Transhumanismus

AI Is Gathering a Growing Amount of Training Data Inside Virtual Worlds

Singularity HUB - 1 Květen, 2024 - 18:52

To anyone living in a city where autonomous vehicles operate, it would seem they need a lot of practice. Robotaxis travel millions of miles a year on public roads in an effort to gather data from sensors—including cameras, radar, and lidar—to train the neural networks that operate them.

In recent years, due to a striking improvement in the fidelity and realism of computer graphics technology, simulation is increasingly being used to accelerate the development of these algorithms. Waymo, for example, says its autonomous vehicles have already driven some 20 billion miles in simulation. In fact, all kinds of machines, from industrial robots to drones, are gathering a growing amount of their training data and practice hours inside virtual worlds.

According to Gautham Sholingar, a senior manager at Nvidia focused on autonomous vehicle simulation, one key benefit is accounting for obscure scenarios for which it would be nearly impossible to gather training data in the real world.

“Without simulation, there are some scenarios that are just hard to account for. There will always be edge cases which are difficult to collect data for, either because they are dangerous and involve pedestrians or things that are challenging to measure accurately like the velocity of faraway objects. That’s where simulation really shines,” he told me in an interview for Singularity Hub.

While it isn’t ethical to have someone run unexpectedly into a street to train AI to handle such a situation, it’s significantly less problematic for an animated character inside a virtual world.

Industrial use of simulation has been around for decades, something Sholingar pointed out, but a convergence of improvements in computing power, the ability to model complex physics, and the development of the GPUs powering today’s graphics indicate we may be witnessing a turning point in the use of simulated worlds for AI training.

Graphics quality matters because of the way AI “sees” the world.

When a neural network processes image data, it’s converting each pixel’s color into a corresponding number. For black and white images, the number ranges from 0, which indicates a fully black pixel, up to 255, which is fully white, with numbers in between representing some variation of grey. For color images, the widely used RGB (red, green, blue) model can correspond to over 16 million possible colors. So as graphics rendering technology becomes ever more photorealistic, the distinction between pixels captured by real-world cameras and ones rendered in a game engine is falling away.

Simulation is also a powerful tool because it’s increasingly able to generate synthetic data for sensors beyond just cameras. While high-quality graphics are both appealing and familiar to human eyes, which is useful in training camera sensors, rendering engines are also able to generate radar and lidar data as well. Combining these synthetic datasets inside a simulation allows the algorithm to train using all the various types of sensors commonly used by AVs.

Due to their expertise in producing the GPUs needed to generate high-quality graphics, Nvidia have positioned themselves as leaders in the space. In 2021, the company launched Omniverse, a simulation platform capable of rendering high-quality synthetic sensor data and modeling real-world physics relevant to a variety of industries. Now, developers are using Omniverse to generate sensor data to train autonomous vehicles and other robotic systems.

In our discussion, Sholingar described some specific ways these types of simulations may be useful in accelerating development. The first involves the fact that with a bit of retraining, perception algorithms developed for one type of vehicle can be re-used for other types as well. However, because the new vehicle has a different sensor configuration, the algorithm will be seeing the world from a new point of view, which can reduce its performance.

“Let’s say you developed your AV on a sedan, and you need to go to an SUV. Well, to train it then someone must change all the sensors and remount them on an SUV. That process takes time, and it can be expensive. Synthetic data can help accelerate that kind of development,” Sholingar said.

Another area involves training algorithms to accurately detect faraway objects, especially in highway scenarios at high speeds. Since objects over 200 meters away often appear as just a few pixels and can be difficult for humans to label, there isn’t typically enough training data for them.

“For the far ranges, where it’s hard to annotate the data accurately, our goal was to augment those parts of the dataset,” Sholingar said. “In our experiment, using our simulation tools, we added more synthetic data and bounding boxes for cars at 300 meters and ran experiments to evaluate whether this improves our algorithm’s performance.”

According to Sholingar, these efforts allowed their algorithm to detect objects more accurately beyond 200 meters, something only made possible by their use of synthetic data.

While many of these developments are due to better visual fidelity and photorealism, Sholingar also stressed this is only one aspect of what makes capable real-world simulations.

“There is a tendency to get caught up in how beautiful the simulation looks since we see these visuals, and it’s very pleasing. What really matters is how the AI algorithms perceive these pixels. But beyond the appearance, there are at least two other major aspects which are crucial to mimicking reality in a simulation.”

