Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scientists Developing Microchip Device That Could Help Heal Brain Damage

Scientists are developing a microchip device that could help heal damage in the brain. The microchip, which is about the size of a quarter, may help guide the proper connections in the brain, following severe head trauma.

The scientists working on the device are Pedram Mohseni, from Case Western Reserve University and Randolph J. Nudo, from Kansas University Medical Center.

About a month after brain injury, the brain is trying really hard to redevelop itself. During that time it is sending signals throughout the brain and trying desperately to adapt around the damaged areas. With this microchip, scientists hope that they could "guide" the signals in the brain to make the right connections.

"The month following injury is a window of opportunity. We believe we can do this with an injured brain, which is very malleable," explains Pedram.

So I guess the brain is very "malleable" after recent brain injury. Neat-o.
Scientists call the device a brain-machine-brain interface.

They are experimenting and conducting researching with the device only on rat's at the moment. But they expect that to change in about 4 years, when they may advance to experimenting on primates.
Over the next 4 years the scientists hope to graduate from their rat experiments and begin work testing the technology on primates. And in 10 years they hope to be using it on human subjects if all goes well.

Am I the only one that thinks technology like this may lead to mind control machines? Just a thought.


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