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Biotech Communications Science

Neural "Extension Cord" Developed 141

Posted by kdawson
from the plug-'n'-play dept.
moon_monkey writes "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a 'neural extension cord' by growing neurons attached to a microchip. The cord is made by gradually moving two batches of neurons apart, as they naturally grow towards one another. This biological 'data cable' could then interface with the brain once implanted, the researchers say." From the article: "...in the long run, it may not be necessary to interface directly with nerves at all. 'In Europe most researchers in this field are using non-invasive EEG,' [an outside researcher] explains... 'The signals are weaker so more complex processing is needed, but not having to perform surgery on the nervous system has many advantages,' [he] says."
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Neural "Extension Cord" Developed

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  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:18PM (#17726230) Homepage
    Is it compatible with Windows Vista's DRM requirements?
    • No. It won't be.

      But they've already found a workaround.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kalleguld (624992)
      Not if it runs Linux.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Is it compatible with Windows Vista's DRM requirements?

      And is keeping a copy of portions of copyrighted material in your brain legal? I know mine is full of Simpsons material.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg (145172)
      Is it compatible with Windows Vista's DRM requirements?

      The roadmap has it slated for SP4; but I advise reading the EULA very carefully before installing.

      And beware the blue haze of death all in your brain.

      KFG
  • by Spazmania (174582) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:19PM (#17726246) Homepage
    not having to perform surgery on the nervous system has many advantages

    I nominate this guy for the Understatement of the Year award.
    • by Divide By Zero (70303) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:30PM (#17726428)
      Frag that, chummer. I want my datajack, and I don't care how.
      • by Lazerf4rt (969888) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:56PM (#17726842)

        OK, all you need are 8 of these neural data links, interfaced to a twisted pair cable. Plug that into a 10-BASE-T hub, and think really really fast to implement the 802.3 protocol in your brain. As long as you can remember your MAC address, you're golden.

        • by ross.w (87751)
          Don't forget to download your licence key from the server.
        • by davidsyes (765062)
          But, can you talk to GOD at 99 million BAUD, or will you need a Cisco Bridge to bridge that GAP (God-Adjustable-Pacing)? (GODBaud... pretty gaudy...)

          Oh, will God require a Crossing Over (sic) Cable, or a Straight-Through?

          Will that be powered wiring? Will it zap your ass into 7th Heaven? Or, will you just "fly away"....?

          hehhe ... Captcha: "imperil"
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I've been wondering myself if neural plasticity would be enough to decode the protocols and codecs used on the net... A rat brain evidently managed to operate a flight simulator, so why couldn't a human brain learn TCP/IP?

          Plus, there was an article some time ago about electrodes on the tounge letting the blind see thanks to neural plasticity, so maybe it'd be enough for me to suck on a CAT-5? XD

          At any rate, it seems to me the difficult part will be getting data OUT from the brain rather than INTO the brain.
          • by Doug Neal (195160)
            Maybe if it was learnt from birth like a spoken language, yeah.. but there's a lot of evidence to suggest that brains just aren't made to handle regular patterns (such as you might find on an ethernet cable...) and cope much better with making sense out of chaotic input. That's what we've evolved to cope with after all. Of course there are exceptions like expecting a certain day and year length, but again that's what we've evolved to live with. Epileptic fits are often triggered by patterns like flashing li
            • If we need chaos, we run NetBIOS. Problem solved. ;)

              On a more serious note, I guess what you said should lead us to ask what a good protocol for the brain would be like. IIRC the brain operated like a "pulse computer" or somesuch, so Ethernet-to-the-Brain wouldn't be a viable solution to begin with...

              Interesting post. I wish I had mod points for you. =)
      • by 42nnn (967835)
        if only i had Mod points +1 for shadowrun!
      • by iago-vL (760581)
        Just watch out for the Black IC!
  • I, for one, welcome our energy sucking brain slaving Matrix overlords
    • I saw a subtitle for the matrix once for when Neo wakes up: "I'm lying naked in a vat of nutrients, with my bodily functions handled by tubes, connected to the internet by a fiber-optic cable wired directly into my brain...THIS IS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE!!!"
    • One sec, I just got a cellphone fedex'd to me from some Morpheus guy.
      • If you're going to use a parody of the Mentat Mantra from dune, at least do it right:

