Typing directly from your brain, and other neuroscience technologies to watch in 2018

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Here are three fast-moving areas of neuroscience we’ll be watching in 2018:

[S]cientists at Brown University are developing salt-grain-sized “neurograins” containing an electrode to detect neural firing as well as to zap neurons to fire, all via a radio frequency antenna.

Such “stimdust” would be “the smallest [nerve] stimulator ever built,” [researcher Michel] Maharbiz said. Eventually, scientists hope, they’ll know the neural code for, say, walking, letting them transmit the precise code needed to let a paralyzed patient walk.

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Researchers claim they have developed the world’s first portable brain monitoring system that works as well as laboratory equipment. The feat was achieved by researchers at the University of California San Diego who created a 64-channel wearable brain monitor.


Facebook is moving full steam ahead on its “silent speech” program, said neuroscientist Mark Chevillet, who leads the project. Few people use voice assistants at work: “People don’t like to do it [speak aloud what they want to post] in front of other people,” Chevillet told a conference at the MIT Media Lab. But “what if you could type directly from your brain?” Early testing “tells us this is not science fiction,” he said. “There is signal in there [the brain] that you can harness.”

The three-dimensional [mini-brain] organoids scientists are creating from human stem cells grow functional neurons, distinct layers of cortex, and other architecture that mimics the full-sized version. The technology for making brain organoids is advancing so quickly — just this month, researchers managed to jump-start the process and create brain organoids in a few weeks, rather than months — we can expect 2018 to bring ever-more-realistic versions.


Read full, original post: 3 Brain Technologies to Watch in 2018

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