First, engineers need to ensure there is enough representative content in the simulation. This is important because an AI must be able to detect a diversity of objects in the real world, including pedestrians with different colored clothes or cars with unusual shapes, like roof racks with bicycles or surfboards.

Second, simulations have to depict a wide range of pedestrian and vehicle behavior. Machine learning algorithms need to know how to handle scenarios where a pedestrian stops to look at their phone or pauses unexpectedly when crossing a street. Other vehicles can behave in unexpected ways too, like cutting in close or pausing to wave an oncoming vehicle forward.

“When we say realism in the context of simulation, it often ends up being associated only with the visual appearance part of it, but I usually try to look at all three of these aspects. If you can accurately represent the content, behavior, and appearance, then you can start moving in the direction of being realistic,” he said.

It also became clear in our conversation that while simulation will be an increasingly valuable tool for generating synthetic data, it isn’t going to replace real-world data collection and testing.

“We should think of simulation as an accelerator to what we do in the real world. It can save time and money and help us with a diversity of edge-case scenarios, but ultimately it is a tool to augment datasets collected from real-world data collection,” he said.

Beyond Omniverse, the wider industry of helping “things that move” develop autonomy is undergoing a shift toward simulation. Tesla announced they’re using similar technology to develop automation in Unreal Engine, while Canadian startup, Waabi, is taking a simulation-first approach to training their self-driving software. Microsoft, meanwhile, has experimented with a similar tool to train autonomous drones, although the project was recently discontinued.

While training and testing in the real world will remain a crucial part of developing autonomous systems, the continued improvement of physics and graphics engine technology means that virtual worlds may offer a low-stakes sandbox for machine learning algorithms to mature into functional tools that can power our autonomous future.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Mind-Bending Math Could Stop Quantum Hackers—but Few Understand It

Singularity HUB - 30 Duben, 2024 - 20:04

Imagine the tap of a card that bought you a cup of coffee this morning also let a hacker halfway across the world access your bank account and buy themselves whatever they liked. Now imagine it wasn’t a one-off glitch, but it happened all the time: Imagine the locks that secure our electronic data suddenly stopped working.

This is not a science fiction scenario. It may well become a reality when sufficiently powerful quantum computers come online. These devices will use the strange properties of the quantum world to untangle secrets that would take ordinary computers more than a lifetime to decipher.

We don’t know when this will happen. However, many people and organizations are already concerned about so-called “harvest now, decrypt later” attacks, in which cybercriminals or other adversaries steal encrypted data now and store it away for the day when they can decrypt it with a quantum computer.

As the advent of quantum computers grows closer, cryptographers are trying to devise new mathematical schemes to secure data against their hypothetical attacks. The mathematics involved is highly complex—but the survival of our digital world may depend on it.

‘Quantum-Proof’ Encryption

The task of cracking much current online security boils down to the mathematical problem of finding two numbers that, when multiplied together, produce a third number. You can think of this third number as a key that unlocks the secret information. As this number gets bigger, the amount of time it takes an ordinary computer to solve the problem becomes longer than our lifetimes.

Future quantum computers, however, should be able to crack these codes much more quickly. So the race is on to find new encryption algorithms that can stand up to a quantum attack.

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology has been calling for proposed “quantum-proof” encryption algorithms for years, but so far few have withstood scrutiny. (One proposed algorithm, called Supersingular Isogeny Key Encapsulation, was dramatically broken in 2022 with the aid of Australian mathematical software called Magma, developed at the University of Sydney.)

The race has been heating up this year. In February, Apple updated the security system for the iMessage platform to protect data that may be harvested for a post-quantum future.

Two weeks ago, scientists in China announced they had installed a new “encryption shield” to protect the Origin Wukong quantum computer from quantum attacks.

Around the same time, cryptographer Yilei Chen announced he had found a way quantum computers could attack an important class of algorithms based on the mathematics of lattices, which were considered some of the hardest to break. Lattice-based methods are part of Apple’s new iMessage security, as well as two of the three frontrunners for a standard post-quantum encryption algorithm.

What Is a Lattice-Based Algorithm?

A lattice is an arrangement of points in a repeating structure, like the corners of tiles in a bathroom or the atoms in a diamond crystal. The tiles are two dimensional and the atoms in diamond are three dimensional, but mathematically we can make lattices with many more dimensions.

