.
Quote of the week: “I have used the Bosch drill myself when I’ve been operating with Igor. It’s exactly the drill that you could have in your garden shed. He bought it at a do-it-yourself shop.”
The University of Reading cybernetics professor had successfully wired the nerves of his forearm to a computer in New York City’s Columbia University and networked them to a robotic system back in his Reading, England, lab. “My body was effectively extended over the Internet,” Warwick
He hopes to have a sensor implanted in his brain by 2015 that will allow him to send signals across a computer network. Of course, a Brown University team has already moved the goalposts much closer: In 2006 researchers reported that a 25-year-old quadriplegic man had guided a computer cursor and moved a prosthetic arm via a brain implant. Warwick may have trouble finding a doctor to implant a similar device without a compelling medical reason, points out Charles Higgins, an associate professor of electrical engineering and neurobiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Sure, he might damage his brain, but for Warwick, it’s the lesser of two evils. In his vision of a future dominated by cyborgs and intelligent machines, the outlook for those who refuse implants is grim: “I guess they’ll be some sort of subspecies. Just like we have cows now,” he says, “so we’ll have humans in the future.” And he’d rather not be put out to pasture.
Warrick has been mentioned here already. What caught my attention was the fact that not having a DOCTOR willing to do the operations will be more of a deterrent to him than the technology not being available.
Blood trickles, as man pierces performer’s skin with curved needle, threading clear suture beneath skin. Performer is unflinching, quietly approving. Man punctures again, audience holds breath. An ordinary day in the life of Bulgarian contemporary artist Boryana Rossa.
Her resume is impressive, a master’s in public art from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia and two years spent in America achieving a MFA in electronic arts at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York – during which she curated at the Bio Art Initiative. In 2007 she returned to Sofia and is now curating the visual arts programme at The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate. Some of Boryana’s significant performances include the “Suture Series”, where Boryana sat on a gold tinted mirror, with her husband Oleg medically stitching her arms and legs together, which Boryana explains as symbolising “closing herself into one cell”, a cell that has not yet been specialised and divided, alluding to overcoming social divisions; gender, race, education or finance.
Other performances include “ZS” where Boryana was sutured to a mirror, a representation of “trying to overcome the borders between” the real world and the untouchable virtual world.
And the unforgettable “The Last Valve” where Boryanna videotapes herself using surgical needle and thread to literally sew her vagina closed.
You can find out more about Boryana at http://www.roboriada.org/boryana/index.html or join her in celebrating her self-appointed Robot Day together with the artist group Ultrafuturo, for a glimpse into her androidian art fetish, at Fetishista Fair.
The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate
15 Lyuben Karavelov Str
February 14: Fetishista Art Fair. Free admission, wine bar, 2.00pm to 10.00pm
Catheters are an invaluable way of delivering life-saving drugs and nutrition directly to the blood vessels near the heart, but guiding the devices through veins can be tricky. A doctor in Boston is developing a catheter fitted with a light that’s visible outside the body so that it’s easier for medical professionals to get it in place.
Imam designed his catheter with babies in mind, knowing that it would be relatively easy for light to shine through their thin skin. However, he thinks that it will also work in adults.
Via hobofood, who says:
“Next time you go to a rave look out for these. The latest sensation in club-wear that is taking the world by storm, catheters with LEDs on them. The LEDs are bright enough to shine through skin, so beyond the obvious power problems, they could be implanted subdermally. OK, they are designed to save people’s lives, but why shouldn’t technology like this be co-opted into allowing us to have pretty blinking lights under our skin?”
Oh yeah, why not? Is this not a perfect example of a grind? Where are our surgeons?
Welcome to the future of all that glows.
Not quite Clatter, but this delightful cosmetic surgery, as performed by the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery, is the insertion of a delicate and thin “special material” (99.98% medical grade platinum) in the superficial interpalpebral conjunctiva or gelatinous layer over the ‘white bit’ of the eye. This material can be molded into many shapes including, a heart, star, dollar and euro symbols.
I personally love how the eye heals over and you can see the delicate red veins across the piercing.
But just remember kids…
Do not release JewelEyeTM before the desired position is reached. Repositioning of the implant may be difficult due to the stickiness of the intraconjunctival layers.
For a personal experience of this procedure this blog, by Rachel Larratt @ BMEzine.com will give you a nice idea. She’s the owner of the star-eye above.
Exciting news for those hoping that carbon nanotubes are part of our medical (and body-hacking) future:
Carbon nanotubes—cylinders so tiny that it takes 50,000 lying side by side to equal the width of a human hair—are packed with the potential to be highly accurate vehicles for administering medicines and other therapeutic agents to patients. But a dearth of data about what happens to the tubes after they discharge their medical payloads has been a major stumbling block to progress.
Studies in mice already had shown that most nanomaterials tend to accumulate in organs such as the liver and spleen, which was a concern because no one knew how long they could linger.
Dai and his group found that the carbon nanotubes leave the body primarily through the feces, with some by way of the urine. “That’s nice to know,” Dai said. “This now proves that they do get out of the system.”
Hopefully we’re just a handful of years away from building our own designer nanotubes packed full of goodies.
psycho cyborgs at download festival with ginger and the sonic circus, Sep 5, 2006
Photo by regis hertrich/cremaster.org.uk (many more images for the hardier souls out there)…
Although I knew about the Subterranean Press Ltd edition of CLV, for some reason I’d never seen the cover.
All better now.
Trepanning – definitely not a new idea, but as a body mod, certainly one of the interesting ones. One of the oldest surgical operations, trepanning has been used by your ancient citizen and your local trained professional alike, most recently to treat cerebral swelling and haematomas (as explained here).
But people such as Bart Huges, Amanda Feilding and her former partner Joey Mellen believe it can bring about all kinds of advanced states, describing trepanning as a process which ”allows greater blood flow to the brain by altering cranial fluid dynamics, thus revitalising brain metabolism to its more youthful level, present prior to the fusion of the cranial bones.” (an article on their history here) Feilding’s forays into self surgery were documented in the film ‘Heartbeat in the Brain’ (a very gory and hard to find doco) which was shown in their touring lecture series. She then started the Beckley Foundation, which now (sadly?) deals more with drugs and their ability to alter the mind, rather than altering the body.
The idea of self surgery as a form of enlightenment…gory with possibility…