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Brain Cells Fused with Computer Chip

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posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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The line between living organisms and machines has just become a whole lot blurrier. European researchers have developed "neuro-chips" in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together.


The achievement could one day enable the creation of sophisticated neural prostheses to treat neurological disorders or the development of organic computers that crunch numbers using living neurons.

To create the neuro-chip, researchers squeezed more than 16,000 electronic transistors and hundreds of capacitors onto a silicon chip just 1 millimeter square in size.

They used special proteins found in the brain to glue brain cells, called neurons, onto the chip. However, the proteins acted as more than just a simple adhesive.

"They also provided the link between ionic channels of the neurons and semiconductor material in a way that neural electrical signals could be passed to the silicon chip," said study team member Stefano Vassanelli from the University of Padua in Italy.

The proteins allowed the neuro-chip's electronic components and its living cells to communicate with each other. Electrical signals from neurons were recorded using the chip's transistors, while the chip's capacitors were used to stimulate the neurons.

It could still be decades before the technology is advanced enough to treat neurological disorders or create living computers, the researchers say, but in the nearer term, the chips could provide an advanced method of screening drugs for the pharmaceutical industry.

"Pharmaceutical companies could use the chip to test the effect of drugs on neurons, to quickly discover promising avenues of research," Vassanelli said.

The researchers are now working on ways to avoid damaging the neurons during stimulation. The team is also exploring the possibility of using a neuron's genetic instructions to control the neuro-chip.

Here is the original link: UniversalSeduction




posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 02:13 AM
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Wow!

Seems quite, out of Star Trek. Those Bio-neural Gel Packs.


I thought we were at least a few decades away from this.

The bit about the protein acting as more than just a glue, but also allowing the electronic components and natural components to interact is very interesting. And its found naturally in the brain! Wow.

But, where did they get the 'living' tissue from? I assume they're using mice or sheep brains or something.. right?

Edit: Because i forgot a y.

[edit on 17-4-2006 by ekul08]



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 02:18 AM
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When I first read that as well I instantly thought of startrek, small world.
My question was also about where they got the cells from in the first place...and if it wasnt from people when they were going to do that. If anyone knows.



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by ArchangelOfCool
When I first read that as well I instantly thought of startrek, small world.
My question was also about where they got the cells from in the first place...and if it wasnt from people when they were going to do that. If anyone knows.


Good question. I tried to do some researche but no luck. Couldn't fine nothing. The search in Google turned out to be usless...



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 11:08 PM
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Also check a real news story called "BrainGate". I believe it was on Discovery Channel last fall where a disabled individual is able to operate a computer cursor through a sort of interface that sounds much more primitive than using calcium channels as gate triggers. The charge on the Ca +2, would seem to make this at least plausible. That neurons (some of which can be up to 3ft long as a singular cell look it up) can be "teased" to interface with the silicon and actually "mate" gates in a comprehensible and consistent fashion is well - a bit fantastic for me.
I won't say it's not true but I see no "fact". Some people like these "fact" things.
I'm going to have a look at that "link" and see what gives when somebody names these so called "European" researchers and provides peer-review data - until then looks like a web page with an unsubstantiated story on it to me.
Thanx for the info.



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 11:08 PM
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Also check a real news story called "BrainGate". I believe it was on Discovery Channel last fall where a disabled individual is able to operate a computer cursor through a sort of interface that sounds much more primitive than using calcium channels as gate triggers. The charge on the Ca +2, would seem to make this at least plausible. That neurons (some of which can be up to 3ft long as a singular cell look it up) can be "teased" to interface with the silicon and actually "mate" gates in a comprehensible and consistent fashion is well - a bit fantastic for me.
I won't say it's not true but I see no "fact". Some people like these "fact" things.
I'm going to have a look at that "link" and see what gives when somebody names these so called "European" researchers and provides peer-review data - until then looks like a web page with an unsubstantiated story on it to me.
Thanx for the info.
Sorry second double post today? Just me? Please remove Thanx.

[edit on 18-4-2006 by V Kaminski]



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 11:12 PM
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Link to real research: www.cyberkineticsinc.com...



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 03:48 PM
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Heh, stuff like this reminds me of the Borg from Startrek
*shudders*



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 04:16 PM
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SO how long before I can buy an SD memory card for my brain?

IE... how long before this technology becomes useable by the public?



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 06:36 PM
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I do not know anything about computers, but I don't think that it's possible to fit 16 000 transistors on a chip 1 by 1 millimeters. If that was possible, why hasn't it shown up in cellphones and things like that? If they could make a processor like that, and it went fast (like it would have to do in order to work with the brain), I think that something like this and one of the tiny hard/flash drives would create some really tiny mp3 players and cell phones.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by sythlord
I do not know anything about computers, but I don't think that it's possible to fit 16 000 transistors on a chip 1 by 1 millimeters. If that was possible, why hasn't it shown up in cellphones and things like that? If they could make a processor like that, and it went fast (like it would have to do in order to work with the brain), I think that something like this and one of the tiny hard/flash drives would create some really tiny mp3 players and cell phones.


