Posting in Design
Researchers designed a proton-based transistor that could let machines talk with living things.
Flicks like "Source Code" introduce the concept of brain-machine interfaces. Though the notion of hooking your brain up to a machine has pretty much been "pure" fantasy.
This week, researchers at the University of Washington have announced that they've built a different kind of computer chip that could one day change the way prosthetics and biological sensors communicate with the human body.
What makes the chips different? Well, for one, the chips don't run on electrons. Instead, the researchers designed a prototype that is proton-based.
The idea is to mimic what nature already does already, and capture the electric spark sizzling inside a human body.
It's all those electronic goods such as light bulbs and iPods that require electrons to perform properly. In this case, the researchers built a system that involves field-effect transistors. Not only do the new computer chips allow the flow of protons, it also has an on-and-off switch that can control the current of protons.
Enter a new class of biocompatible solid-state devices. In it, the key material is called chitosan, which conducts protons.
Ultimately, scientists hope electronics evolve to communicate directly with living tissue. In this case, the chips would come in handy for directly sensing cells in a laboratory.
“So there’s always this issue, a challenge, at the interface – how does an electronic signal translate into an ionic signal, or vice versa?” UW's professor Marco Rolandi said in a statement. “We found a biomaterial that is very good at conducting protons, and allows the potential to interface with living systems.”
But heed this warning: The silicon based prototype should not be inserted into a human body. So in plain English, it's all about making it more human-friendly.
Developing a material that could directly talk to living tissues would dramatically change the game for implants. In the future, it's not far fetched to imagine how this integrated system could improve implants and be used to monitor and control embedded sensors in living things.
The discovery makes science fiction a little more real. The device could be implanted in a brain and hooked up to neural circuits. Beyond the science experiment, this computer chip may soon aid in treating patients with Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Ironically, as machines integrate more with man, the thought of uploading a person's brain to a computer is a wee bit scarey. Even if that's the case (and it's not), you could also remotely control it.
Until that time comes, you can sit back and watch the movie "Source Code" and imagine what a true brain-machine interfaces would be like.
Image appeared in the paper published in Nature.
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- Art? Professor surgically implanted a camera in his head
- Paraplegic's full time job: Testing a custom-made exoskeleton
Sep 21, 2011
Sounds farfetched, Thinking of Spider Man's Movie "Dr. Octopus" who was able to directly communicate with his robotic tentacles. But this one can communicate with living organisms, One day all incurable diseases would plunge out of your body. Regards Laptopaid.com
Terry Persun has a wonderful novel, Cathedral of Dreams #Booktrope Publishing, which deals with implanted computer chips that control emotion. His is a fast-paced, near future existential look at what might happen if computer chips were implanted in a society. Persun cleverly leaves it up to the reader to decide its potentials. Personally, I have mixed feelings. If it can cure or help the mobility of those with no or limited ability to use their limbs, it's a very exciting prospect. But, in the wrong hands, I feel that implanted computer chips can be very dangerous and once chipped, hard to control. But I don't know if that is reason enough not to go forward with such amazing technology. I surely would love to see those who cannot walk, walk again, or, for some, for the first time. But, like I said, I feel mixed. How would humanity stop inhumane usage. I'm not sure that is possible, either. Elaine Sangiolo Book Marketing Manager: Cathedral of Dreams, A Kingdom's Possession Booktrope Publishing www.booktrope.com www.booktropepublishing.com @inkdipped
The article was incomprehensible and meaningless.So are the blog responses to date. Grow up, all of you.
Yea to all attempts to enhance our abilities to communicate with all of our surroundings. Our senses are so limited... light....sound....touch... and who know what else. Thanks for making the attempt. I hope to hear (?) more about this.
Not really. It is just faster to think than it is to do. Asimov wrote of the Positronic Brain before our species was technically capable of keeping up with his ideas - along with many other great minds since our existence. We need to remember the cautions said along the way: How with such great discoveries comes the potential to be our downfall. Imagine mind/chip implantation being real and in the hands of those that are in power now? With the decisions they make...?* It is easy to see the story-line from there to where the Borg became what they were. We, as a Species, need to get our proverbial act together and work on getting people in power positions individuals that are there for the People and not themselves. Until then, such great discoveries with many positive benefits will be the stuff of nightmares and actually scary horror flicks - that only WE can prevent from coming true. Cheers and Kudos to those making such discoveries! What a wonderful story...I hope these are shared in schools - this could be what starts another great mind on a specific course in education. (I'm without kids in school so only know what I hear about schools from the news, which isn't good. Again, about those people in positions of power...) *If you are in a position of power and this offended you - then it is about you; if it didn't offend, then it is not. ;)
Hang on while I connect my quantum bit computer to my proton based brain interface. Ahhh. That's better!
Like everything else, POWER needs to change so that it is a true amalgamation of all. The web and the computer are approaching the time when democracy will really mean that everyone will be able to agree, disagree, or abstain from a decision. The Conscientious decision making process may yet be possible. That process demands everyone hear and decide to vote either yes, no, or abstain from a decision. I have been part of a true Conscientious decision making process. It is hard, educational, and by it's nature demands that opposing views be heard and considered. Living by that process would make us ALL better decision makers. I am hoping for that future.
Even though it was 'developed' with a positive particle, it was not protons, but anti-electrons. Maybe Asimov was too ahead of us, because handling anti-matter is still beyond being simple and requires a lot of energy as it has to be contained by magnetic fields (or any kind of fields Asimov didn't share)... I agree with the WE stand point... that's the only chance for this specie survival.