        It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion
        It is by the beans of Java that my thoughts acquire speed
        The hands acquire shakes
        The shakes become a warning.
        It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
  • Power Strip (Score:3, Funny)

    by eviloverlordx (99809) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:22PM (#17726282)
    Extension cords are well and good, but what we really need is a neural power strip. You can never have too many of those.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DBCubix (1027232)
      USB gadgets are cool and everything, but I am waiting for the neural gadgets to warm my coffee, light silly lights, and the neural-powered George Foreman grill would be cool too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by xeromist (443780)
        Yes, but for the typical slashdotter a neural powered grill might be a bad idea. Imagine the fire hazzard if they were hooked up when they read the latest DRM or MS article!!!
        • > Imagine the fire hazard if they were hooked up when they read the latest DRM or MS article!!!

          Flame on!

          (Sorry :-)
    • by CRCulver (715279)

      Me, I'm waiting for a droud a la Larry Niven's The Ringworld Engineers [amazon.com] . Aren't we all waiting to become drooling, grinning wireheads, spending 23 and a half hours a day with current going straight to the pleasure center of our brains.

      Well, with the time one spends on Slashdot, maybe there wouldn't be much of a change...

      • Aren't we all waiting to become drooling, grinning wireheads, spending 23 and a half hours a day with current going straight to the pleasure center of our brains.

        Speak for yourself. I just want a way to aim my car-mounted LMG while I drive.

    • I want a neural power squid [thinkgeek.com].
  • oh yeah... (Score:5, Funny)

    by macadamia_harold (947445) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:23PM (#17726300) Homepage
    The cord is made by gradually moving two batches of neurons apart, as they naturally grow towards one another. This biological 'data cable' could then interface with the brain once implanted, the researchers say.

    That way, in the future, people can have an almost lifelike experience watching Ow! My Balls!
    • by vtolturbo (729585)
      yeah, and men can finally experience menstrual cramping and childbirth. great... i'm much more interested in the experience of a female orgasm, personally.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Gat0r30y (957941)
        i'm much more interested in the experience of a female orgasm, personally. I'll bet your into unicorns and other mythical type things too man. Seriously, its a neural extension cord, it cant make imaginary things become real.
  • Finally... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by End Program (963207) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:23PM (#17726304)
    "Real" virtual p0rn!

    Come to Papa, Jenna.
  • Forget eyesight, I want sonar. Brain to brain networking would be cool to, maybe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by steveo777 (183629)

      Brain to brain networking would be cool to, maybe.
      Not if someone hacks into your brain and fills it with porn, penis enlargement, and second mortgage ads. Nothing worse than having to 'click-through' just to brush your teeth...
      • You just reminded me of Neal Stepehnson's Diamond Age [wikipedia.org], where they mention that one character committed suicide after his brain was hacked to show adverts in some Arabic language in the lower side of his sight 24/7.

        Also in one other novel I think it was by William Gibson [williamgibsonbooks.com] —but I'm fuzzy on the details, maybe I'm mixing it up with Strange Days [imdb.com]— they talk about how in the early days of brain interfaces they tried to watch the others recorded dreams but the experience was so bizarre that some of th

    • by vtolturbo (729585)
      with a little wifi and brain-to-wired network, i'm sure we could work out some rudimentary telepathy. who knows, maybe we could even manage to get 1200baud thought-sharing, though i doubt samba supports that.
  • "researchers in this field are using non-invasive EEG"

    I for one welcome our Emergents of the Emergency Overlords

  • by nizo (81281) * on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:34PM (#17726506) Homepage Journal
    I know several people with severe spinal injuries that could potentially benefit from something like this. Heck using this to restore the use of amputated and reattached limbs/appendages springs to mind as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Greyfox (87712)
      How about attaching a THIRD arm somewhere? I often find I need more than two. Hell I want SIX arms like that Indian goddess Whazzername! Finally I'd be able to carry the groceries, scratch my nose, find my keys and smack the kids all at the same time! Awesome!
      • by NMerriam (15122)
        How about attaching a THIRD arm somewhere?


        While on the one hand it sounds useful to have the extra manipulative ability, on the other hand you'd have to redesign clothes and cars and many things we interact with to take advantage of it. On the gripping hand, you would FINALLY HAVE A GRIPPING HAND!
        • by zCyl (14362)
          How about attaching a THIRD arm somewhere?

