A kidney "grown" in the laboratory has been transplanted into animals where it started to produce urine, US scientists say (Regenerative medicine gives hopeful step towards easing the kidney transplant waiting list
The Department of Defense has long had its eyes on emerging neuroscience technologies. Should we be worried? (This Is Your Brain on the Department of Defense. $240 billion devoted to cognative neuroscience.
Personally, I think we should skip the cyborg part and just build giant remote controlled robots instead. NEW ON DISCOVER. Follow us on Twitter. @DISCOVERMAG ON TWITTER. POPULAR. OPEN. ADVERTISEMENT ...
A thin, flexible electrode, developed at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition, looking to make long-term measurements of neural activity practical at last.
tDCS is a form of neurostimulation which uses a constant, low current delivered directly to the brain via small electrodes to effect brain function.
The US Army and DARPA both currently use tDCS devices to train snipers and drone pilots, and have recorded 2.5x increases in learning rates. This incredible phenomenon of increased learning has been documented by multiple clinical studies as well.
Bioengineers have taken computing beyond mechanics and electronics into the living realm of biology. Scientists have used a biological transistor made from genetic material -- DNA and RNA -- in place of gears or electrons.
Transistors were one of the most revolutionary developments in modern computing. And that was without directly implanting them in our brains. Now, the first microscopic organic transistor arrays promise to let us do just that.
A conference to be held at Yale University in December brings together animal rights activists and fans of human enhancement… (Personhood Beyond the Human -Conference to be held at Yale on Nonhuman Rights - http://t.co/78VCeAJWYl...
And then there are the transhumanists who go under the knife at home or in piercing parlors to implant homemade electronic devices, such as magnets that provide the sixth sense of detecting electromagnetic fields.
US researchers have effectively given laboratory rats a "sixth sense" using an implant in their brains.
An experimental device allowed the rats to "touch" infrared light - which is normally invisible to them. The team at Duke University fitted the rats with an infrared detector wired up to microscopic electrodes that were implanted in the part of their brains that processes tactile information.
The researchers say that, in theory at least, a human with a damaged visual cortex might be able to regain sight through a device implanted in another part of the brain.
The experiment also shows that a new sensory input can be interpreted by a region of the brain that normally does something else (without having to "hijack" the function of that brain region).
"We could create devices sensitive to any physical energy," said Prof Nicolelis, from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
"It could be magnetic fields, radio waves, or ultrasound. We chose infrared initially because it didn't interfere with our electrophysiological recordings."
His colleague Eric Thomson commented: "The philosophy of the field of brain-machine interfaces has until now been to attempt to restore a motor function lost to lesion or damage of the central nervous system. "This is the first paper in which a neuroprosthetic device was used to augment function - literally enabling a normal animal to acquire a sixth sense."
In their experiments, the researchers used a test chamber with three light sources that could be switched on randomly. They taught the rats to choose the active light source by poking their noses into a port to receive a sip of water as a reward. They then implanted the microelectrodes, each about a tenth the diameter of a human hair, into the animals' brains. These electrodes were attached to the infrared detectors. The scientists then returned the animals to the test chamber. At first, the rats scratched at their faces, indicating that they were interpreting the lights as touch. But after a month - as shown in these videos - the animals learned to associate the signal in their brains with the infrared source. They began to search actively for the signal, eventually achieving perfect scores in tracking and identifying the correct location of the invisible light source.
One key finding was that enlisting the touch cortex to detect infrared light did not reduce its ability to process touch signals.