Scientists Just Created Crystals That Make Breathing Underwater A Possibility


scientists-just-created-crystals-that-make-breathing-underwater-a-possibility

Danish scientists are a step closer to helping those suffering from respiratory ailments thanks to a revolutionary new absorption crystal. Working out of the University of Southern Denmark the group has uncovered crystalline materials that are capable of pulling oxygen out of both air and water -which could eventually mark the end of the need to carry around large air tanks.

The revolutionary crystalline material can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations, then control its release time depending on what the user needs. This new discovery could even benefit deep sea divers, giving them superhero-like abilities to stay submerged for extended periods of time without an air tank.

The standard human body can function with only 12% oxygen in the air around us, but what if we needed it in higher concentrations?

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The crystalline material changes color when absorbing or releasing oxygen.

his was the main subject of the study conducted at the University of Southern Denmark, with help from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Professor Christine McKenzie was the one who led the study, alongside Jonas Sundberg, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Southern Denmark.

The study involved about a bucket full (10 liters) of microscopic grains, and found them to be enough to completely suck the oxygen out of a room. Professor Christine McKenzie said:

“In the lab, we saw how this material took up oxygen from the air around us.”

Magic mushrooms are helping cancer patients deal with the fear of dying 


A single dose works in a profound way.

 

Dinah Bazer was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the spring of 2010. The Brooklyn resident, an ice skating teacher and former bank IT programmer in her 60s, was devastated.

Luckily, doctors were able to successfully treat her disease with chemotherapy, but the dread of a reoccurrence just wouldn’t go away. It was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. “I was totally consumed with fear and anxiety,” she said on a recent call with a group of reporters.

 So in 2011, Bazer enrolled in a trial at New York University, where researchers were looking to test a substance that they hoped would have a seemingly “mystical” ability to lift depression and anxiety connected to fear about life’s end.

The drug they were testing wasn’t one dreamed up in a lab. It’s the essential component of psychoactive magic mushrooms, psilocybin.

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In a living-room-like setting at the Bluestone Centre at the NYU College of Dentistry, accompanied by trained therapists, Bazer took a pill. At first she couldn’t know whether it was the drug or a placebo, but once the effects started to come on, it would be clear.

Sure enough, within about 40 minutes, she started to ‘trip’.

“I visualised my fear as physical mass in my body,” a black concentration, she said. She became angry, volcanic. She screamed. “Get the f- out!”

And then this woman who said she had been an atheist her entire adult life – and still is – had a strange sensation.

“I was bathed in God’s love, and that continued for hours,” she said. “I really had no other way to describe this incredibly powerful experience.”

The feeling faded, but so did her fear, depression, and anxiety. They have not returned.

Spring for psychedelics

Bazer was a participant in one of two controlled clinical trials of the effects of psilocybin on patients dealing with depression and distress related to facing the end of life.

Aside from a few smaller pilot studies, these two trials – one by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the other, which Bazer participated in, at NYU – were the first major ones of their kind.

The results from both studies were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on December 1, along with 10 commentaries by prominent experts in the field of psychiatry.

The results from both trials were encouraging enough that the scientists involved hope they’ll be able to get consent from the Food and Drug Administration to move forward to a large-scale Phase 3 study, the third and final set of human trials that is needed before the FDA considers approving a new drug.

“This is a potential pathway to clinical approval,” said Roland Griffiths, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at JHU School of Medicine, who led the JHU study and is one of the pioneers in the modern era of psychedelic research.

“But that [approval] requires the next step of going to the FDA and getting permission to move forward.”

The recent announcement that the FDA would allow trials using MDMA – the chemical name for the drug commonly known as Molly or Ecstasy – to treat post-traumatic stress disorder to move to Phase 3 gives him hope, too, especially since he says MDMA might have even more ‘baggage’ than psilocybin when it comes to getting approval.

In a certain sense, this is a renewal of research into the power of psychedelic substances, according to Griffiths and Stephen Ross, an associate professor at NYU’s School of Medicine, who led the NYU study.

In the 1950s and 60s, psychiatrists were enthralled by the power of LSD, psilocybin, and other hallucinogens – substances that seemed able to reorganise the way that patients viewed the world and, they say, appeared to help them overcome struggles with alcoholism and other addictions.