          While on the one hand ...

          I think we can come up with some better locations to attach a third arm.
  • Yay Degree (Score:4, Funny)

    by unchiujar (1030510) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:34PM (#17726508)
    Instant learning for classes. No I can finally finish college.
    I knew procrastinating worked...
  • by wtansill (576643) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:36PM (#17726530)
    "...in the long run, it may not be necessary to interface directly with nerves at all. 'In Europe most researchers in this field are using non-invasive EEG,' [an outside researcher] explains... 'The signals are weaker so more complex processing is needed, but not having to perform surgery on the nervous system has many advantages,' [he] says."
    We at "Lobotomies 'R' Us" would beg to differ...
  • Implications (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:36PM (#17726540)
    Sure - being able to read the impulses sent to muscles, immune systems, etc. will be great. Being able to interact with a truly naturally developed informational system can lead to a lot of obvious and non-obvious insights.

    What would be fascinating is if we were to discover interfaces that allow contents of memory or other brain contents to be read in this way. Of course, this is the start of a lot of sci-fi stories, few of which have a good ending - but if we were able to use such 'clean' techniques to read and store at least some of the contents of minds, I still think it would be a very good net change. Even if very few things are able to be read, and even then very slowly, it would open up many important insights - how massively multi-nerve systems communicate, how memories change in terms of pure data.

    On a personal level, it would be a really nice change to be able to leave behind a little undiluted, untranslated part of my memories and self in the world beyond genetics and teaching others, rather than just let it all rot or hope for a supernatural rescue. It's not the loss of the self that annoys me about our current idea of death, it's the total loss of information that we currently accept as part of the process. Even if it was just a database for others to query, I'd love for my raw memories to live beyond myself.

    Ryan Fenton

    • by Lazerf4rt (969888)
      our current idea of death

      Whose current idea of death? I assure you my current idea of death is quite different from yours.

      Even if it was just a database for others to query, I'd love for my raw memories to live beyond myself.

      You mean like Slashdot?

      • In most anyones current ideas of death, your memory's are no longer accessible to the living.
        There.. fixed it for you! :)
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      >I'd love for my raw memories to live beyond myself.

      I dont think that's possible. The patterns in the meat of your brain do not have some kind of universal or raw format. They would be a meaningless mess to another person in a best case scenario. Most likely they would be a painful epileptic seizure. Sorry but when the meat goes so does the memories. I'd start on my memoirs now if I was you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by FireFury03 (653718)
        The patterns in the meat of your brain do not have some kind of universal or raw format.

        You mean my brain doesn't use OOXML? But Microsoft told me.... :)
      • The patterns in the meat of your brain do not have some kind of universal or raw format. They would be a meaningless mess to another person in a best case scenario. Most likely they would be a painful epileptic seizure. Sorry but when the meat goes so does the memories. I'd start on my memoirs now if I was you.

        Just because the format isn't documented or understood, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Besides, the GP was asking for a way to get the information out and read, not to be used as-is. Even if it's only partial, I can see the value in that.

        • Having partial data from peoples' brains seems likely to be about as useful as 48 bits of a 128bit key - it might help in some way for those crunching the ciphertext, but on its own it's not going to make anything intelligible.
    • Re:Implications (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ClassMyAss (976281) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:59PM (#17726892) Homepage
      What would be fascinating is if we were to discover interfaces that allow contents of memory or other brain contents to be read in this way.
      This would be incredibly tricky, as there is no data format to speak of that the brain uses - program and data are all bound together in one messy lump. The parallel is actually very close to that of neural networks in CS: suppose you trained a network to implement some complicated function that had some parameters hard coded into it, like (for instance) to generate a sine wave at a few particular frequencies within some range of input. How would you go about reading those parameters from the weight structure? Your only option is really to look at and interpret the output, since the network has not necessarily encapsulated away the sine function and stored the parameters separately (though it might have). Such is the problem with the brain, at least barring some incredible discovery in neuroscience that shows us that the brain does have a central data repository. Alas, to my understanding, the data storage literally happens along the very connections that perform the data processing, so I doubt that this is feasible.

