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Single-walled carbon nanotube and multi-walled carbon nanotube  (Source: itech.dickinson.edu)
Carbon Nanotubes used to create a synapse circuit

University of Southern California researchers have come one step closer to building a synthetic brain through the invention of a carbon nanotube synapse circuit. 

Professor Alice Parker and Professor Chongwu Zhou, leaders of the study from the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, have developed a carbon nanotube synapse circuit that acts like a neuron, and could potentially be used to create a synthetic brain in an effort to better understand brain function.  

Parker and Zhou wanted to use carbon nanotubes specifically because they are exceptionally tiny carbon structures that can be used as semiconductors or metallic conductors in electronic circuits. 

"This is a necessary first step in the process," said Parker. "We wanted to answer the question: Can you build a circuit that would act like a neuron? The next step is even more complex. How can we build structures out of these circuits that mimic the function of the brain, which has 100 billion neurons and 10,000 synapses per neuron?"

While this research is in the beginning stages, the team plans to create a network of analog circuits that act similarly to the human brain's complex connections between neurons. The next step is to increase the plasticity in the circuits in order to make them more life-like and functional like the human brain.  

Parker and Zhou believe the development of a network of analog circuits in a synthetic human brain could lead to prosthetic nanotechnology that would aid in the treatment of brain injuries. It could also lead to new auto technology that would protect drivers in a whole new way.

A complete synthetic brain or a functional brain area will not be completed for decades, according to Parker. The brain's complex processes such as producing neurons and making connections will be difficult to reproduce, but this research is a crucial first step in that direction. 



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By umop apisdn on 4/25/2011 2:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
"Our neural pathways have become accustomed to your sensory input patterns."




By callmeroy on 4/25/2011 3:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know if you are familiar with the song or the band..but your post immediately made me start playing "Body Electric" in my head....(by Rush)....

"one zero zero one zero zero one....S O S!!"...lol...


By PaterPelligrino on 4/25/2011 9:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting how the length of your title - all those ones and zeros - completely f'cked the formatting of this page. It's like what hackers do when they find an unintentional flaw in the base code of a program.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/25/2011 9:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
OK, let me modify that: in Firefox 4, the page doesn't display properly (the ones and zeros in the title are all displayed in one long line), but in Opera, the title becomes two lines and the formatting of the page is not effected - not that anyone but me cares.


By Alexvrb on 4/25/2011 9:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a firefox 4 rendering issue. Seems OK in Opera, IE8, and IE9. Haven't tried older FF, nor will I.


By rabbitslayer21 on 4/26/2011 1:40:09 AM , Rating: 2
Rockmelt 0.9.50.549 messed up too.


By Omega215D on 4/26/2011 10:03:21 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, the same with Google Chrome, Firefox 4 here. Only IE9 and Opera don't seem to have this problem when I checked.


By ekv on 4/25/2011 10:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
"Lt. Cmdr. Data"


The creationists will now cry, foul!
By MartyLK on 4/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: The creationists will now cry, foul!
By callmeroy on 4/25/2011 3:26:39 PM , Rating: 4
I'm going to surprise you in two ways...First -- I agree with you. Second - I am a believer in God.

That said...your post is actually the main reason I often detest non-believers when talking ont he subject. Its not because you believe differently than me (at least that's not the major reason) but look at your post....its nothing but asking for confrontation. Its just totaling insulting someone else's beliefs...Ok fine you think religion/God/church/creation is all a big silly sham but do you HAVE approach it with the nastiness and disrespect as if someone just punched your mom in the face?

And yet folks like you constantly go around calling anyone and everyone that happens to believe in God as the nut jobs, screw balls, etc. etc....I just don't get that...it actually makes me laugh.


