Transhuman Tuesday – Nootropics and Biohacking

Posted By on December 13, 2016

Each Tuesday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist, summarizes 3 to 5 future looking developments in the realm of  transhuman and cyborg-related technologies.

In Transhuman Tuesday – Nootropics and Biohacking we look at nootropics startups, some ways to biohack your life, and curing PTSD.

‘Nootropics’ Startups Seek to Sharpen Mind and Body Via Supplements

Silicon Valley is known for its maverick ethos of hackers producing everything from computers to smart phones to drones.

Now a new generation of entrepreneurs wants to hack the brain and the body, improving everyday performance through nutritional supplements called nootropics.

Nootropics are designed to heighten productivity, memory, mental function and overall physical energy.

Not that nootropics are new—they were discovered in the 1970s by Romanian chemist Corneliu E. Giurge. But they have found new life, and venture backing, thanks to the growth of “biohacking” and “quantified-self” enthusiasts who seek to improve themselves through focused analysis of data.

Some obsessively track what they eat. Others follow low-carb diets or practice periodic fasting for health or performance reasons. Soylent, a Silicon Valley startup with $21.5 million in venture backing, aims to replace the need to eat with an all-in-one meal-replacement drink.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

4 Joyless Ways to Biohack Your Way to Higher Productivity

At Silicon Valley startup Nootrobox, Monday evening signals the start of the company-wide 40-hour fast. That’s right — Nootrobox employees eat nothing between Monday evening and Wednesday around noon.

You might think not eating for nearly two days would just mean cranky, hungry employees, but CEO Geoffrey Woo insists the policy leads to a “super productive” Tuesday.

Woo and his team are hardly alone in their efforts to “hack” the human body to achieve more in less time. To preserve their edge in a hotspot of innovation, the Silicon Valley crowd is always ready to jump on the latest efficiency-maximizing idea.

Read more at Entrepreneur

MDMA approved for final trials to treat PTSD before possible legalization

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to phase three trials of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, the final phase of validation required to turn the party drug into a legal medicine.

The treatment involves giving patients the drug just three times – once a month – during long talking therapy sessions, interspersed with weekly sessions without the drug. Early trials of the drug, currently listed as a schedule 1 substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration along with heroin and LSD, have shown encouraging results for patients with treatment-resistant PTSD.

“Moving from phase two to phase three shows we have strong scientific reason to believe that MDMA is an effective treatment for PTSD in therapy. The fact the FDA is ready to move forward with phase three signals that they agree,” said Brad Burge, from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), a not-for-profit based in Santa Cruz, California, that has spearheaded efforts to turn MDMA into a medicine.

If the trials go well, MDMA could be legalized as soon as 2021, providing a novel way to treat those battling with PTSD, a debilitating mental condition that can be caused by witnessing or experiencing a life-threatening event.

Read more at The Guardian



Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.

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