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Medicine

Scientists Couple Nerve Tissues With Computer Chip 92

patiwat writes "Recalling Ghost in the Shell, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried have coupled living brain tissue to a semiconductor chip. This technique involves culturing razor-thin slices of the hippocampus region on the chip, enabling them to record neural communication between thousands of nerve cells in the brain tissue slice. The hippocampus is associated with temporary storage of memory. Employing the new technique, the scientists working under the direction of Peter Fromherz were able to visualize the influence of pharmaceutical compounds on the neural network, making the 'brainchip' an exciting test bed for neuropharmaceutical research, with potential for further development in neurochip prosthetics and neurocomputation. The researchers reported this news in the online edition of the Journal of Neurophysiology (May 10, 2006)."

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