But the drug prohibition era put an end to that research for decades.

Scientists have only recently begun to experiment again with these substances. Griffiths told Business Insider he started looking into experiments with healthy volunteers around 2000, at a time that such a suggestion shocked review boards, which thought it would be far too dangerous.

But slowly, he was able to convince them. He began to recruit volunteers who hadn’t tried LSD or magic mushrooms.

This was one of the hardest parts, he says, since he wanted people naive to psychedelics, but most of the people he found who weren’t scared of the idea had already experimented some.

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Psilocybe Pelliculosa mushrooms. 

A single dose

After the researchers studied a number of healthy people, certain things about psilocybin’s effects became clear. In a therapeutic setting, they didn’t find any serious, long-lasting adverse effects of the drug. That doesn’t mean that they found it to be totally risk-free, however.

Griffiths is also the senior researcher on another paper published December 1 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that surveyed people who took hallucinogens outside a clinical setting about their worst experiences.

Some people said they had gone through difficult or dangerous experiences, some of which caused them to seek psychological treatment later. (That’s a small percentage of psychedelic use cases, and many of those same people still said their experiences were important and meaningful, but it’s worth being aware of.)

But in a clinical setting, a high percentage of volunteers reported that the experience was one of the most meaningful they’d had in their life, calling it spiritual – something that inspired reverence and increased their overall life satisfaction.

Most compelling was that this substance appeared capable of reliably and consistently inducing what are known as “mystical experiences”.

These profound effects were so powerful that eventually Griffiths and other researchers tried psilocybin on people struggling to cope with anxiety about the end of life because they’d been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or disease like cancer.

We don’t have a good way to treat the existential anxiety and depression that’s prominent in cancer patients who don’t respond well to traditional treatment, Griffiths told Business Insider.

Yet a single dose of psilocybin did seem helpful, in a profound way.

The researchers gave patients a dose that was about 20 milligrams of psilocybin for a person weighing 70 kilograms, or 154 pounds. Griffiths’ previous work has shown that people who have ‘bad trips’ frequently take more – a median of 30 mg, which is approximately 4 grams of dried mushrooms.

It takes about 20 to 40 minutes for people to start feeling the effects. Patients listened to music during their experience.

Griffiths says their playlist included a mixture of classical music, including Henryk Gorecki, Bach, and Beethoven; Indian chant, including Russill Paul’s “Om Namah Shivaya”; new age works; and world music, so the researchers could study the ‘best’ music for the experience.

The effects of psilocybin fade after about four hours – one of the reasons researchers like to work with that drug instead of LSD, which can last up to 12 hours.

Afterward, patients talked and wrote about what they’d gone through.

Even six months after the experience, 80 percent of the 51 participants in the JHU study showed significant decreases in depression and anxiety, as measured by what’s considered a gold standard psychiatric evaluation.

The NYU team says that between 60 percent and 80 percent of its 29 participants had similarly reduced anxiety and depression six and a half months after a single psychedelic trip.

These findings correspond with results from other pilot studies on psilocybin so far.

These studies on treating depression and anxiety related to cancer have been promising enough that researchers began small studies on using psilocybin to treat more common forms of depression. And so far, those results have been encouraging.

Traditional medicine for these conditions is taken over time, has side effects, and often isn’t much better than a placebo. In this case, one dose seemed able to make a huge difference.

Griffiths says one way psychedelic researchers have characterised this is as the inverse of PTSD. With PTSD, one terrible experience can change the way a person’s brain causes them to perceive the world, with long-lasting effects.

This is like the opposite of that – a single meaningful experience that people highly value and has transformational, enduring effects.

“I don’t think we have any models in psychiatry like that,” Griffiths said on the call with press. “It’s more like a surgical intervention.”

Still, it’s early in the research process. Hundreds of people have now safely received doses of psilocybin, but the drug is still considered a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, meaning it legally has no accepted medical use.

Any researcher will tell you that before they can truly say psilocybin is a safe and effective drug, it needs to get through the strenuous FDA approval process.

And with psilocybin and other psychedelics, there’s still a massive unanswered question, one that we may be far away from understanding: how do they work?