      However, this is still a very interesting development, as neurons have proven to be quite adaptable, so one could (in theory) learn to recieve or transmit a data feed to an off-site storage location. What I see as more plausible is that one could in theory wean his/herself off of brain-based permanent memory and attempt to rely more and more on the external data feed. This is not as clean as a hard copy of the brain, but provided that the data path was sufficiently wide and the person was trained exceptionally well, could be a decent approximation, especially if you got skilled enough to subconsciously feed records of your thoughts and perceptions into your "backup." But I don't think it will be easy!

      Gotta wonder who's going to weasel the patent system into blocking further inquiry on this one, though!
      • Well, in any case, any access to the raw data of the brain would be an improvement to me. Even if all minds are incomprehensible mazes of virtual languages never spoken before in any other brain, I'd love the data itself to be collectible onto some medium. Given enough data sources, the steps each brain goes through to communicate with the outside world may be able to be decoded, and perhaps some day we may be able to at least have a simulation of previously recorded memory.

        Much akin to the development of
        • Well, in any case, any access to the raw data of the brain would be an improvement to me. Even if all minds are incomprehensible mazes of virtual languages never spoken before in any other brain, I'd love the data itself to be collectible onto some medium. Given enough data sources, the steps each brain goes through to communicate with the outside world may be able to be decoded, and perhaps some day we may be able to at least have a simulation of previously recorded memory.

          Yes, I'll wholeheartedly agree t

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by NMerriam (15122)
        This would be incredibly tricky, as there is no data format to speak of that the brain uses - program and data are all bound together in one messy lump.


        That's the clearest evidence against Intelligent Design I've heard all week. Everybody knows that a real God would have used a Model-View-Controller architecture.
        • That's the clearest evidence against Intelligent Design I've heard all week. Everybody knows that a real God would have used a Model-View-Controller architecture.

          First, I have to give the obligatory chuckle to this, but it actually brings up a serious question for CS: is it possible that our current inclination to separate function from state is seriously damaging the prospects for pushing the field further? Evolution tends to be a discriminating bitch when it comes to finding effective ways to solve nast

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by David_Shultz (750615)
      You're reading into this technology much more than you should be -there's nothing there to even suggest that we can interface meaningfully with these new chips at all, let alone consciously using them as storage devices.

      If you're looking for something that will maintain information about yourself after your death, it's called a book and it's been around for awhile. Write a diary or a biography if you feel so inclined.
    • What would be fascinating is if we were to discover interfaces that allow contents of memory or other brain contents to be read in this way.

      As an anti-terrorism measure, all citizens are required to have their brain contents submitted to a government database in real-time.

      If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear and anyone who does not agree to this measure must be a terrorist.
    • by andphi (899406)
      It is an interesting idea. One question, meant seriously: when dealing with external memories that belong to someone else, how do we sort out data from meta-data, or alternately, data that has rarely been accessed and must be got at through layers of meta-data?

      I can imagine that there are portions of every person's memory that are rarely accessed but not so isolated as to die out entirely. Would that one spark still be raw, or would it have become re-contextualized by the act of accessing it?
      • Well, the idea would be to just gather the data in a static state (even if reading is somewhat enforcing what is read at the time) in whatever imperfect state is possible, then have it in a format that can be queried as many times as needed without degrading or changing that data. Of course, there's many potential problems at every point - but hopefully the data combined with a structural image of the brain will give clues on what to look for next. I highly doubt that if we were able to get consistent dat
    • If this technology ever came to be, I would like to visit all of my old professors, most especially the math professors. And NO, I am not interested in getting their knowledge of math directly from their brain. I really, REALLY want to give them back everything I got from their classes. I can't think of a worse thing I could ever do.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by powerpants (1030280)
        If you couldn't handle their classes, what makes you think you could overpower them mentally? You might just be setting yourself up for... whatever-the-fook-we're-talking-about.
  • While being able to detect neural impulses and induce them in live connected nerve cells is an impressive feat, it does not really make deciphering or producing complex nerve signals, such as those associated with sight, hearing or thought, particularly easier.
    The ability to apply a voltage to a few dozen nerve cells does not make it possible to interface with the human nervous system in a seamless way as is suggested as future advancement. I can only assume that this refers to a long time in the future, af
  • If any story deserves to have the "Bill Gates Borg" icon, it's this one.
  • I love hearing about this research. I'll be one of the first in line to get a brain-computer interface installed/implanted. It's been a long time dream of mine to be able to lay back and do some programming without having to lift a finger. I've already started working on my own EEG [sourceforge.net], but I'm a bit too lazy to finish it. I have more to say, but I'm too lazy to continue typing.
  • Can anyone explain non-invasive EEG versus (I guess) invasive EEG?
    • 'Non-invasive' is probably being redundantly used to quickly describe an EEG - given that most people don't know what one is.

