Multi-billionaire Bill Gates has developed a new microchip, along with researchers at MIT, that will allow for adjustments to be made to a person’s hormone levels via remote control, in a bid to reduce the planet’s population.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been working in conjunction with a small Massachusetts startup to develop the “digital pill” that will enable women’s fertility to be switched on or off, remotely, with the touch of a button. The new “digital version of the contraceptive” pill will be tested in Africa this year where the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent years developing vaccination and family planning programs.
Following testing, the microchips are due to be rolled out globally in 2018 with “every woman in America” replacing their regular contraceptive pill with the new remote-controlled chips, according to Gates. According to the Guardian, the chip is implanted under the skin and releases small doses of the contraceptive hormone levonorgestrel on a daily basis, with enough capacity to last 16 years.About the same size as a Scrabble tile, it houses a series of micro-reservoirs covered by an ultra-thin titanium and platinum seal. The hormone is released by passing a small electric current from an internal battery through the seal, which melts it temporarily, allowing a 30 microgram dose of levonorgestrel to seep out each day. And it can be simply switched off by a wireless remote, avoiding the clinical procedures needed to deactivate other contraceptive implants. “The ability to turn the device on and off provides a certain convenience factor for those who are planning their family,” says MIT’s Dr. Robert Farra, adding that “the idea of using a thin membrane like an electric fuse was the most challenging and the most creative problem we had to solve.”
But just as hackers can spoof wifi remotes to operate neighbors’ garage doors and flip their TV channels, could a remote-controlled contraceptive open the floodgates for a new form of ovarian hacking? “Someone across the room cannot reprogramme your implant,” says Farra.
“Communication with the implant has to occur at skin contact-level distance. Then we have secure encryption. That prevents someone from trying to interpret or intervene between the communications.” The idea for micro-dispensing chips was first developed in the 1990s by Professor Robert Langer at MIT, the founder of innumerable biotech companies and holder of more than 800 patents, known in the industry as “the most cited engineer in history”. His lab caught the attention of Bill Gates in 2012, during his search for a revolution in birth control (which has already spawned plans for a graphene condom), and Langer subsequently leased the technology to Microchips, a company already working on a micro-dosing implant for osteoporosis.
Langer says that the implant will be available by 2018, once the coming trials are complete, and that the device will be “competitively priced” in a bid to ensure it replaces conventional contraception. Source: