The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out...


Various engineers around the world are working at nanotechnological scales. As this new vista of Evil Robotics takes increasingly coherent shape, it will give the acolytes an entirely new toolbox, with which to assail a choice strategic weakness of organic-y, squishy, humanity; "machine-like" interactions on the cellular-nervous level.

Here is a, small, insight into what fresh worries these technologies may visit on your neighborhood or, perhaps, your brain. Check out what the voracious nanomaterials team, indeed, The Mighty Wolverines, of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, are accomplishing, chewing up mouse nerve cells and nanotubes, just as courageously as their football team chews up the gridiron.

Apples and OrangesApples and Oranges

"Nerve-cell tendrils readily thread their way through tiny semiconductor tubes, researchers find, forming a crisscrossed network like vines twining toward the sun [ERN - the fabled "Dark Sun" of Evil Robot mythology and lore...]. The discovery that offshoots from nascent mouse nerve cells explore the specially designed tubes could lead to tricks for studying nervous system diseases or testing the effects of potential drugs. Such a system may even bring researchers closer to brain-computer interfaces that seamlessly integrate artificial limbs or other prosthetic devices [ERN - e.g., Shoulder-mounted gatling lasers]."

"Brain-Tech Ramen" , with extra flavor packets..."Brain-Tech Ramen" , with extra flavor packets...

"...'They [mouse nerve cells] seem to like the tubes [ERN - Do they now?],' says biomedical engineer Justin Williams, who led the research. The approach offers a way to create elaborate networks with precise geometries, says Williams. 'Neurons left to their own devices will kind of glom on to one another or connect randomly to other cells, neither of which is a good model for how neurons work.' "

Full Story @ Wired Science