      Medical Encyclopedia - EEG [nih.gov]
      Electroencephalogram (EEG) [webmd.com]

      An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain by using sensors attached to your head and connected by wires to a computer.
    • by Mprx (82435)
      If you put the electrodes under the skull you get much better signal quality.
    • Re:Non-invasive EEG? (Score:4, Informative)

      by David_Shultz (750615) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @03:16PM (#17727196)
      Can anyone explain non-invasive EEG versus (I guess) invasive EEG?

      They don't mean "non-invasive EEG", they mean "non-invasive", which means no surgery is requried. This happens to be an EEG helmet. The alternative, "invasive", involves of course the surgical implantation of some interfacing device.

      Briefly, non-invasive currently sucks. It's nice in that it can work by just wearing a helmet, but you can only (currently) reliably get one bit of information out of it (I vaguely remember hearing about someone getting two, not sure). non-invasive systems are also bulky and require a lot of preparation to use. Also, they require training to use the system and some people are incapable of using it.

      Invasive kind of sucks because you have to have your head opened up, but the results are quite impressive. They have trained a rat to mentally control a water dispensing robot, and they have gotten a monkey to control a robotic arm, for example. Read "the Body Electric" by James Geary. Obviously it's harder to get testing on humans for invasive technologies off the ground.

  • I know kung foo.
    • I am Monkeo (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I know flung poo.
  • The days of the memory stick industry are counted ...
  • Nice, but (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hypermanng (155858) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @02:51PM (#17726770) Homepage
    It's all well and good to "biopatch" if you will, but machine-biological interfaces are really the holy grail. Machine engineering is far easier than biological engineering, more replaceable, more durable, and eventually more versatile. If your arm is amputated, we can either restore some basic functionality with a neural extension cord, or we can put a big fat processor connected to precise abiological sensors on it to provide all the proprioceptive and tactile data the original arm would have supplied. The only problem is presentation of that data to our biological brains. For that we'd still need some sort of electrode grid or something. Not an easy problem, but at least if it's solved once it's more or less solved for all time. Trying to regrow biological parts involves a gajillion types of tissue and membranes and so on in bewildering variety. Nature did not design us for easy reverse engineering.

    In any case, biopatching is great and tractible for reconnecting pieces that already fundamentally work, but for wholesale replacement at a high grade of function we still need that bridge.
    • Machine engineering is far easier than biological engineering, more replaceable, more durable, and eventually more versatile.

      More durable? When was the last time you saw a significantly complex machine that could run non-stop for 80 years or more?

      Sure, it might be easier to replace broken parts on a machine, but those parts generally wear out a _lot_ faster than biological parts (which are usually inherently being replaced cell by cell throughout their life).
      • With machines, you can just replace damaged parts. Biological parts usually wear out even faster than machines, but as you point out there's mechanisms in place to repair the bioparts along the way. Think of modern manufacturing as being the repair process writ large and simplified. In that view, a number of 16th century windmills have far outlasted any of the biological machines that built them. Perhaps those are insufficiently complex to qualify in your mind, or maybe they are insufficiently non-stop
    • by KlaymenDK (713149)

      The only problem is presentation of that data to our biological brains. For that we'd still need some sort of electrode grid or something. Not an easy problem, but at least if it's solved once it's more or less solved for all time.

      I very much agree with your view about manufacturability, but I do want to say that the presentation, or interface, is not necessarily as big a problem as you think -- it's just untested.

