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How can computing help life sciences?

bioinformatics neuroscience computational biology cognitive computation

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#1 Filippo Piccardi

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:19 PM


I realized that there are fields that apply the theoretical principles of computer science to different other sciences such as biology or neuroscience. These hybrids are often called with different names like computational biology/bioinformatics, neuroinformatics/cognitive computation. I understand that the ones focused on neuroscience are oriented to artificial intelligence/artificial life applications.
I also understand that computational biology uses computer science approach to collect, organize and interpret biological data (often in great volumes).
Talking about this one in particular, what are the outcomes of this kind of work? What are the goals and who are the main actors (companies, universities, research centers..) in this field?
Do you know any other field that makes use of computational thinking to solve scientific problems?
What do you think about this approach to science in general?

#2 seivtcho

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:38 PM

The most important still is the 3d printing of stem cells. The best will be to be made a printer, that is cappable of bioprinting an entire organ cell by cell with a histological resolution.

 

In my oppinion the artificial intelligence and the artificial life are exactly what you are writing - artifitial things, that can only model you, but can't make you immortal. For example, if some day in the future you copy-paste your brain into a computer, you will receive only a copy of your brain, and when you die, you will die, and what will be left aside will be your brain copy, not you.

 

P.S.

It is still a matter of philosophical choice. It is named the question for the identity. E.g. what is that thing that makes you, and how exactly you can preserve it for unlimited period of time. Everyone has his own answer for that.

 


Edited by seivtcho, 31 August 2016 - 03:41 PM.


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#3 seivtcho

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 04:10 PM

Some nice topics that you may read about different oppinions on what is that thing, that makes your identity

 

http://www.longecity...whats-the-self/

 

http://www.longecity...80365-identity/

 

 

 

 

 

If you are convinced in your mind, that you are seaking exactly some sort of a digital immortality, then I am not very competent in it. However you may search in topics like mind uploading, digital immortality, I remember somewhere in internet I found a digital immortality map. I found it here:

http://lesswrong.com...collect_enough/



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#4 Filippo Piccardi

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 05:14 PM

I appreciate your point of view but these are all (great) answer to a previous topic that I started in "society & economics" (http://www.longecity...on/#entry787751 which is not working right now because, for some reason, users (me included) can't reply, but I contacted moderators and hopefully will be working soon).
What I was asking here was more of a technical matter and not necessarily related to life extension/immortalism, in particular how computing can help building tools to understand data relative to other fields of study, like, for example, biology or neuroscience.
I find the material you posted very interesting and I look forward to discuss it in the other topic if it will ever be working!

#5 Diocletian

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 06:26 PM

I believe biological life extension and rejuvenation will come much sooner than tranfering our consciousness into machine.

 

You can't tranfer your consciousness automatically (upload it on machine) bacuse if you do this you will have copy of yourself (clone) but it won't be you.

 

It means that you will have to gradully replace your biological parts of body and brain with machine without losing your consciousness.

 

It would be great if we could keep our biological body young as much as we want, and then in the future when we want safer and stronger container for our mind to transer ourself gradually into transhuman.

 

This is just my opinion, lets see what other people think.

 

 


Edited by Coping, 31 August 2016 - 06:30 PM.


#6 seivtcho

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 09:10 PM

...
What I was asking here was more of a technical matter and not necessarily related to life extension/immortalism, in particular how computing can help building tools to understand data relative to other fields of study, like, for example, biology or neuroscience.
....

 

There is a way the brain of an animal or even of a dead human, who has donated his body to science, to be prepared and cut on one cell debth histological slices.

That is not a problem and it has been made at least from the 70's maybe also much earlier.

 

Then there is a way to 3d reconstruct the neurons with their connections by taking images from the microscope and loading them in software, that works on the same principle as that makes the 3d reconstructions of the MRI slices.

There is a problem here - the neurons are huge in number and you cant scan and reconstruct an entire human brain in your lifetime.

 

And finally you may make an artifitial neural network on the bases on these reconstructed neurons and try to understand how it works.

Here is the second problem - even the most advanced supercomputer today can't functionally mimic the action of all of the brain's neurons.

 

I was actually watching a video about that the last year, but cant find the address.

 

If you check, maybe you will find groups working on that, and maybe you can join some of them.



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#7 seivtcho

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 09:17 PM

...

It means that you will have to gradully replace your biological parts of body and brain with machine without losing your consciousness.

....

 

If you gradually replace your parts with artifitial ones, you simply will gradually turn into a robot. Finally your body will be entirely dead and replaced with artifitial materials and thus you will end up with a highly advanced doll, that models you and the dead and decomposed your actual body. The big question that you have to answer yourself and to be sure about it, is can you be immortalized by a doll?







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bioinformatics, neuroscience, computational biology, cognitive computation

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