Most lattice-based cryptography is based on a seemingly simple question: If you hide a secret point in such a lattice, how long will it take someone else to find the secret location starting from some other point? This game of hide and seek can underpin many ways to make data more secure.

A variant of the lattice problem called “learning with errors” is considered to be too hard to break even on a quantum computer. As the size of the lattice grows, the amount of time it takes to solve is believed to increase exponentially, even for a quantum computer.

The lattice problem—like the problem of finding the factors of a large number on which so much current encryption depends—is closely related to a deep open problem in mathematics called the “hidden subgroup problem.”

Yilei Chen’s approach suggested quantum computers may be able to solve lattice-based problems more quickly under certain conditions. Experts scrambled to check his results—and rapidly found an error. After the error was discovered, Chen published an updated version of his paper describing the flaw.

Despite this discovery, Chen’s paper has made many cryptographers less confident in the security of lattice-based methods. Some are still assessing whether Chen’s ideas can be extended to new pathways for attacking these methods.

More Mathematics Required

Chen’s paper set off a storm in the small community of cryptographers who are equipped to understand it. However, it received almost no attention in the wider world—perhaps because so few people understand this kind of work or its implications.

Last year, when the Australian government published a national quantum strategy to make the country “a leader of the global quantum industry” where “quantum technologies are integral to a prosperous, fair and inclusive Australia,” there was an important omission: It didn’t mention mathematics at all.

Australia does have many leading experts in quantum computing and quantum information science. However, making the most of quantum computers—and defending against them—will require deep mathematical training to produce new knowledge and research.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Image Credit: ZENG YILI / Unsplash

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Scientists Find a Surprising Way to Transform A and B Blood Types Into Universal Blood

Singularity HUB - 30 Duben, 2024 - 00:04

Blood transfusions save lives. In the US alone, people receive around 10 million units each year. But blood banks are always short in supply—especially when it comes to the “universal donor” type O.

Surprisingly, the gut microbiome may hold a solution for boosting universal blood supplies by chemically converting other blood types into the universal O.

Infusing the wrong blood type—say, type A to type B—triggers deadly immune reactions. Type O blood, however, is compatible with nearly everyone. It’s in especially high demand following hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and other crises because doctors have to rapidly treat as many people as possible.

Sometimes, blood banks have an imbalance of different blood types—for example, too much type A, not enough universal O. This week, a team from Denmark and Sweden discovered a cocktail of enzymes that readily converts type A and type B blood into the universal donor. Found in gut bacteria, the enzymes chew up an immune-stimulating sugar molecule dotted on the surfaces of type A and B blood cells, removing their tendency to spark an immune response.

Compared to previous attempts, the blend of enzymes converted A and B blood types to type O blood with “remarkably high efficiencies,” the authors wrote.

Wardrobe Change

Blood types can be characterized in multiple ways, but roughly speaking, the types come in four main forms: A, B, AB, and O.

These types are distinguished by what kinds of sugar molecules—called antigens—cover the surfaces of red blood cells. Antigens can trigger immune rejection if mismatched. Type A blood has A antigens; type B has B antigens; type AB has both. Type O has neither.

This is why type O blood can be used for most people. It doesn’t normally trigger an immune response and is highly coveted during emergencies when it’s difficult to determine a person’s blood type. One obvious way to boost type O stock is to recruit more donors, but that’s not always possible. As a workaround, scientists have tried to artificially produce type O blood using stem cell technology. While successful in the lab, it’s expensive and hard to scale up for real-world demands.

An alternative is removing the A and B antigens from donated blood. First proposed in the 1980s, this approach uses enzymes to break down the immune-stimulating sugar molecules. Like licking an ice cream cone, as the antigens gradually melt away, the blood cells are stripped of their A or B identity, eventually transforming into the universal O blood type.

The technology sounds high-tech, but breaking down sugars is something our bodies naturally do every day, thanks to microbes in the gut that happily digest our food. This got scientists wondering: Can we hunt down enzymes in the digestive track to convert blood types?

Over a half decade ago, a team from the University of British Columbia made headlines by using bacterial enzymes found in the gut microbiome to transform type A blood to type O. Some gut bugs eat away at mucus—a slimy substance made of sugary molecules covering the gut. These mucus linings are molecularly similar to the antigens on red blood cells.

So, digestive enzymes from gut microbes could potentially chomp away A and B antigens.

