[extropy-chat] Researchers get neurons and silicon talking

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 pgptag at gmail.com
Tue Mar 28 06:57:10 UTC 2006

Interesting news: European researchers have created an interface between
mammalian neurons and silicon chips. The development is a crucial first step
in the development of advanced technologies that combine silicon circuits
with a mammal's nervous system. The ultimate applications are potentially
limitless. In the long term it will possibly enable the creation of very
sophisticated neural prostheses to combat neurological disorders. What's
more, it could allow the creation of organic computers that use living
neurons as their CPU. Those applications are potentially decades away, but
in the much nearer term the new technology could enable very advanced and
sophisticated drug screening systems for the pharmaceutical industry.
"Pharmaceutical companies could use the chip to test the effect of drugs on
neurons, to quickly discover promising avenues of research," says Professor
Stefano Vassanelli, a molecular biologist with the University of Padua in
Italy, and one of the partners in the
funded under the European Commission's Future and Emerging
Technologies initiative of the IST programme.
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