1730-psyco-3Human Connectome Project, Science, March 2012

Mystical experiences in the brain

We know that people who take psilocybin and other hallucinogens – in these studies, participants consumed synthetic psilocybin, not the mushroom form – report that they have mystical or spiritual experiences, things they consider significant. But we don’t know what causes those experiences.

As Griffiths explained to me, we still don’t know what in the brain is responsible for consciousness itself. We don’t really have a good way to scientifically characterise the things that transform consciousness.

“We’re at very primitive levels of understanding deeper experiences of this type,” he said.

We have theories. One interesting one has to do with a network in the brain known as the default mode network, something we associate with self-referential thought – thinking about ourselves. In depressed people, activity in this brain network goes way up, perhaps because of some sort of self-obsession or rumination associated with depression.

But at certain times, this activity drops. Meditation seems to be associated with a strong drop in brain activity in this network, which seems to correspond with the idea of ego dissolution that is the goal of some meditative practices, according to Griffiths.

He says he actually became interested in studying psilocybin because of his long-standing meditation practice, which made him think about consciousness and the meanings of spiritual experiences (though he says he was initially a skeptic about hallucinogens).

Psilocybin seems to cause a drop in default mode network activity that’s very similar to that induced by certain meditators.

But the induced mystical experience is so profound that Griffiths thinks that decrease in activity can’t be all that’s going on.

“I’m very suspicious of simplistic stories,” he said.

Even people who don’t really find the experience ‘mystical’ still seem to undergo a reorganisation in the brain that changes their perception of the world, something that seems beyond explanation so far. Even harder to understand are the long-term changes caused by the drug.

1730-psyco-1Visualisation of the brain connections in the brain of a person on psilocybin (right) and the brain of a person not given the drug (left). Credit: Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Looking forward

The patients in the studies published December 1 were all dealing with cancer-related end-of-life anxiety, and it should be stressed that, for now, those are the only people whom we have some idea of how psilocybin affects in a clinical sense.

The two studies had relatively similar designs, though there were some differences. The NYU study had more of an organised psychotherapy component, and the people who observed the participants were trained therapists.

In the JHU study, which involved more participants, some of the observers were psychologists, while others had no formal training.

In both studies, participants had two interventions: one with a full dose of psilocybin, and another with a sort of placebo. NYU used niacin, a form of vitamin B, as a placebo. JHU gave participants psilocybin both times, but one was a very low non-psychoactive dose: 1 mg/70 kg instead of 20 mg.

Griffiths says that since participants knew they would get psilocybin both times, they had some ability to distinguish the difference between when they expected to feel better because they’d “taken psilocybin” and when they actually had the full psychedelic experience.

And while these are the largest studies of their type so far, they’re still pretty small.

Researchers say they’ll need to see similar results in a larger number of patients dealing with end-of-life anxiety, most likely from cancer at first.

Griffiths and Ross both said they expect other studies will then look at patients dealing with terminal illnesses and existential anxiety – though there is definitely a chance that if psilocybin proves effective in these cases, it could work for other cases of depression and other kinds of anxiety. They’re beginning to design trials for that research now.

“This is just a long and continuing process,” Griffiths said. “When I initiated this research, most of my colleagues were skeptical … people thought I had gone a little nuts. … Now I get calls all the time from students who are familiar with what I’m doing and say, ‘I want to do that’.”

“I would think in time, whether it’s 10 years or 20 years, we’re going to have learned how to optimise the use of these compounds, and we’re going to have really good models for using them therapeutically,” he said. “Some of this past baggage will fall away.”

Students make Shkreli’s $750 pill in a high school lab for $2 .


After Martin Shkreli jacked the price of Daraprim, an anti-parasitic drug used by HIV patients around the world, from $13.50 to $750 a tablet, he quickly became one of the most hated men in the world.

Since then, there has been incredible lash-back.  Shkreli attempted damage control, receiving more venom, and eventually cut the drug’s price by 50 percent for US hospitals (still, nearly 30x the cost of what it was before he raised the price).  He did not lower the cost for private patients and, so, they are still paying the insane amount.

This provoked students in Australia to create 3.7 grams of Daraprim’s active ingredient for $20, something that would sell between $35,000 and $110,000 at Shkreli’s market cost right now.

This means that one tablet, which Shkreli is selling for $750, can actually be purchased for $2.