In one test, the team took samples of human poop (yup), which carry enzymes from the gut microbiome and looked for DNA that could break down red blood cell sugar chains.

They eventually discovered two enzymes from a single bacterial strain. Tested in human blood, the duo readily stripped away type A antigens, converting it into universal type O.

The study was a proof of concept for transforming one blood type into another, with potentially real-world implications. Type A blood—common in Europe and the US—makes up roughly one-third of the supply of donations. A technology that converts it to universal O could boost blood transplant resources in this part of the world.

“This is a first, and if these data can be replicated, it is certainly a major advance,” Dr. Harvey Klein at the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center, who was not involved in the work,  told Science at the time.

There’s one problem though. Converted blood doesn’t always work.

Let’s Talk ABO+

When tested in clinical trials, converted blood has raised safety concerns. Even when removing A or B antigens completely from donated blood, small hints from earlier studies found an immune mismatch between the transformed donor blood and the recipient. In other words, the engineered O blood sometimes still triggered an immune response.

Why?

There’s more to blood types than classic ABO. Type A is composed of two different subtypes—one with higher A antigen levels than the other. Type B, common in people of Asian and African descent, also comes in “extended” forms. These recently discovered sugar chains are longer and harder to break down than in the classic versions. Called “extended antigens,” they could be why some converted blood still stimulates the immune system after transfusion.

The new study tackled these extended forms by again peeking into gut bacteria DNA. One bacterial strain, A. muciniphila, stood out. These bugs contain enzymes that work like a previously discovered version that chops up type A and B antigens, but surprisingly, they also strip away extended versions of both antigens.

These enzymes weren’t previously known to science, with just 30 percent similarity when compared to a previous benchmark enzyme that cuts up B and extended B antigens.

Using cells from different donors, the scientists engineered an enzyme soup that rapidly wiped out blood antigens. The strategy is “unprecedented,” wrote the team.

Although the screen found multiple enzymes capable of blood type conversion, each individually had limited effects. But when mixed and matched, the recipe transformed donated B type cells into type O, with limited immune responses when mixed with other blood types.

A similar strategy yielded three different enzymes to cut out the problematic A antigen and, in turn, transform the blood to type O. Some people secrete the antigen into other bodily fluids—for example, saliva, sweat, or tears. Others, dubbed non-secreters, have less of these antigens floating around their bodies. Using blood donated from both secreters and non-secreters, the team treated red blood cells to remove the A antigen and its extended versions.

When mixed with other blood types, the enzyme cocktail lowered their immune response, although with lower efficacy than cells transformed from type B to O.

By mapping the structures of these enzymes, the team found some parts increased their ability to chop up sugar chains. Focusing on these hot-spot structures, scientists are set to hunt down other naturally-derived enzymes—or use AI to engineer ones with better efficacy and precision.

The system still needs to be tested in humans. And the team didn’t address other blood antigens, such as the Rh system, which is what makes blood types positive or negative. Still, bacterial enzymes appear to be an unexpected but promising way to engineer universal blood.

Image Credit: Zeiss Microscopy / Flickr

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Make Music A Full Body Experience With A “Vibro-Tactile” Suit

Futurism - Enhanced Humans - 27 Září, 2018 - 17:09
SYNESTHETES

Tired: Listening to music.
Wired: Feeling the music.

A mind-bending new suit straps onto your torso, ankles and wrists, then uses actuators to translate audio into vivid vibration. The result: a new way for everyone to experience music, according to its creators. That’s especially exciting for people who have trouble hearing.

THE FEELIES

The Music: Not Impossible suit was created by design firm Not Impossible Labs and electronics manufacturing company Avnet. The suit can create sensations to go with pre-recorded music, or a “Vibrotactile DJ” can adjust the sensations in real time during a live music event.”

Billboard writer Andy Hermann tried the suit out, and it sounds like a trip.

“Sure enough, a pulse timed to a kickdrum throbs into my ankles and up through my legs,” he wrote. “Gradually, [the DJ] brings in other elements: the tap of a woodblock in my wrists, a bass line massaging my lower back, a harp tickling a melody across my chest.”

MORE ACCESSIBLE

To show the suit off, Not Impossible and Avnet organized a performance this past weekend by the band Greta Van Fleet at the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas. The company allowed attendees to don the suits. Mandy Harvey, a deaf musician who stole the show on America’s Got Talent last year, talked about what the performance meant to her in a video Avnet posted to Facebook.

