View Full Version : Brain Tissue May Make Computers Go Live

16-11-04, 19:32

Thomas DeMarse, a University of Florida professor of biomedical engineering, has grown a live brain that can fly a simulated plane like a living computer.

Could we be moving inexorably to the eerie reality of "Donovan's Brain," the 1942 sci-fi classic about a brain without a body that takes over another man's mind? Probably not, but a University of Florida (UF) scientist's recent demonstration might make some brains think so.

"We're interested in studying how brains compute," said Thomas DeMarse, a UF professor of biomedical engineering who has grown a live brain that can fly a simulated plane like a living computer.

DeMarse's brain is a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, cultured from rat tissue inside a glass dish. A dish full of neurons initially looks like sand grains sprinkled in water. But in time, individual neurons begin to extend microscopic lines toward each other, making connections.

To demonstrate the potential of living tissue in place of silicon, DeMarse's experimental "brain" interacted with an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator through a specially designed plate called a "multi-electrode array" and a common desktop computer.

"It's essentially a dish with 60 electrodes arranged in a grid at the bottom," DeMarse said. "Over that we put the living cortical neurons from rats, which rapidly begin to reconnect themselves, forming a living neural network -- a brain."

Decoding the secrets of neural networks might lead to futuristic computers that people control, instead of the other way around.

"If we can extract the rules of how these neural networks are doing computations like pattern recognition, we can apply that to create novel computing Latest News about computing systems," Demarse told NewsFactor.

Full story: NewsFactor (http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_title=Brain-Tissue-May-Make-Computers-Go-Live&story_id=28418#story-start)

[ 16. November 2004, 20:33: Message edited by: Nicky ]

17-11-04, 06:47
Reminds me of "Lady El."

17-11-04, 13:34
This just doesn't sit comfortable with me.

17-11-04, 18:27
NOOO only humans are allowed to play tomb raider not computer-brains!!