The Sydney high school students have been working on the project in an after-school program since the price hike was announced in September of 2015.  They are all in agreement that working on something relevent has kept them active.

“Working on a real-world problem definitely made us more enthusiastic,” one of the students, 17-year-old Austin Zhang, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

 Another student, James Wood, added “The background to this made it seem more important.”

The students have been working on the project with University of Sydney chemist Alice Williamson, through an online program  called Open Source Malaria, focused on using publicly available drugs to cure and treat malaria.

After spending 12 months searching for a safer way to synthesize the drug, they were able to successfully create 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine (the active ingredient).  It was confirmed in a spectrograph that Williamson calls “one of the most beautiful spectrographs I’ve ever seen.”  She says the students synthesized “about $110,000 worth of the drug.”

 Though the students have no plan to sell the drug, they want to show the world that Shkreli’s $750 pill can actually be synthesized and bought for $2.  They’ve succeeded.  If anything, it brings attention to the global pricing of the pill.  In most countries around the world, it can be bought for $1 or $2, but in the US, Shkreli’s company has a stranglehold on the distribution due to a loophole called the ‘closed distribution model.’ In order for any other creators of the drug to enter the US open market, they would have to be compared in trials to Shkreli’s product and would end up paying millions of dollars is costs.  This busted law is keeping newcomers out and the market, anything but free.

Stroke Survivor Walks Again After Doctors Inject Stem Cells Directly into Brain


IN BRIEF

A surgical procedure that involves drilling holes and injecting stem cells into stroke patients’ brains seems to have contributed to a wheelchair-bound stroke patient regaining the ability to walk. Despite the major recovery exhibited by patients, further study must be made to investigate the true impact.

Researchers from Stanford University were “stunned” at the positive results they obtained after injecting stem cells directly into stroke patients’ brains. The discovery has created a talking point in the neuroscience community, causing researchers to re-visit and re-evaluate the notion that brain damage is permanent and irreversible.

SURGICAL PROCEDURE

18 stroke patients that were at the six-month mark—the ‘plateau stages’ of their recovery, which is where, typically, no foreseeable improvements in their conditions can occur—were selected for the study.

Patients at this stage are impaired when it comes to moving their arms and legs. As such, they are usually taken out of therapy, as their brain circuits are believed to be damaged beyond repair.

Credit: Washington Post
Credit: Washington Post

Surgeons drilled holes into several locations of each patient’s skull and injected the stem cellsinto them. The procedure required patients to be operated on while they were conscious. Despite the seemingly bluntness of the procedure, surgeons say that the method is the simplest as far as brain surgery is concerned.

Patients were even sent home on the same day as the surgery.

STUNNING RESULTS

Headaches, nausea, and vomiting were some of the side-effects experienced by the patients after the procedure. Tests that measured each of the patients’ speech, vision, and motor ability were then conducted one, six, and twelve months after the surgery.

Gary Steinberg, lead author and chairperson of Neurosurgery at Stanford, was surprised to see that seven out of the 18 patients that underwent the treatment showed great improvement. Recovery for these seven patients, he says, was not minimal. He mentions a 71-year-old wheelchair-bound patient that was able to walk again.

Despite the positive results of the procedure, Sean Savits, a professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas, notes that much more has to be done in order to confirm the results of the surgery. Further research is necessary in order to fully determine the true effect of the stem cells in stimulating the changes, and he notes that it is possible that the procedure induced a placebo effect.

Scientists have evolved a remarkable new form of life that can bond silicon to carbon.


silicon carbide alien life illustration science

Scientists have coaxed life to do something it has never done before: bond silicon to carbon.You’re probably already familiar with a few products products that use carbon-silicon, or organosilicon: glues, caulks, and pesticides, to name a few.

But the new biological trick, which was forcefully evolved in bacteria, is safer and 15 times more efficient than synthetic, industrial chemistry at making organosilicons that are useful to industry and research.

This new bioengineering by Caltech researchers, described in the journal Science , may not improve the prospects of silicon-based alien life – contrary to a colorful illustration sent to members of the press (shown here) – but it could enable biologists to ask sci-fi-level questions.

“Why does life look the way it does? We can start asking, for the first time, what happens if you put silicon in place of carbon in living systems,” Frances Arnold , a Caltech bioengineer and biochemist who co-authored the study, in a video about the work.