“It was an unbelievable experience to have an entire audience group who are all experiencing the same thing at the same time,” she said. “For being a deaf person, showing up at a concert, that never happens. You’re always excluded.”

READ MORE: Not Impossible Labs, Zappos Hope to Make Concerts More Accessible for the Deaf — and Cooler for Everyone [Billboard]

More on accessible design: New Tech Allows Deaf People To Sense Sounds

The post Make Music A Full Body Experience With A “Vibro-Tactile” Suit appeared first on Futurism.

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

“Synthetic Skin” Could Give Prosthesis Users a Superhuman Sense of Touch

Futurism - Enhanced Humans - 20 Září, 2018 - 21:37
IN THE FEELS

Today’s prosthetics can give people with missing limbs the ability to do almost anything — run marathons, climb mountains, you name it. But when it comes to letting those people feel what they could with a natural limb, the devices, however mechanically sophisticated, invariably fall short.

Now researchers have created a “synthetic skin” with a sense of touch that not only matches the sensitivity of natural skin, but in some cases even exceeds it. Now the only challenge is getting that information back into the wearer’s nervous system.

UNDER PRESSURE

When something presses against your skin, your nerves receive and transmit that pressure to the brain in the form of electrical signals.

To mimic that biological process, the researchers suspended a flexible polymer, dusted with magnetic particles, over a magnetic sensor. The effect is like a drum: Applying even the tiniest amount of pressure to the membrane causes the magnetic particles to move closer to the sensors, and they transmit this movement electronically.

The research, which could open the door to super-sensitive prosthetics, was published Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics.

SPIDEY SENSE TINGLING

Tests shows that the skin can sense extremely subtle pressure, such as a blowing breeze, dripping water, or crawling ants. In some cases, the synthetic skin responded to pressures so gentle that natural human skin wouldn’t be able to detect them.

While the sensing ability of this synthetic skin is remarkable, the team’s research doesn’t address how to transmit the signals to the human brain. Other scientists are working on that, though, so eventually this synthetic skin could give prosthetic wearers the ability to feel forces even their biological-limbed friends can’t detect.

READ MORE: A Skin-Inspired Tactile Sensor for Smart Prosthetics [Science Robotics]

More on synthetic skin: Electronic Skin Lets Amputees Feel Pain Through Their Prosthetics

The post “Synthetic Skin” Could Give Prosthesis Users a Superhuman Sense of Touch appeared first on Futurism.

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

People Are Zapping Their Brains to Boost Creativity. Experts Have Concerns.

Futurism - Enhanced Humans - 19 Září, 2018 - 21:56
BRAIN BOOST

There’s a gadget that some say can help alleviate depression and enhance creativity. All you have to do is place a pair of electrodes on your scalp and the device will deliver electrical current to your brain. It’s readily available on Amazon or you can even make your own.

But in a new paper published this week in the Creativity Research Journal, psychologists at Georgetown University warned that the practice is spreading before we have a good understanding of its health effects, especially since consumers are already buying and building unregulated devices to shock them. They also cautioned that the technique, which scientists call transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), could have adverse effects on the brains of young people.

“There are multiple potential concerns with DIY-ers self-administering electric current to their brains, but this use of tES may be inevitable,” said co-author Adam Green in a press release. “And, certainly, anytime there is risk of harm with a technology, the scariest risks are those associated with kids and the developing brain”

SHOCK JOCK

Yes, there’s evidence that tES can help patients with depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions, the Georgetown researchers acknowledge.

But that’s only when it’s administered by a trained health care provider. When administering tES at home, people might ignore safety directions, they wrote, or their home-brewed devices could deliver unsafe amounts of current. And because it’s not yet clear what effects of tES might be on the still-developing brains of young people, the psychologists advise teachers and parents to resist the temptation to use the devices to encourage creativity among children.

The takeaway: tES is likely here to stay, and it may provide real benefits. But for everyone’s sake, consumer-oriented tES devices should be regulated to protect users.

READ MORE: Use of electrical brain stimulation to foster creativity has sweeping implications [Eurekalert]

More on transcranial electrical stimulation: DARPA’s New Brain Device Increases Learning Speed by 40%

The post People Are Zapping Their Brains to Boost Creativity. Experts Have Concerns. appeared first on Futurism.

