Lasers power Pentagon’s next-gen artificial limbs

The Pentagon's already got brain-controlled prosthetics, and they are a major improvement over old-school artificial limbs. The devices are far from perfect, however. They rely on metal implants, which aren't compatible with the body's tissues, and they can only transmit a few signals at a time - turning what should… » 11/05/11 9:25am 11/05/11 9:25am

Anti-smoking PSA from the 1980s warns Brits about the scary posthuman…

Britain's National Archives has created an amazing online collection of "public information films," or what we in the United States call "public service announcements" (PSAs). It's an incredible collection that goes back to the 1950s and continues up through 2006. Some of the movies are just silly, and others are… » 8/17/11 3:44pm 8/17/11 3:44pm

A gallery of biotech devices that could give you superpowers right now

Biotechnology now outpaces the bodies we were born with. Today, we can give ourselves additional senses or improve the ones we've got, and we can heighten our strength while also building limbs better than the breakable ones most of us have. Here's a gallery of all the human enhancements that will be improving lives… » 7/21/11 8:00am 7/21/11 8:00am

New synthetic vocal cord gel gives voice to the voiceless

Call it a silent killer: some 6 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of voice disorder, most of those resulting from scarring of the vocal cords that can lead to diminishing or even total loss of the ability to speak. Giving voice to the voiceless, a team of Harvard and MIT researchers have developed a … » 7/16/11 8:00am 7/16/11 8:00am

Future humans with algae implants could breathe underwater

Ever wonder how we're going to create humans who can breathe underwater? Of course you do. Now a study published this week about how algae insinuate themselves into salamander embryos (and DNA) could provide the beginnings of an answer. » 4/05/11 4:00pm 4/05/11 4:00pm

What Is The Singularity And Will You Live To See It?

If you read any science fiction or futurism, you've probably heard people using the term "singularity" to describe the world of tomorrow. But what exactly does it mean, and where does the idea come from? We answer in today's io9 flashback. » 2/03/11 2:57pm 2/03/11 2:57pm

A bioengineered future in deep space

NASA's Human Research Program is all about risk reduction, finding ways to counter fatigue and mitigate radiation damage, among other potential issues in space travel. But what if a different kind of program had evolved? » 9/18/10 2:15pm 9/18/10 2:15pm

Genetic Evidence Shows Why Tibetans Kick Ass At High Altitudes

Tibetans handle high altitudes much better than most people. New research pinpoints the genes that allow them to breathe easily on mountain peaks, and avoid deadly side-effects. » 5/13/10 11:00am 5/13/10 11:00am

Portraits In Posthumanity: Aimee Mullins

A one-time intelligence analyst with the Pentagon, Aimee Mullins is an athlete, model, and activist. And she does it all using a collection of experimental prosthetic legs. She says her special "cheetah" legs give her superpowers. » 5/10/10 7:08pm 5/10/10 7:08pm

What Is The Singularity And Will You Live To See It?

If you read any science fiction or futurism, you've probably heard people using the term "singularity" to describe the world of tomorrow. But what exactly does it mean, and where does the idea come from? We answer in today's backgrounder. » 5/10/10 4:29pm 5/10/10 4:29pm

Beyond The Human Race - And "Human-Racism"

J. Hughes is the executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a professor at Trinity College Hartford, and author of the book Citizen Cyborg. Here he explains the idea of transhumanism - and its dark side. » 5/09/10 12:30pm 5/09/10 12:30pm

What Will The Citizens Of New Jersey Mutate Into?

So apparently there's tritium leaking into one of New Jersey's main aquifers. As a proud Garden Stater, I have no choice but to hope that this environmental clusterfuck will give us fancy new phenotypes and not horrible, horrible cancer. » 5/08/10 9:17pm 5/08/10 9:17pm

Great Stupid Moments In Posthumanity: Teenage Caveman (NSFW)

In Larry Clark's 2002 Teenage Caveman, a virus wipes out humanity, leaving only scattered human tribes and teenage immortals who love blowing lines and orgies. And if you have sex with the immortals, you gain superpowers or spontaneously combust. WTF? » 5/08/10 5:15pm 5/08/10 5:15pm

Your Posthumanism Is Boring Me

Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2009, Jamais Cascio is a futurist who writes about the environment, technology, and culture. Here he argues that yesterday's posthumanism is today's boring quotidian. » 5/08/10 2:15pm 5/08/10 2:15pm

Fritz Kahn's Cybernetic Body Art Is Like Terminator Circa 1920

Berlin gynecologist Dr. Fritz Kahn (1888-1968) was a titan of anatomical illustration thanks to his imaginative portrayals of the human body as a living factory. Pop on some Kraftwerk, because here come the man-machines! » 5/08/10 2:08pm 5/08/10 2:08pm

Portraits In Posthumanity: Steve Mann

Canadian geek artist Steve Mann has augmented his vision with wearable computers for most of his life. He invented his "smart pants" in high school, perfected his body tech rig at MIT, and now has one eye that's a camera. » 5/07/10 4:10pm 5/07/10 4:10pm

One Mutation Could Prevent You From Becoming An Alcoholic

Do you feel exhausted after a couple of drinks? Need constant Red Bull infusions to make it out of the bar? You might have a mutation that prevents you from becoming an addict. » 5/07/10 1:56pm 5/07/10 1:56pm

How Much Would It Cost To Build A Real Iron Man Suit?

Iron Man's suit isn't as science fictional as you might think. Most of its components exist right now in research and development labs. What would it cost Tony Stark today to put them together and become superhuman? » 5/07/10 12:56pm 5/07/10 12:56pm

“Am I Not A Man and A Brother?” Four Fictional Legal Systems Respond to…

People have long imagined automatons for society's drudge work. The possibility and its implications are among science fiction's favorite topics. One question that crops up constantly: What is a sentient android's legal status? Is something that feels still property? » 5/07/10 12:20pm 5/07/10 12:20pm

The Best-Case Scenario For Posthumanity, And Who Is Making It Happen

Futurist writer R.U. Sirius helped create Mondo 2000, runs posthumanist magazine H+, and has run for president. He was cyber before it was cool, and is still fomenting techno revolution. Here he offers an optimist's vision of the posthuman future. » 5/07/10 11:09am 5/07/10 11:09am