[Neuroscience] Re: nanowire/synases

r norman r_s_norman at _comcast.net
Fri Sep 1 17:00:24 EST 2006


On 1 Sep 2006 14:36:44 -0700, mimo_545 at hotmail.com wrote:

>New Scientist;
> 'Brain cells and robotics make a connection'
>
>http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn9838-neuron-forms-links-with-silicon-nanowires.html
>
> "The neurons grew on the chip and made
>  connections with the nanowires"
>
> "The axons and dendrites formed more than
>  50 connections per neuron with the nanowires,
>  each about the size of a natural synapse.
>  The researchers were able to watch signals as
>  they passed down the axon and through the nano
>  -wires."
>
>The wiring is static on these chips. As axons are
>flexible, what benefit does the flexibility give us?,
>and does anyone know of any research into other
>materials that might be used as an artificial axon?

What do you mean by "flexible".  Do you mean they can be bent easily
or do  you mean they are plastic, capable of changing their
connections?  It would seem that neither concept of flexibility
applies to the specific procedure described by the press release.  In
fact, the "synapses" must really be simple electrical interactions,
certainly not  chemical synapses.  In other words, the nanowires are
just electrodes capable of recording from and stimulating the neuronal
process which is attached.

And where are the artificial axons you ask about?  Do you mean simply
"wire", a structure capable of propagating an electrical potential
along its length?


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