      When a baby is born, it's not fully aware of its body and all the sensory inputs that it provides; the brain has to learn to interpret all those signals. And is amazingly good at it -- take for instance the balance nerve and the very rich information it provides -- with a reasonable amount of training it becomes "second na

  • i've wanted a neural jack ever since i first watched Johnny Mnemonic
  • I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine, just as the good doctor intended. But what I cannot shake, and what hints at things to come, is that thoughts cross back. In my dreams, the sensibility of the machine invades the periphery of my consciousness: dark, rigid, cold, alien. Evolution is at work here, but just what is evolving remains to be seen.
    Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Man and Machine"
  • So does this mean I can finally just send my brain to work while I stay home without dieing? hmmm.... I'll need to grow hands from my brain too, so it can shut off the alarm clock on its way out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by corbettw (214229)
      That would be the exact opposite of what a number of my coworkers do currently.
  • Other possibilities? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anethema (99553) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @03:01PM (#17726930) Homepage
    Would it be possible to use this or a similar technique to join breaks in the spinal cord? Maybe even for limited functionality if the 'bandwidth' of one of these cords isn't enough?
  • as long as the chip is not a Pentium 4.
  • by WarlockD (623872) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @03:07PM (#17727046)
    One of the things I like about the TV series is the depth and the questions they pose about the issues with this technology.

    Better question is if it can be stopped. The thing is that when you watch that series, you wonder about the safety rating of this technology. The first Window 95 computers were open to the world, internet wise, so will it be the same for the first 'cyber brain' installs? Will there be a point where you MUST have a retina mechanical replacement or atleast an optic nerve pass though just to read a book? Better yet, what about education? If all your books are DRM encrypted that is mandated to be bought from a school virtual book shop, used books, hell, books could just disappear. We talk about a lack of critical thinking NOW....

    Heck, it even creates the ultimate lower class. Those who not only can't afford to eat, but due to the lack of implants, even achieve a decent job. I mean, it becomes a decision to have your entire body mechanically replaced for a 5 year mining contract or living at the lowest end of the spectrum.

    Maybe I am over thinking this, but its psodo-mandatory that you have a state ID, why would some kind of implant.
    • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @03:38PM (#17727448) Homepage

      There's a tradeoff between "planning ahead" and "planning ahead so far that your plans have no chance of applying to the reality". You're risking the latter. An increase in understanding how our body works and how to interface with it / repair it is a good thing. Let's wait until we actually have prototype cybernetic implants working before we worry about the government making them mandatory.

      People are too infatuated with the Frankenstein myth, the absurd belief that research is innately dangerous. Research is *essential*, and not something that we should be stopping just because someone can come up with some unlikely scenario in which new technology could cause problems.

  • but not having to perform surgery on the nervous system has many advantages,' [he] says."

    Unless, of course, one happens to be an evil genius and/or mad scientist bent on evil world domination. I for one have had it with the constant anti-evil spin you brief mortals are constantly putting on scientific breakthroughs like this.

    "What are we doing tonight, Brain?"
    "The same thing we do every night, Pinky... no-longer-necessary surgery on the nervous system!"

  • ...at least when it is in a good and positive way.

    I don't so much like it when its a "Big Brother" is watching your every key-stroke kind of way. (Hi BB!)

    -2cents
  • ...to having my wet wire so I can download my engram to a black box. This will allow my program to run before hardware failure causes early termination and permanent data loss. Dreams anyone? I have dreams for sale.
  • Not to mention that non-invasive EEG would be one way. I don't want anyone hacking my brain.
    • Anyone can hack into your brain right this day. It can take the form of social engineering, indoctrination, culture, advertisement. People are constantly trying to break into your mind and place ideas there with the explicit intent of "programming you" to do something they want you to do, and I'd wager that's a more real concern that some physical tampering. Heck, I am doing it now by introducing this idea that wasn't there before. Are you aware of the the things you "know"? Do you have any idea of how much

  • but not having to perform surgery on the nervous system has many advantages

    You would still need to drill a hole in your skull and insert a little rubber grommet into the hole. Then, you tie a knot in the cord that is slightly larger than the grommet. This will keep people from accidentally tugging or jerking on the cord and pulling out part of your brain.
  • To communicate with the brain properly you need to interface with many individual neurons.

    I keep seeing people talk about decypering these communications. That's not how it really works.
    It may be possible to see some patterns, but to do it right, the computer side and the brain side need to adapt and learn together how to interract and communicate. Litterally the Brain grows new connection in the process of learning. Having Neurons grown on a chip in a dish and then have the

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