More immediately, the process could also revolutionize a whole class of chemistry that’s useful in electronics, medicine, and other fields.

Silicon and carbon are remarkably similar – to a point

silicon carbide shutterstock_381335113

Silicon atoms outnumber carbon atoms in the Earth’s crust more than 1,000-fold, yet the two elements are remarkably alike, chemically speaking. In fact, they’re stacked right atop one another on the Periodic Table.

Yet life as we know it is organic, or based on carbon – from DNA to proteins to how it stores and uses energy. So why are we carbon-based and not silicon-based?

Chemist Raymond Dessy, in a 2010 Scientific American article titled “Could silicon be the basis for alien life forms, just as carbon is on Earth?“, explored this question in detail. First, he explained how similar silicon and carbon are: They have the same number of electrons (four) available for bonding. They bond easily with oxygen. And they can link up to form polymers, or long chains of molecules, with oxygen – a foundation to making DNA and other genetic material.

But the similarities essentially end there.

When silicon is burned, it forms solids like silicon dioxide, better known as silica or quartz. Meanwhile, burning carbon compounds produces gases like carbon dioxide.

So silicon, at least in the environment of Earth, “would pose disposal problems for a living system,” Dessy said, since waste products couldn’t dissolve or float away. They’d instead stick around and accumulate.

Silicon-silicon bonds are also twice as weak as carbon-carbon bonds, which causes all sorts of problems as they are linked up (compared to carbon). And there’s a more complex aspect here related to chirality or “handedness” of molecules. Silicon generally doesn’t form unique versions of the same molecule, but carbon often does – and that chemical diversity gives life a lot of room to play.

“The complex dance of life requires interlocking chains of reactions. And these reactions can only take place within a narrow range of temperatures and pH levels,” Dessy wrote. “Given such constraints, carbon can and silicon can’t.”

Still, we don’t know this for sure. There might be some environments where silicon-based life might exist.

Organosilicons could help researches probe the details of why life is carbon-based, and perhaps if there may be a chance for a Star Trek-like “horta” creatures out there in the universe.

“It’s very hard to explore that, chemically, unless you have organisms that can make these bonds,” Arnold said in a video. “[But] we’re not actually trying to find life in rocks, we’re more trying to put rocks in life.”

And doing so, Arnold said, could “promote new chemical reactions” that could help people on Earth.

Speeding up evolution and chemistry for industry

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Lately, scientists have found organosilicons a key material in developing new medicine , since – as close-but-not-quite cousins to carbon – they mimic yet don’t replace the stuff in our bodies, possibly aiding drug potency, release, and inhibition, as well as medical imaging technologies.

However: “No living organism is known to put silicon-carbon bonds together, even though silicon is so abundant, all around us, in rocks and all over the beach,” Jennifer Kan, a researcher in Arnold’s lab and the study’s lead author, said in a Caltech press release .

As a result, we rely on synthetic chemistry to make organosilicons. And it’s expensive, requiring rare or precious elements like rhodium, iridium, and copper – atoms that can catalyze, or speed up, a chemical reaction. Unfortunately, those reactions also require dangerous halogenated solvents (which form toxic gases when exposed to air).

So Arnold, Kan, and their colleagues found a way to hack nature to get the job done more cheaply and safely, using a relatively new process called directed evolution .

Directed evolution takes fast-growing bacteria (like Escherichia coli), mixes them with huge libraries of mutated genes (which might lend the bacteria new abilities), and shocks the mixture (to trick the bacteria into randomly incorporating the mutated genes). It then screens the billions of bacteria for the handful that do what researchers desire.

Altogether, it can take mere days to evolve microorganisms to do one’s bidding.

Kan’s team started with a bacteria called Rhodothermus marinus: an organism which lives in Icelandic thermal springs. The microbe has a well-studied, iron-based protein called “cytochrome c” which, the team discovered, could form carbon-silicon bonds.

After a bit of time in their evolutionary torture chamber, a strain emerged that could make organosilicon compounds 12 times more efficiently than ordinary cytochrome c. But they kept evolving the bacteria, focusing on the mutated bits of DNA that seemed to make a difference.

