Revealing the cover and first excerpt of Autonomous, Annalee Newitz's long-awaited debut novel

We've followed Annalee Newitz's career here for more than a decade, from her science writing fellowship to her work as an EFF staffer to her founding of IO9 and her move to Ars Technica and the 2013 publication of her first book, nonfiction guidance on surviving the end of the world and rebooting civilization: now, I'm pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from Autonomous, her debut novel, which Tor will publish in September 2017, along with the first look at her cover, designed by the incomparable Will Staehle. As her editor, Liz Gorinsky, notes, "Autonomous takes an action-packed chase narrative and adds Annalee's well-honed insight into issues of AI autonomy, pharmaceutical piracy, and maker culture to make a book that's accessible, entertaining, and ridiculously smart." I'm three quarters of the way through an early copy, and I heartily agree.

Artist in residence sought for Bioprocess Labratory in Zurich

Are you an "artist, designer, biohacker, or other cultural practitioner" who's interested in synthetic biology? You could spend 4-6 weeks in Zurich at the Bioprocess Laboratory, where you will "actively engage with scientists working on a synthetic biology related project with focus on the design of antibiotics." Read the rest

Biohacking for Newbies: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Getting an NFC Chip Implant

Editor's note: The following is a first-person account of a personal experience, and should not be taken as medical advice or a recommendation of any kind. If you choose to pursue biohacking as a result of reading this article and something goes wrong, you are not allowed to blame us or the author.

A few months ago, on a last-minute whim of curiosity, I attended a biohacking gathering. When I departed L.A. for a random small town address in the Mojave desert, I did not know I would return 36 hours later with my hand wrapped in a bandage, having willingly undergone an unnecessary medical procedure in a wacky garage-turned-mad-science-lab with some guy I'd never met. I did not know I’d be grinning all the way home because I’d become one step closer to being a cyborg. Read the rest

How to hack Amazon’s $5 WiFi button to track baby data

Amazon is selling Dash Buttons for $5. They contain a Wi-Fi radio and a battery. You are supposed to stick them to your washing machine, inside a cabinet door, etc, and when you run out of Tide, Gatorade, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, etc., you just push the button and Amazon will ship you more.

Clever people are starting to find moire interesting uses for the Dash Buttons, such as Ted Benson, who has written a guide that shows you "how to hijack and use these buttons for just about anything you want." Read the rest

Buttered coffee company gets $9 million to build coffee shops

Dave Asprey, the far-out biohacker and self-experimenter who skeptics love to hate, just got $9 million to build coffee shops that sell "Bulletproof Coffee," which is mold-free coffee blended with unsalted grass fed butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. I've had it before and the only thing I can say about it is that it is delicious.

Here's Asprey showing how to make Bulletproof Coffee.

Here's a video in which podcaster Joe Rogan, who used to be a fan of Dave Asprey, debunks Asprey's claims that mycotoxins in coffee are common and bad for you.

Joe Rogan exposes the lies of Dave Asprey the owner of Bulletproof Coffee about how he lied and said 70% of coffee is contaminated with mycotoxins without any evidence. Onnit labs tested random coffee including Starbucks, and the results showed they contained NO mycotoxins. Coffee growers have already known how to remove toxins from their beans decades ago.

Here is Kris Gunnars' takedown of Bulletproof Coffee.

And here is Chris Gayomali's article on what it was like to drink Bulletproof Coffee every morning for two weeks. Read the rest

Inject this substance in your eyes for night vision

A group of biohackers is injecting a substance called Chlorin e6 into their eyes to give them temporary night vision.

Did it work? Yes. It started with shapes, hung about 10 meters away. "I'm talking like the size of my hand," Licina says. Before long, they were able to do longer distances, recognizing symbols and identifying moving subjects against different backgrounds.

"The other test, we had people go stand in the woods," he says. "At 50 meters, we could figure out where they were, even if they were standing up against a tree." Each time, Licina had a 100% success rate. The control group, without being dosed with Ce6, only got them right a third of the time.

Read the rest

Biohackers making "real vegan cheese"

The biohackers at BioCurious and Counter Culture Labs are seeking support in their effort to bioengineer baker's yeast to make Real Vegan Cheese!

Real Vegan Cheese is a not a cheese substitute! It all begins with regular old baker's yeast. Through synthetic biology, we engineer our yeast to become milk-protein factories, churning out real milk proteins (known as caseins). These milk proteins are then combined with water, vegan sugar and oil to make a kind of milk which is ultimately converted into Real Vegan Cheese using the age-old cheese-making process.
Real Vegan Cheese (Thanks, Eri Gentry!) Read the rest