singularity gets just slightly closer
March 29, 2006 3:52 AM   Subscribe

Italian & German researchers have created a "neuro-chip" for linking computers with mammalian neurons (A NewScientist, LiveScience, MSN). They added neuron gluing proteins to the chip to attract the sodium pores, and genetically modified the neurons to add more sodium pores.

In the short term, the work is expected to aid the pharmaceutical industry in testing the effects of drugs on neurons, assist basic research into the workings of the brain, and perhaps help treat neurological disorders. In the long term, numerous sci-fi technologies are slightly closers, such as computers with living components, useful brain implants, and Beowulf clusters of humans.
posted by jeffburdges (15 comments total)
I know kung fu.
posted by pax digita at 4:12 AM on March 29, 2006

Having just watched the brilliant documentary, The Corporation and knowing a little about J. Craig Venter, the former head of the Human Genome Project and synthetic genomics, I feel some deep dismay.
posted by nickyskye at 4:18 AM on March 29, 2006

So, how long until I can download my conciousness to a computer and live forever?
posted by twistedonion at 4:40 AM on March 29, 2006

and then.... Total Annihilation!!!!
posted by Pendragon at 5:30 AM on March 29, 2006

I can't wait to transcend my biological form...
posted by farishta at 5:49 AM on March 29, 2006

This reminds me of the telekinetic monkey.
posted by Dr No at 6:24 AM on March 29, 2006

Cool, I can have a real blue tooth... ;-)
posted by Chunder at 7:09 AM on March 29, 2006

There are Italian researchers?
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:17 AM on March 29, 2006

It's a good thing that our robot overlords will be built by Italian and German researchers. This way it ensures that they will have to keep at least a few of us around for constant maintenance on their over engineered mechanics.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:25 AM on March 29, 2006

nickyskye, care to elaborate?
posted by gene_machine at 8:22 AM on March 29, 2006

Well, this sounds so much better than duct taping your laptop to your forehead. Which, let's face it, is what I've been doing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:54 AM on March 29, 2006

We are Trapper Keeper.
posted by FormlessOne at 11:53 AM on March 29, 2006


The thing with the singularity is that if you can see it getting closer, it isn't the singularity. You'll only know it happened when you can see it in the rear-view mirror.
posted by C.Batt at 2:20 PM on March 29, 2006

well, i can give you a criterion - if they can shut off the gene that makes me like lays' bbq potato chips (non-ruffle), i will consider the singularity to have arrived. i'd prefer not to have to suffer death, cancer, or fox news, either, but the lays' gene (P53?) is really what'll let us know. i mean... new tech saves lives first, then it gets degraded to providing crutches to lazy people with money, right?
posted by RTQP at 7:00 PM on March 29, 2006

Greg Verdine was doing this - neuron-on-a-chip - in 1988. This is just an incremental change in the technology.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:34 AM on March 30, 2006

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