An international team of scientists from the University of Southampton, the University of Padova, and the University of Zurich has connected a silicon neuron to a neuron from the rat hippocampus with an artificial synapse, opening a door to one day linking artificial and biological brains. The experiment is detailed in the journal Scientific Reports.

There are more than 100 trillion synapses in the human brain. Their job is to mediate signals between neurons. In this experiment, the researchers used just two to link a neuron made of silicon with an embryonic neuron of the rat hippocampus grown in culture. The artificial synapses, which the scientists dubbed “synaptors”, were each composed of a memristor with a metal-thin film titanium oxide microelectrode.

When the two neurons were linked by a synaptor, a firing of one neuron would lead to the firing of the other, forming a rudimentary brain circuit.

Image Credit:  Wikipedia Commons

more at realclearscience.com

News This Week

Could COVID-19 have wiped out the Neandertals?

Everybody loves Neandertals, those big-brained brutes we supposedly outcompeted and ultimately replaced using our sharp tongues and quick, delicate minds. But did we really, though? Is it mathematically possible that we could yet be them, [...]

How COVID-19 Reaches the Brain

Using post-mortem tissue samples, a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have studied the mechanisms by which the novel coronavirus can reach the brains of patients with COVID-19, and how the immune system [...]