Brain Cells In A Dish Fly Fighter Plane

An array of rat brain cells has successfully flown a virtual F-22 fighter jet. The cells could one day become a more sophisticated replacement for the computers that control uncrewed aerial vehicles or, in the nearer future, form a test-bed for drugs against brain diseases such as epilepsy. Enzymes were used to extract neurons from the motor cortex of mature rat embryos and cells were then seeded onto a grid of gold electrodes patterned on a glass Petri dish. The cells grew microscopic interconnections, turning them into a “live computation device”, explains Thomas DeMarse, a biomedical engineer at the University of Florida in Gainesville, US, who carried out the research.

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