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Wireless 'Neural Dust' Could Monitor Your Brain


Stashed in: Brain, DARPA, Nanotechnology, Nanotech!, Jurassic World, Opioids

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"This is a breakthrough technology that really changes what's possible in terms of sensing and stimulating nerve activity, especially nerves deep inside the body," Weber says.

Ultimately, the researchers want to shrink neural dust motes down to just 50 microns wide, or roughly half the average width of a human hair. At that size, "the body should tolerate them much longer," Maharbiz says.

The scientists are currently developing motes that can also electrically stimulate the body. If they are successful, this means that neural motes can not only monitor health, but actively serve as electroceutical therapies to treat brain disorders such as epilepsy.

Experiments so far with neural dust motes have only involved the peripheral nervous system, which serves the limbs and organs, and not the central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord. Still, electroceutical therapies may still have many applications in the peripheral nervous system, such as bladder control or appetite suppression, says researcher Jose Carmena, a neuroscientist and electrical engineer at the University of California at Berkeley.

This type of research always amazes me. I can understand doing it from a point of curiosity, but honestly... without any medical necessity, would the researchers be happy with this done, let's say to their children? And we all can say "slippery slope" re medical necessities only.

".... many applications in the peripheral nervous system, such as bladder control or appetite suppression, says researcher Jose Carmena, a neuroscientist and electrical engineer at the University of California at Berkeley." 

Good point, Marlene. 

Ian Malcolm Jurassic park meme

(just today, the slope is slipping)

N.I.H. May Fund Experiments With Human Stem Cells in Animal Embryos

The National Institutes of Health announced on Thursday it is planning to lift its ban on funding some research that injects human stem cells into animal embryos.

http://pandawhale.com/post/72881/nih-may-fund-experiments-with-human-stem-cells-in-animal-embryos

Sure feels like this hasn't been thought through. 

Funny, I was just thinking of how un-monitored my brain is. 

Enjoy it while it lasts. 

Perhaps your brain should be monitored, TPP.  :)

I was wondering how effective neural dust might prove to be for pain management.  It is certain to be a better option than opioids.  

It could be as addictive as opioids but in a different way.

hrrm...

Not having pain is addictive. 

Not disagreeing, but seems like less downside than opiates.

I agree with that too. None of the side effects of opioids. 

https://news.berkeley.edu/2016/08/03/sprinkling-of-neural-dust-opens-door-to-electroceuticals/

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