Heh. I get these kind of questions all the time "John... if such and such a thing is possible, why dont we have it yet?"

Simple answer... expense. Most of the technology you use in your day to day life is actually quite old concepts. The expense of bringing the new stuff onto the market is so high that its no where near feasable to do.

Good example is, its completley possible to build a machine that is capable of most human physical abilities... but nobody has a use for it that could justify the cost.

If I could get my hands on the parts, I would do exactly that... but I'm not a billionare, so I aint gonna bother...

Expenses include :
[Materials]; typically very precise size, structure, and chemical composition.
[Construction equipment]; not your typical micrometer exact equipment... the new stuff is capable of precision builds down to .0000000001m thats .001 micrometers. If youre not familiar with the size... a micrometer is well... way to small to see.
[Design]; It costs ALOT of money to hire people to finalize the designs... no matter how tried and tested the concepts are.
[Failures]; Prototypes fail, theres no way around it. No matter how good your simulators are, your prototype WILL fail. Its discouraging... but this is the reason we build prototypes. (Unless of course its a simple circuit... but I'll leave that to television remote techs... lol... inside joke.)



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 07:21 PM
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OK... sorry about that, I geuss i wasn't thinking about cost



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 08:10 PM
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lol, even us engineers forget about cost from time to time.

We get an idea in our heads and decide to go head first into it... only to hit the age old brick wall of cost versus feasability.

Its ok.

I personally would love for cost not to factor into it... man, what I could do with the technology out there if I didnt have to pay for it... I'd literally be viewed as god like...

ah... daydreams...



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 08:52 PM
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You bring up a very good point about cost.
Probably no one person or even company/corporation would have the massive amounts of money required.

There is, however one enity that DOES have enough $$$$$$$$$to develop things like growing nurons on computerchips or building robots.

IT is -drumroll please- the US military/black military projects.

Btw, i saw a show on tv(some 10+ years ago) showing a working version of the nurons and a chip. there was a man who uses a machine just like Dr. Steven Hawkings's, but controls it completely with his mind.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 11:29 PM
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Yes, it would really make my day if I got my hands on that kind of finding.

Controlling a machine using your mind isnt at all a new thing. Your mind gives out varying signals depending on what you think about, and or focus on. Machines (even a good enough oscilloscope with the right coil) can detect and show you those patterns.

For instance, the first thing we did with the new oscilloscopes was try exactly that... the more you think, the higher the amplitude gets, and the more the frequency changes. Its alot of fun... the annoying thing is if you get distracted and look at the output yourself, the signal drops back to its standard state as you are no longer thinking of whatever it was you were thinking about... which is why the experiment has to be done in groups of people... or with a recording system to play it back.

Where was I?... oh yeah... these signals were first noticed I believe somewhere around the sixties... and since then, alot of people have used them to manipulate such things as sound (first), then they tried visually representing the signals with color... then or at the same time, they were messing with using these saved patterns to manipulate circuits and machines.

Its not very expensive to do... but you do have to manipulate it per person, as each persons patterns are VERY different.

One persons anger could amplify the pattern... another persons anger could alter its frequency... so you would have to set it up for each person.

Of course you dont care about that with the oscilloscope test. You just want to see the waveform change.



posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 12:02 AM
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You guys really should take a look at this:
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by sythlord
I do not know anything about computers, but I don't think that it's possible to fit 16 000 transistors on a chip 1 by 1 millimeters. If that was possible, why hasn't it shown up in cellphones and things like that? If they could make a processor like that, and it went fast (like it would have to do in order to work with the brain), I think that something like this and one of the tiny hard/flash drives would create some really tiny mp3 players and cell phones.



Ehm thats the problem you dont follow the computer developments

Its going real fast forward..

Here ive got some examples from Nvidias lates GPU's (graphics processingunits.. the chips on all the latest nvidia graphic cards.)

G70 (110 nanometer) 333 mm2 302 million transistors about 900.000 tranistors / 1mm2

G71 (90 nanometer) 196 mm2 278 million transistor about 1.4 million transistor/ 1mm2

I feel pretty confident that cellphone microprocessors have more than 16k transistors per 1 square mm


[edit on 24-4-2006 by SilverSurfer]



posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 08:10 AM
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That's all Moore's Law. With what I'm trying to tell everyone is Moore IS DEAD.

Read the DARPA.mil thread:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
and then some of my sig threads for all the details.



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