Combining neuroscience and chemical engineering, researchers at Stanford University have developed a process that renders a mouse brain transparent. The brain remains whole — not sliced or sectioned in any way — with its three-dimensional complexity of fine wiring and molecular structures completely intact and able to be measured and probed at will with visible light and chemicals.
Many advanced humanoid robots already look eerily lifelike but robots in the future may actually become partly alive. Currently, researchers are working on integrating living cells and other biological components with electronic components in an attempt to create bio-hybrid robots. These robots could act autonomously, imitate some animal behaviors, and have the ability to self-replicate some of their parts.
The film 'Inception' may be getting closer to becoming real. Using optogenetics, researchers have planted false memories into the minds of mice. The work potentially illuminates the mechanisms underlying the human phenomenon of “recalling” experiences that never occurred.
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IBM Research has presented the next milestone toward fulfilling the ultimate vision of the DARPA’s cognitive computing program SyNAPSE at the Supercomputing 2012 conference last week. According to the head of the research, Dharmendra Modha, “This fulfills a core vision of the DARPA SyNAPSE project to bring together nanotechnology, neuroscience, and supercomputing to lay the foundation of a novel cognitive computing architecture that complements today’s von Neumann machines.”