Ultimately they created a new bacteria species – and a new, triply-evolved version of cytochrome c – that could forge organosilicons 15 times more efficiently than “the best synthetic catalysts for this class of reaction,” they wrote in the study. It also worked to build 20 different organosilicons, using different starting chemicals.

Since R. marinus is tough to grow (it requires scorching temperatures), they migrated their genetic masterpiece into E. coli, which is commonly grown in the lab. And it worked nearly as well.

“This iron-based, genetically encoded catalyst is nontoxic, cheaper, and easier to modify compared to other catalysts used in chemical synthesis,” Kan said in the release. “The new reaction can also be done at room temperature and in water.”

Hendrik Klare and Martin Oestreich , two chemists at Technische Universitat Berlin who weren’t involved in the study, wrote in a Science commentary that the study “closes a crucial gap between biological” and synthetic chemistry.

“The impact is unforeseeable, but it seems that we are a big step closer to potentially facilitating industrially relevant reactions,” they wrote.

As for making possible blobby, silicon-based beasts that congregate around hot springs? Perhaps those are better left to Star Trek, and the imagination.

Bill Gates to roll out remote control microchip-based sterilization of women.


When Bill Gates, along with Paul Allen, began a little tech venture called “Microsoft” in a garage in 1975, he couldn’t possibly have imagined that the company would grow into the largest personal computer company and most widely used PC operating system on the planet.

Birth control

Or make him the richest man in the known galaxy.

But all of that happened, of course, and for the last two decades Gates, through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have been involved in socially engineering the world to be a place they want to mold in an image they have devised.

In recent months Gates has taken his vision a step further, with the development of computer chip technology that will essentially serve as one element of his quest for population control and reduction.

As reported by the Activist Post‘s Heather Callaghan, soon medical microchip implants will be introduced to the general population, which will serve as “the new face of medicine that polygamously marries Big Pharma, biotech, nanotech and wireless remote technology.”

“Maybe hooking oneself into the Internet of Things will be an additional app, although this sounds like a passive form of medicine where someone else gets to call the shots, so to speak,” she added.

From ‘pro-choice’ to ‘no-choice’

Perhaps not surprisingly – given its propensity to favor technology that reduces planetary human presence – the same developers who are bringing wireless, remote-controlled implants are currently focused on a product that is the cornerstone of future efforts: Gates Foundation-funded birth control microchip implants.

Callaghan notes that wireless technology allows the remotely controlled chips to essentially activate a woman’s ability to conceive, or prevent it, at will, which amounts to temporary sterilization (if a decision is made, say by an all-powerful government agency, to prevent a woman from bearing a child). Government in the U.S. would instantly transform itself from “pro-choice” (through the permission of abortion) to no choice.

The writer also observed:

Of course with remote technology funded by eugenics depopulation fanatics, the first questions should always be, “the ability to conceive by whose will?” This would be the complete antithesis of female empowerment or a “woman’s right to choose” – would it not?

What’s more, the chips are encrypted, so no hacking – not by cyber criminals or by technologically clever souls who are simply trying to bypass a government’s oppression.

The microchip is implantable into arms, hips or somewhere on a woman’s back. The development of the chip was kept under wraps while researchers and scientists worked to complete work the past couple of years. But the existence of the chip was finally confirmed publicly as beta testing of the technology is scheduled to begin towards the end of 2015, when volunteers will be sought.

If poor women are the target, why encrypt the chips?

As reported by TWCN:

The birth control chip is the brain child of a professor, Robert Langer, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation has funded the research and the prototype is ready for human testing. The chips will be ready for sale by the year 2018 according to Robert Langer. The institute’s Chip Foundation and Bill Gates’ Foundation have been working on the birth control chip for past three years.

The safety tests would begin by the end of year 2015 and Robert Langer is confident that the chips will hit market sometime in 2018. The main target of these chips are women in third world who are often subject to pain and risks of death during early pregnancies.

That report noted that the chip is expected to remain viable for at least 16 years once implanted.

While the “target” population is poor, third-world women, such technology is, of course, ripe for abuse. After all, think about it: If that demographic is the primary target, why would the chips need to be encrypted? How many third-world populations have within their midst the technological capability or the power to resist?

When he began Microsoft, Bill Gates likely never thought he’d become rich enough to hold the power of life in his hands. Talk about your “evil corporations.”

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