Article by Tamsyn Burgmann at the Canadian PressOriginally published in 90+ publications and here is a link to the Globe & Mail articleBiohackers Self-experiment to Achieve Superhuman BodiesThere\u2019s no visible lump, but Nikolas Badminton has a microchip the size of two grains of rice implanted between his left thumb and index finger. Scan his hand with a smartphone and vital personal identification details appear.The Vancouver resident says he lives life as an experiment \u2013 and the unconventional accessory was his initiation into a growing and global movement called \u201cbiohacking\u201d that\u2019s taking root on the West Coast.\u201cI\u2019m not scared about doing these things, to push myself forward,\u201d said the 42-year-old, who\u2019s been a futurist for two decades.\u201cI\u2019ve weighed out the risks and I\u2019ve weighed out my personal motivation for doing it, and then I do it.\u201dThe silicon chip was inserted while Badminton was on stage in front of 120 people in June, 2014, in his bid to advance thinking about enhancing the capabilities of the human body.That\u2019s what biohacking is all about, using shortcut methods to amp up muscles, minds and everything in between in the pursuit of building superhumans.Biohacking activities range from mild, such as taking vitamin supplements, to more-invasive body augmentation with hardware, to extreme genetic modification.Some people embed radio-frequency identification tags in their skin to unlock doors or secure the data on their laptops. A California man injected a chlorophyll-like substance into his eyes earlier this year and briefly gained night vision.In British Columbia, hundreds of people curious about tinkering with biological processes are joining do-it-yourself community science laboratories to conduct experiments.Sixty people turned out for a meeting last winter to support the creation of Vancouver\u2019s first lab, and membership has skyrocketed since the Open Science Network was incorporated as a non-profit society in June. The network convenes \u201cburgeoning biological engineers\u201d to discuss best practices, advances in related technology and market scope for new products.Scott Pownall runs workshops at the lab teaching everyone from amateurs to courting couples how to manipulate DNA.\u201cThey said, \u2018Oh, by the way, this is a date,\u2019\u201d he said. \u201cFabulous. Who would have thought to take their girlfriend to a biohacker to learn how to cut DNA \u2013 the ultimate!\u201dThe Network is developing rigorous guidelines and already follows standard biosafety practices, Pownall said. He called concerns about the issue of bioterrorism \u201calarmist.\u201d\u201cThat type of work would be very difficult for an individual,\u201d he said. \u201cDefinitely safety is an important thing, and for me it\u2019s important we don\u2019t cause problems in the environment.\u201dIn downtown Victoria, about 200 people have walked through another community lab, dubbed Biospace. Founder Derek Jacoby, who worked a decade for Microsoft, said making science accessible reduces fears about future advancements.He said he\u2019s worried that global competition in gene-editing technology could be stalled in North America by \u201creactionary\u201d groups pressing for moratoriums.For instance, a group of senior American biologists has urged a worldwide pause to allow deeper examinations on safety and ethical grounds. Nobel Prize winner David Baltimore, an author of their letter published in the journal Science, said scientists were speaking out to \u201ckeep people from doing anything crazy,\u201d according to the MIT Technology Review.Jacoby disagrees: \u201cIf we push ourselves out a generation or two, and find that we\u2019re all half as intelligent as the engineered babies in China, well, we\u2019ve lost the evolution race.\u201dThose people willing to be human guinea pigs should be supported as a public force for steering future development \u2013 rather than domination by corporate business interests, he said.Badminton said biohacking now is like Victorian-era experimentation that was the basis for modern medicine.He predicts the emergence of countless beneficial inventions, such as GPS implants to track lost Alzheimer\u2019s patients or exoskeletons controlled by helmets with brain sensors that will replace wheelchairs.Progress could take much longer, however, if the public relies solely on the sluggish, regulated medical establishment for advances, he argued.\u201cThe people who are going to be first to step up and try it are going to be the people from the biohacking community,\u201d he said, \u201cwho aren\u2019t scared.\u201dAlso read:Top-5 Futures for October 9th \u2013 The Future of WearablesBiohacking is Here and Going Mainstream***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.\u00a0Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.