29 June 2010

We Are All Cyborgs Now:

The idea that a chip can interface between inputs and outputs of certain brain area is a very new concept in scientific circles, Prof. Mintz notes, although movies and TV shows about bionic humans have been part of the popular culture for decades. _ReNaChip
The chip sits just below the skin, on top of the skull. It senses brain activity via implanted electrodes, and it knows when to fire stimulatory pulses to the precise parts of the brain where they are needed -- to restore the desired brain function.
For now, the chip, called the Rehabilitation Nano Chip (or ReNaChip), is hooked up to tiny electrodes which are implanted in the brain. But as chips become smaller, the ReNaChip could be made small enough to be "etched" right onto the electrodes themselves.

For therapeutic purposes, though, only the electrodes will be inserted into the brain. "The chip itself can be implanted just under the skin, like pacemakers for the heart," says Prof. Mintz, who is currently conducting experiments on animal models, "ensuring that the brain is stimulated only when it needs to be."

One of the challenges of the proposed technology is the size of the electrodes. The researchers hope to further miniaturize deep brain electrodes while adding more sensors at the same time says Prof. Mintz. His Tel Aviv University colleague and partner Prof. Yossi Shaham-Diamond is working on this problem.

The international multidisciplinary team, includes other researchers from TAU — Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron and Dr. Mira Kalish — and partners from Austria, England and Spain, regularly converge on the TAU campus to update and integrate new components of the set-up and monitor the progress of the chip in live animals in Prof. Mintz's lab. _Source

More here, here, here, and here.

The ReNa chip would function as a type of "nano-controller", riding herd over specific brain centers -- depending upon the person's needs. Initially, the chips will be used for brain rehabilitation and to modulate the effects of various neuropathologies. Eventually, the chips will be used to treat behavioural problems. Climate change deniers and the like. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

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