RE: The creationists will now cry, foul!
By Wiggy Mcshades on 4/25/2011 7:18:56 PM , Rating: 1
The nastiness is just paying it forward for all of the hatred religious groups have showered upon modern society. It's repayment for the literal reversal of technological progress for 500 years of human history. It's for all of the people who were lynched by good Christians. It's for all of the people who were ostracized in the past for daring to rely on themselves rather than one book written by other humans. It's for every kid who sat in a religious education class and had to listen to a teacher try to explain why someone's sexuality can actually be wrong. It's for taking away, from every person who believes, the unending potential that every human is born with. Your beliefs have and will continue to harm numerous people and you chose to stay ignorant to it, tell me why I should be friendly?


By Alexvrb on 4/25/2011 9:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
Your post and Marty's are both delightfully ironic. Ever heard of leading by example? Ever thought that your vitriolic speech makes you look just as bad? I didn't see religious zealots bringing this stuff up, he started in on them without any evidence or prompting.

Sounds like non-religious humans are just as bad as the rest. Even without religion, human nature remains the same.


By ekv on 4/25/2011 10:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
tell me why I should be friendly?
So exactly the thing you accuse others of, whom you claim to know but do not, you admit to being guilty of.

Wow.


By c4xp on 4/26/2011 4:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
Being or not being friendly is a conscious thought.

God gave us the power of choice and when you think about it, when we will create artificial intelligence, we actually forward that power of choice to the machines we are creating.

That is the miracle of creation.
To blame the religious groups for everything bad that's ever happend to us as a species is like blaming a kid for being mean with animals. He simply doesn't know better.

But you do!


By ShaolinSoccer on 4/28/2011 12:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
Defeating death would be the worst thing to happen considering the fact that it would let evil people live forever. Just imagine what prisons would be like. You don't have to be religious to see that.


No need
By Motoman on 4/25/2011 11:56:28 AM , Rating: 4
There are millions of people in this world who have already volunteered to disconnect their own brains and opt to use a cloud brain anyway to do all their thinking. It's really easy...all you have to do is buy an Apple product, and *poof* - the hive mind does all your thinking for you!




RE: No need
By Pirks on 4/25/2011 4:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah yeah, we all know Jobs raped your mama, peed on your carpet, penetrated all your pets and broke your sewer, that's why you keep stinking around here :P LOL


RE: No need
By Alexvrb on 4/25/2011 10:02:42 PM , Rating: 3
But Pirks, he did all those things to you too, and you licked his feet and said "Thank you master!". I think your reaction to these events is much stranger than his.


RE: No need
By Pirks on 4/26/2011 1:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
I think your reaction when you were double penetrated by Ballmer and Gates was even stranger.


its the programming stupid
By kattanna on 4/25/2011 12:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
while being able to build a physical replica of a brain is an achievement, its the programming of the brain that makes it function.

just as any modern day CPU core is itself a wonder of construction, without programming it is of little use.





RE: its the programming stupid
By Wiggy Mcshades on 4/25/2011 7:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Unless of course all of the functions are implemented in hardware.


RE: its the programming stupid
By ekv on 4/26/2011 2:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
That seems to work for Hollywood -- V'GER and all that -- but I don't see too many FPGA-type solutions powering, e.g., a cellphone (or Kindle for that matter).


RE: its the programming stupid
By Visual on 4/26/2011 9:06:03 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, its not.
A neural network can be trained on the go and not need much, if anything, pre-programmed. It boils down to having the neurons react randomly at first, but with time the more used neural pathways are remembered and become preferred, or something.
Yeah, I know it is not all that simple, there has to be something pre-programmed. Just wanted to point out, it might not be as much as you imagined.

Even some built-in subconscious "instincts" like the beating of the heart and breathing may very well be a result of training, during pregnancy when the parent's heart pumps blood through the child's heart, etc.


Next is Skynet!
By Litzner on 4/25/2011 11:54:58 AM , Rating: 2
Oh no, someone call Arnold!




Let's Be Honest
By mallen9595 on 4/26/2011 2:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
I predict the Democrats/far left will require these to be implanted, whether you want them or not, so you stop questioning them.




They Should Just Let Evolution Take Care of It
By Arsynic on 4/25/11, Rating: 0
By callmeroy on 4/25/2011 3:31:54 PM , Rating: 1
Don't know why you got slammed so hard rating wise...it made me laugh...

:)


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