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Thursday, January 19, 2006

From Remote Controlled Leeches to Spock's Brain

Remember the episode of the original Star Trek series... Remote Control SpockI believe it was stardate 5131.4, the USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, encounters a curious ship of unusual design. Upon contact, the ship emits a transport beam and a mysterious woman appears to the Enterprise bridge. She stuns the entire crew using a bracelet-like device, then examines each of them, taking particular interest in Mr. Spock, so much so, she somehow removes his brain, then disappears. McCoy then fashions a device to remotely operate Spock's brainless body.

That episode (along with most of the others) seemed like pure fantasy, but get a load of this...Scientists at the Max Planck Institute have developed "neuron transistors" that can detect the firing of a nearby neuron, or alternatively, can cause a nearby neuron to fire, or suppress it from firing. This amounts to two-way communication between neurons Mind Mapand the electronic-based neuron transistors. The Institute scientists demonstrated their invention by controlling the movement of a living leech from their computer. First leeches, then mice, then dogs and cats, then people!

What if someone was able to slip you a "neuron transistor" without you knowing it? They would be able to control you via remote control. Pretty scary stuff, huh?

Matt “Geppetto” Largo


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