Scientists at the University of Calgary have teamed up with the National Research Council Canada to put a network of human brain cells on a microchip -- in effect creating a (tiny) brain on a chip. Until now, when scientists wanted to monitor brain cells, they could only monitor one or two simultaneously, but with this new neurochip
, large groups of cells can be placed on the chip and observed in detail, as they go about their business "networking and performing automatic, large-scale drug screening for various brain dysfunctions," according to PhysOrg
. But that's just the beginning! This sort of advance could someday lead to neurochip implants for driving artificial limbs, treatments for strokes and brain trauma, and more. The Globe and Mail
even mentions the possibility that living neurons could be combined with silicon circuits to create an "organic computer." From that point it's only a matter of time before you're jacking into cyberspace with your Dixie Flatline ROM.