back to article Boffins place living creature under control of brain chip

Boffins at Tel Aviv University have successfully implanted an artificial cerebellum into the skull of a rat with brain damage and restored its ability to move. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that coordinates movements and it has a relatively straightforward neuronal architecture, which is why the researchers chose it …


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  1. Mage Silver badge

    OK if house trained

    If rats can be house trained and a small team able to make and bring a cup of tea then cheaper on upkeep than monkey butlers.

    Now if the implanted ones can also persuade the rest to visit the National Institute of Mental Health we may solve finally the rodent problem. Of course it's Asia they are more a problem eating up to 1/3rd rice crop. Maybe the Asians need more snakes rather than Robo-Rats.

  2. Filippo Silver badge

    Neat! I just hope they get to brain backups before I die.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On hoping they get to brain backups before one dies.

      I think you'll find that this is relevant to your interests:

  3. Scott Broukell

    And the rodent's ID is: RAT a2E

    (just feeling hungry - soz)

    1. K. Adams

      "RAT a2E"

      Very sublime; worth a free pint, at least... :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always with the monkey butlers, you're so selfish.

    Here we have a completely heart-warming story about how brain-damaged rats all round the world can finally look forward to some kind of medical treatment to help them in their tragic situation, and instead of focussing on how wonderful it will be for them to be able to resume a meaningful role in society and how happy this will make their families, all you can think of is monkey butlers? For shame, ElReg, for shame!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do you find a rat with brain damage? Oh wait...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      You mean there *isn't* an app for that?

  6. Graham Bartlett

    Neal Stephenson: "Interface"

    Anyone else thinking of this one?

    (And the consequences of WUBBA WUBBA WUBBA WUBBA WUBBA...)

  7. Asgard

    @"terrifying science fiction, enhance healthy brain function"

    Why terrifying? ... I can't wait. :)

    I would love to live long enough to see us all reach the level of a Technological Singularity. :)

    1. Captain Scarlet

      Have you never seen

      Pinky and the brain?

      Its terrifying.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This seems a little mean to the poor rat and his colleagues - most of whom were probably permanently disabled in trials. I suppose it is acceptable given the goal of reversing certain types of human disability though..

    But given it's origin I expect we are more likely to see remotely-controlled rat robo-soldiers being used to wipe out palestinians, before the technology gets used for anything more humane.

  9. call me scruffy
    Thumb Up

    Oh My Word!

    This might be a solid step towards meaningful spinal repair, improvements to certain types of alzheimers and parkinsons, and a prospect of some sort of future for ALS patients.

    I'd much rather less invasive drug/gene/stem cell approaches, but this could be here _soon_.

    Turn the clock forward twenty or thirty years, what are we going to choose, an implant that we know is second rate, or waiting ten years for a better biological solution?

    Impressive work.

    (And not from Kevin Warwick? Shurely Shome MIshtake!)

  10. Allan 1

    Cyborg Rats

    May I be the first to acknowlege and welcome our cyborg rat overlords?

  11. AndrueC Silver badge

    Politicians next, then. Should take much to map their brains.

  12. spegru

    May I be the first

    to welcome or new muroidean overlords.........

  13. 1Rafayal
    Paris Hilton

    Can I get some of these for certain members of my team?

    I think I could easily sell the idea of robo-brained developers to my boss.

  14. Ray 8


    when zombies are defetaed following World War Z, we can use these chips to train a number of them for mundain taks suchs as cleaning sewers and streets.

  15. James 100

    @AndrueC: They tried, couldn't find an electron microscope powerful enough...

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      I probably shouldn't joke. I couldn't even type 'shouldn't' properly the first time :)

  16. brain_flakes

    Go EASY on your EBEs

    This notice issued by the Brain Information Council

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone seen prof Warwick ?

    Just wondered where our own captain cyborg has got to nowadays ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Captain Cyborg? This is a million light years out of his league.

      Involving, as it does, real hardcore neurobiology, as opposed to shallow attention-seeking scientific-content-free self-publicity. Warwick isn't fit to pass these guys a scalpel.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's around ...

      He was on Radio 4 a few months ago.

      Nothing changed, of course. Still the same as he ever was.

  18. scrubber

    Enhanced Brain Function

    I want a maths co-processor.

    Then a graphics card.

    Wireless connectivity.

    Extra memory.


    Google Maps, Wikipedia, a grammar checker, a separate program to make my body do exercise while I'm sleeping...

  19. sisk

    Eh....this is an old story. It was on Yahoo news early last week. What gives Reg? You guys normally pick up on this sort of thing much quicker than this.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Me wonders when hacker are going to take an interest in hacking rats?

  21. Eric Hood

    Death to the future overlords.

    Put a cortex bomb on that chip and if they start to rebel, pop the cortex bomb and render the rat immobile.

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