Archive for the ‘Monkeys’ Category

Researcher Wires Four Rats’ Brains Together – Creates Bizarre Organic “Brainet”

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

At Duke University a researcher who’s pioneering brain-computer interfaces has circuited four rats’ together via their brains and created a gooey and organic “Brainet”.

Miguel Nicolelis, the neurobiologist pioneering this neuroengineering at Duke University has spent 30 years doing similar experiments in hopes of uncovering the secrets of the human mind.

Earlier, in 2011, Nicolelis connected the brain of individual monkeys in order to get them to work a virtual monkey arm and grab virtual objects with it using only their mind. It didn’t take long for the each monkey to grasp the process mentally and move their extra invisible monkey hand.

Nicolelis then wondered if it were possible to string together several brains and have the work together to perform particular tasks. He used four rats to test the idea.

In order to get a drink of water the rats would have to learn to work together mentally to get a drink. In a short amount of time the rats were drinking regularly as normal.

Currently the rats have Frankenstein-like electrodes embedded in their heads. That will change as the technology progresses until it’s completely non-invasive.

What can we gain from a “brainet” as humans? Will we eventually become Borg-like? Is it smart to move toward a hive-mind? Who knows.

Downside? Enough people are connected via their brains and someone hacks the “brainet” to make the world bow before them. Upside? Natural disaster takes place and we use the “brainet” to locate those in need of help and almost telepathically send the information needed to medically aid those people even though the person at the receiving end might not be trained in life-saving techniques.

The entire idea is still in its infancy as to the possible applications but as Nicolelis points out:

“These computers will not do word processing or numerical calculation or internet searches, they will be tailored for very specific tasks like what animals are tailored for. It’s a totally different kind of vision for computation that we’re not used to.”

The whole process is intriguingly involved and fascinating….and somewhat terrifying.

Imagine waking up and being hooked to someone else’s brain?

Or imagine that this is slowly becoming a reality….


African Tick Smuggles Itself Into US Inside Scientist’s Nose!

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Shel Silverstein once had a poem about a snail that lived in your nose and would bite your finger off.

Maybe he was inspired by something that’s been going on in Africa that nobody’s ever paid much attention to…until now…

A US pathobiological science professor returned home from an excursion to Africa. Three days later he discovered he’d picked up a small hitchhiker. That small hitchhiker was a tick. It had hitched a ride inside his nose!

After removing the tick using forceps, a mirror and a small torch, the tick was hustled off to Georgia where its DNA was sequenced revealing that this little world traveler might possibly be an entirely new species.

Tony Goldberg, the professor harboring this tiny nightmare in his nose, is now rethinking his theories about how chimps and humans exchange pathogens. Upon further research, reports and high resolution photos turned up these same ticks hiding in chimps’ noses as well.

In a statement we can all relate to, Goldberg says, “”When you first realize you have a tick up your nose, it takes a lot of willpower not to claw your face off.”

We couldn’t agree more…and we don’t even have ticks in our noses.

[Web Pro News]

Chimp Gets Cable – Prefers Sexier Premium Channels

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

While we all wait for the scenes in Planet of the Apes to play out in real-life, a female chimp named Gina will give us all a glimmer of hope that at least a small percentage of our future primate overlords will need us for a little sumthin’ sumthin’…

Even if that something’s acting out her favorite love scenes from high-quality fare like ‘Slappin’ Bumpies 2′.

For those still catching up…

Gina is a female chimp at the Seville Zoo in Spain. As part of the zoo’s enrichment program, Gina was given her very own remote control for a television mounted to a wall near her cage.

Not long after Gina began figuring out how to work the remote, she also found that she preferred certain channels over others.

Those ‘certain channels’ were the ones that featured the people that kept her in cages riding one another like pack animals (obviously we’re skirting the ‘P’ word because that tosses red flags).

Pablo Herreros, the zoo’s primatologist wrote in his paper on Gina and her viewing preferences:

“The surprise was when they found that within a few days, Gina was not only using the remote control perfectly well, but that she also used to choose the p**n channel for entertainment, as many of us would have done.”

At least we know there’ll be a few sympathizers we can count on when we end up in cages with bad day-time television blaring at us.

Even if they just want us for our bodies.

We went there.

[New York Daily News]

You See Red, I See Blue: New Study Says Color Perception Not Set, Can Be Changed

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

blue strawberry.jpg

Our perception of the world around us could be very different than the person next to you.

In extreme cases it could mean the luscious red strawberry could look like a bulbous blueberry to someone else. Even more mind altering, results of new experiments with monkeys suggest that these receptors can be altered, allowing us to see colors we have never seen before and possibly helping reverse blindness.

In work published in the scientific journal ‘Nature’, colour vision scientist Jay Neitz from the University of Washington injected a virus into monkeys’ eyes which enabled them to see red as well as green and yellow.

Remarkably the group of squirrel monkeys were able to make sense of the new information despite their brains not being genetically programmed to respond to red signals.

The result was that just four months later the monkeys could see in full colour for the first time.

As well as allowing colour-blind humans to tell red from green, the innovative technique could restore sight to the blind.

Could color blindness really be a thing of the past? Does it make you wonder how different the world looks outside of your own head? How freaked out are those monkeys right now? Is this basically Pleasantville for them?

[Daily Mail]