Home > Uncategorized > The Opposite of a Cyborg?

The Opposite of a Cyborg?

While we have defined a cyborg, or cybernetic organism, as a human who has certain electromechanical features or technological implants, we have not yet explored the opposite end of the spectrum of life-machine hybrids:  machines wired with certain living features to help their function.

In the next issue of Science News, an article discusses new research into implanting nerve cells in computer chips.

A graduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and collaborating researches have lead this research and now, according to the article, “created tubes of layered silicon and germanium, materials that could insulate electric signals sent by a nerve cell. The tubes were various sizes and shapes and big enough for a nerve cell’s extensions to crawl through but too small for the cell’s main body to get inside.”

Artist rendition of nerve cells connecting to each other as they grow through system of tubes

The nerve cells have shown a consistent tendency to grow into these tubes and form physical connections with each other, however it is still unclear as to what kind of signals they will be able to communicate between each other.   With more research and time however, these nerve cells could provide a whole new way to communicate the electromagnetic pulses and other signals that help run various hardwares.  It will also help researchers study how nerve cells respond to different stimuli or medication.

As combinations of life and technology advance further, the defining line between life and technology begins to blur.  It seems that as time and research move forward, the hybrid fusion of man and machine will only evolve to even greater levels.  At least in this case it seems to be life that is taking over the machine, rather than the machine over life.

 

Link to article: Science News

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Categories: Uncategorized
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