Nerve cells link up through tiny tubes

The affinity of nerve cells for exploring tiny tubes could lead to futuristic neuroscience developments:

Nerve-cell tendrils readily thread their way through tiny semiconductor tubes, researchers find, forming a crisscrossed network like vines twining toward the sun. The discovery that offshoots from nascent mouse nerve cells explore the specially designed tubes could lead to tricks for studying nervous system diseases or testing the effects of potential drugs. Such a system may even bring researchers closer to brain-computer interfaces that seamlessly integrate artificial limbs or other prosthetic devices.

The technology required to interface the brain with a computer is apparently still a long way off, but every step in the right direction counts. (Unless of course this is one more step toward a Borg future, in which case prepare to be assimilated.)

12 thoughts on “Nerve cells link up through tiny tubes

  1. “Hasta la assimilation, baby.”

    “They’ll assimilate her! That’s what they do! That’s ALL they do! You can’t stop them!”

    “Listen, and understand. The Borg is out there. They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are assimilated. ”

    Mmm, the crossover might just work :)

  2. Hmm, the Borg are quite clumsy and walk like the Tinman or the original Cylons, so I am predicting a very short movie… as long as, of course, the T-side whips out their T-1000 Liquid Metal model…

    And have one aging T-800 model to create undying one-liners and to show that the Terminator platform also ages and ends up looking like a 70-yr old Austrian bodybuilder.

    I am still trying to figure out why the T-800 model had to have a thick Austrian accent? ;)

  3. The accent was due to a labor union contract Skynet made with the EU machine shops.

    There was a fierce debate whether to use Austrian, French or German accent. The British was deemed too refined, so after a number of bribes and a few plants were destroyed, the Austrians made a compelling case and won.

    Sadly, all this was left on the cutting floor, it would have cast the entire film in a new a light, one of upper management struggles against unions, and showing the factions within the Skynet empire.

  4. All of that can be in the Director’s Cut.

    The sequel will feature a scruffy-looking American who ducks disgruntled union members and rogue Borg survivors to complete the ultimate mission of leaving a flaming bag of dog poop on Skynet’s front porch.

  5. Oh, yes. Followed by the realization that the garden gnomes are in fact liquid metal mini-terminators …

    Say, this is pretty good. Who says you can’t write a great movie using cliché, refried story elements, and stream of consciousness?

  6. Sarah & Russel,

    I’d definitely go to see the movie you are creating here… Union Enforcers vs. SkyNet Super Computer vs. Thick Accented Austrian Lobbyists vs. Liquid Metal Garden Gnomes… And a flaming bag of dog poop on a porch as a metaphoric ending.

    Why do I want to go to see this movie?

    Well, this would be the best story on the silver screen right now.

  7. Several years ago on NPR there was a program about a music project where somebody took all of the most-liked elements of music — things like pop vocals, guitars, etc. — and put them all together in one song, and then took all of the least-liked elements of music — stuff like tubas, rap, and opera singing — and put all of those in one song, as well. What was the result? The most-liked elements made a stultifyingly boring song that no one liked. The least-liked elements, however, combined to make a song that, while it was a bit crazy, was a lot of fun.

    Hollywood is stuck in a rut of combining all of the popular elements of movies, only to end up producing “entertainment” that’s boring beyond belief. If filmmakers can’t come up with anything that’s good and original, they should try combining all of the worst elements of story-telling into one big schlock extravaganza. At least they’d have something that was interesting. They can start with our storyline for Borg vs. Skynet: Attack of the Garden Gnominators. We don’t even need to be paid, as long as they put us in the credits.

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