Neuron Network Cyborg Has Memory
Living neurons on an array of electrodes were shown to have rudimentary memories; researchers Itay Baruchi and Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel-Aviv University published their study in the journal Physical Review E. This combination of living tissue and hardware could lead to cyborg-like memory chips; it could also help neurologists understand how our brains work.
(From Cyborg memory "chip")
Baruchi and Ben-Jacob introduced a chemical stimulant into the neuron culture at a selected location; this induced a new firing pattern in the neuron culture. Twenty-four hours later, they repeated the process, creating another firing pattern. These patterns persisted for more than forty hours.
According to Baruchi and Ben-Jacob, this proves that it is possible to store information in a cultured neuron network.
It's not clear to me how this work goes beyond earlier experiments in the field. In 2004, Naweed Syed at the University of Calgary ran a series of experiments that showed that snail nerve cells on a silicon chip could be shown to have retained memories (see Nerve Cells Grown On Microchip).
More recently, University of Florida scientist Dr. Thomas DeMarse has created a "brain in a dish" that can interact with a computer flight simulation. Find out more in this article - Rat Neurons In A Dish Now Playing Flight Simulator.
Science fiction writer Peter Watts correctly anticipated these studies in his 1999 novel Starfish.
"It's one of those smart gels," Ray said at last... "Head cheese. Cultured brains on a slab. The same things they've been plugging into the Net to firewall infections."
(Read more about smart gels)
Via Science Daily.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/30/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Bacteria Now Make Biofuel Like Oil
'They have ... germs that eat pretty near anything, and produce oil as a waste product.'- Hal Clement, 1950.
Youthful Brain With A Flip Of A Molecular Switch
I need all the brain plasticity I can get.
Human 'Quadruple Helix' DNA
'Their genetic structure, based on the quadruple sterated octohelix...'- Douglas Adams, 1978.
The Plastic Eaters - Amazon Fungus Lives On Plastic
'the smell of the rotting plastic began to hang permanently in the air...'- Davis/Pedlar, 1971
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
MIT Robot Cheetah Video Shows Gait Transition
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'
TrackingPoint Smart Rifle
Not your typical 'smart bullet' approach.
'Hello, Computer!' Google Now Highlighted at IO13
Sky City's 220 Stories Are Go
'It rested among green parklands and... stood in total isolation, a glittering block of whites and flashing windows dotted with colors.'
CARMAT Bioprosthetic Total Human Heart Replacement
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Personal Sniffer Robots
'...The ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound.'
Physical Exam? We've Got Apps
See the future of handheld, personal medical devices.
The Interplanetary Internet, Vint Cerf Speaking
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Drosophila Robotica, The Mechanical Fly
'... the Scarab [flying robot] buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might...'
Robo-Raven Flapping Wing Robot Bird
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Japan's Nursing Home Robot Plan
Let's make the Roujin Z-0001 Robotic Bed!
Samsung Smart TVs With Gesture Control
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Swiss HCPVT Giant Photovoltaic 'Flower'
'...leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector.'
Mini-Livers Made By 3D Printer
Organleggers may experience an employment downturn.
Smartphone Sensor System Tracks Gunfire
'Sound trackers on the roof could zero in on weapons action...'
Bacteria Now Make Biofuel Like Oil
'They have ... germs that eat pretty near anything, and produce oil as a waste product.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories