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Simian Cybernetics

Brain implants 'read' monkey minds. (No, not that monkey mind.) A group of CalTech neuroscientists have been able to predict the actions of monkeys by observing neural activity in the parietal and premotor cortices related to planning and motivation (PDF.) Other research previously allowed monkeys to control a robotic arm with their minds; this observed the higher-level goal and value signals, and could lead to more natural thought-activated prosthetic devices for people with paralysis. [Via MonkeyFilter.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 10, 2004 - 29 comments

 

In Canada, the creation of new stem cell lines

In Canada, the creation of new stem cell lines from discarded embryos is now eligible for federal funding. And in the UK the first licenses to create new stem cell lines have been granted, as has governement approval to pursue therapeutic cloning. The chief executive of the UK's Medical Research Council predicts a "reverse brain drain" of stem cell scientists to the UK. If the US Senate votes to ban all human cloning this spring, even for research purposes, I suspect that America will lose a lot of great minds.
posted by homunculus on Mar 4, 2002 - 11 comments

Hitch a ride on a meteorite.

Hitch a ride on a meteorite. New evidence that bacteria could survive a trip between planets.
posted by homunculus on Jan 11, 2002 - 3 comments

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