The fusion between the human being and biotechnology has a path called Biohacking. | Image: Andy Kelly
Science is inexorably advancing by leaps and bounds. Such is the progress that sometimes the human being is not prepared to assimilate and adapt to the novelties that he brings with him. This can sometimes cause problems for human beings, who find themselves in a world with which they do not identify or understand.
Biohackers are a new social movement led by people with a very particular philosophy about science and how it should be understood. In fact, the ideas they propose, if carried out in a generalized way, could revolutionize the day-to-day life of society.as we know it today.
What are Biohackers
In the late 1990s, shortly before the turn of the millennium, people began to emerge who believed that the body, with the current state of science so advanced, could be improved by implanting small electronic devices . Thus, some people began to implant small devices, which, for example, allowed them to open doors or turn on lights with a simple arm movement.
The way of thinking of this group of people is based on the philosophical principle of the hackers of the 70s in the United States. In this decade, when the computer revolution appeared, a group of people emerged who dedicated themselves to disassembling computers in order to improve or alter their functions through self-education while working clandestinely in the garages of their homes.
Although the birth of the Biohackers can be placed at the end of the nineties, it is not until the beginning of the year 2000 when they gain strength and can begin to differentiate themselves as a social and technological movement. This is mainly due to the fact that before this year, Biohackers were still closely linked to corporations and research centers, since the materials needed to develop their ideas were too expensive to acquire independently.
What is the OBJETIVE
Biohackers start from the same premise as the hackers of the 70s, but applied to implants,combining biomedical and electronic elements. The goal is to bring knowledge about biology to popular culture, in the same way that today anyone can assemble a computer from parts. In this way, everyone could get to improve their human capabilities electronically , at will, in the garage of their home.
For these purposes, any Biohacker job requires certain knowledge of biology and technology. This first discipline is in charge of performing the surgical operation, which normally consists of making an incision, inserting an object, making sure that it does not move from the site and preventing future infections from being created.
What is usually implanted?
The variety of interventions that can be carried out is almost infinite. If already when this social movement began the number of possibilities was high, today it has no limits. Two of the main advances have to do with the durability of the implants . Thanks to better quality batteries and the ability to charge implants without removing the electronic device, Biohacking is on the rise.
When the first Biohackers began to appear in the 90s, the electronic element that was most commonly implanted was RFID (for its acronym in English). This device is nothing more than a radio frequency identification device, like the one we can find on credit cards that do not require physical contact.
Formerly the implant was two and a half centimeters long. Today, a system called NFC (for its acronym in English), which follows the same principles as RFID, fits in the space equivalent to a grain of rice .
To give a closer example, last 2015 a company that had several offices decided to implant chips in its workers so that they could enter the office, use the photocopier, buy a sandwich or even use public transport. This project was carried out by a team of Biohackers led by Jane Wakefield .
Is a Hacker the same as a Biohacker?
Although the name can deceive, we should not rely on the similarity of the name to look for a relationship. The truth is that today both groups of people do not have any connection.
In any case, we could find, as we have already mentioned, a historical-philosophical connection in both movements. The point in common would be to bring the average citizen advances in information technology (in the first place) and bio-technology (in the second) to obtain benefits and progress. That is what the term “hacker” refers to, that its etymological translation would be something like “break” or “creatively solve”.
Thus, the objective is to bring solutions and knowledge to society that are accessible to all. But in addition, there are other more “professional” differences between the two groups.
While hackers are usually characterized as people who stand out at an intellectual level and who carry out really complex ideas at a software level, Biohackers are very creative people who can rarely carry out their ideas because they require non-existent technology or are impractical. , at least for now.
Another common point that has already begun to emerge is that of using knowledge to illegally take advantage of other people.. The ability of classic hackers in this area is already widely known, but biohackers come up with new weapons that they can use in this regard.
The clearest example that currently represents a potentially dangerous field for people’s safety is the one posed by the combination of implants with payment methods already used by Apple Pay and Google Wallet, among others.
The (future) dangers of Biohacking
At theoretical levels, a person with an NFC chip has the ability to interfere in a communication of this type between a mobile phone (for example) that uses NFC and the terminal where he is paying. That is, a Biohacker with the right chip can hack a bank account if he is nearby at the time a transaction is made.
Fortunately, biohackers are rare today, but considering that it offers solutions and improvements to aspects of everyday life, it is only a matter of time before this practice spreads. The problem, as often happens, is that security measures will not begin to be taken until the first cases of theft and other illegal activities have already occurred.