back to article MIT goes down to the wire: Brain cable pipes electricity, chemicals, light straight into minds

MIT brain boffins have developed a tiny fiber that can carry chemical, electrical, and optical signals back and forth between the brain and an external device, offering an improved path for testing brain functions and interactions. The fiber is 200 micrometers wide, comparable to the width of a human hair. Described in a paper …

  1. Jon B

    There's some cruel buggers out there

    If it was anywhere except a research lab they'd be charged with animal cruelty. Sounds like they just enjoy this, and tag on some potential human benefit at some vague point in the future to justify it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's some cruel buggers out there

      Please make sure you are last in line to benefit from any future therapy based on this technique! Thanks!

      I'll be honest, I hate people too. Why do you think I work with mostly computers? Don't hide behind some great love of animals to denigrate science, you douche.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: There's some cruel buggers out there

        Thanks to animal experimentation, these protesters can protest for an average of 10-15 years more. Why is it that the people that didn't finish high-school biology think they know any better than anybody else?

    2. DNTP

      Re: There's some cruel buggers out there

      PETA kills 80% of the animals they get their hands on- most of them healthy and re-homable, and then fritters away donations from well-meaning people on celebrity billboards and publicity stunts.

      Meanwhile in the real world, responsible researchers are answerable to in-house animal ethics oversight, as well as funding agencies, the government, Retractionwatch, and the popular media. If you have any evidence that a specific project, particularly one that has just got a media profile, is cruel and unnecessary, lots of people will want to hear about it- assuming you're not just blowing hot air, of course.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: There's some cruel buggers out there

      It is cruel, but I have friends who've done similar work (ie studying the effects of various drugs on rat brains), and all those people took as good care of their experimental subjects as they could.

      They'd give up evenings and weekends to go in and care for their rats, worry about them when they were sick, and they'd hold them when they were painlessly put down.

      So no, the researchers do not enjoy being cruel to their subjects.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Go

    This is one of those tricky to get right enabling technologies

    In fact this is more than a simple hollow plastic tube. It's a waveguide, 2 tubes and 6 micro electrodes co-extruded together. so it can inspect (optically or electrically) or sample in many places. It can then alter it's environment by injecting a fluid or sending some kind of electrical or optical signal into that environment.

    I suspect it will be pretty widely used if it can be made at a reasonable price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Re: This is one of those tricky to get right enabling technologies

      I suspect it will be how our AI/Robot Overlords will control us...

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