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Military Pilots Can Control Three Jets at Once via a Neural Implant

Futurism - Enhanced Humans - 19 Září, 2018 - 16:25
MIND CONTROL

The military is making it easier than ever for soldiers to distance themselves from the consequences of war. When drone warfare emerged, pilots could, for the first time, sit in an office in the U.S. and drop bombs in the Middle East.

Now, one pilot can do it all, just using their mind — no hands required.

Earlier this month, DARPA, the military’s research division, unveiled a project that it had been working on since 2015: technology that grants one person the ability to pilot multiple planes and drones with their mind.

“As of today, signals from the brain can be used to command and control … not just one aircraft but three simultaneous types of aircraft,” Justin Sanchez, director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office, said, according to Defense One.

THE SINGULARITY

Sanchez may have unveiled this research effort at a “Trajectory of Neurotechnology” session at DARPA’s 60th anniversary event, but his team has been making steady progress for years. Back in 2016, a volunteer equipped with a brain-computer interface (BCI) was able to pilot an aircraft in a flight simulator while keeping two other planes in formation — all using just his thoughts, a spokesperson from DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office told Futurism.

In 2017, Copeland was able to steer a plane through another simulation, this time receiving haptic feedback — if the plane needed to be steered in a certain direction, Copeland’s neural implant would create a tingling sensation in his hands.

NOT QUITE MAGNETO

There’s a catch. The DARPA spokesperson told Futurism that because this BCI makes use of electrodes implanted in and on the brain’s sensory and motor cortices, experimentation has been limited to volunteers with varying degrees of paralysis. That is: the people steering these simulated planes already had brain electrodes, or at least already had reason to undergo surgery.

To try and figure out how to make this technology more accessible and not require surgical placement of a metal probe into people’s brains, DARPA recently launched the NExt-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program. The plan is to make a device with similar capabilities, but it’ll look more like an EEG cap that the pilot can take off once a mission is done.

“The envisioned N3 system would be a tool that the user could wield for the duration of a task or mission, then put aside,” said Al Emondi, head of N3, according to the spokesperson. “I don’t like comparisons to a joystick or keyboard because they don’t reflect the full potential of N3 technology, but they’re useful for conveying the basic notion of an interface with computers.”

READ MORE: It’s Now Possible To Telepathically Communicate with a Drone Swarm [Defense One]

More on DARPA research: DARPA Is Funding Research Into AI That Can Explain What It’s “Thinking”

The post Military Pilots Can Control Three Jets at Once via a Neural Implant appeared first on Futurism.

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Lab-Grown Bladders Can Save People From a Lifetime of Dialysis

Futurism - Enhanced Humans - 12 Září, 2018 - 22:54
ONE IN A MILLION TEN

Today, about 10 people on Earth have bladders they weren’t born with. No, they didn’t receive bladder transplants — doctors grew these folks new bladders using the recipients’ own cells.

On Tuesday, the BBC published a report on the still-nascent procedure of transplanting lab-grown bladders. In it, the publication talks to Luke Massella, who underwent the procedure more than a decade ago. Massella was born with spina bifida, which carries with it a risk of damage to the bladder and urinary tract. Now, he lives a normal life, he told the BBC.

“I was kind of facing the possibility I might have to do dialysis [blood purification via machine] for the rest of my life,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to play sports, and have the normal kid life with my brother.”

All that changed after Anthony Atala, a surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, decided he was going to grow a new bladder for Massella.

ONE NEW BLADDER, COMING UP!

To do that, Atala first removed a small piece of Massella’s own bladder. He then removed cells from this portion of bladder and multiplied them in a petri dish. Once he had enough cells, he coated a scaffold with the cells and placed the whole thing in a temperature controlled, high oxygen environment. After a few weeks, the lab-created bladder was ready for transplantation into Massella.

“So it was pretty much like getting a bladder transplant, but from my own cells, so you don’t have to deal with rejection,” said Massella.

The number of people with lab-grown bladders might still be low enough to count on your fingers, but researchers are making huge advances in growing everything from organs to skin in the lab. Eventually, we might reach a point when we can replace any body part we need to with a perfect biological match that we built ourselves.

READ MORE: “A New Bladder Made From My Cells Gave Me My Life Back” [BBC]

More on growing organs: The FDA Wants to Expedite Approval of Regenerative Organ Therapies

The post Lab-Grown Bladders Can Save People From a Lifetime of Dialysis appeared first on Futurism.

Kategorie: Transhumanismus
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