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 ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.
Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue
'... biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.
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.
Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'
You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'
Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'
Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.
Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.
VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'
Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!
China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.
Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories