Next Big Thing – artificial nervous systems

Scientists have created a graphene transistor that can record signals directly from living cells. Thought-powered Siri, here we come

Artifical nervous systems? Sounds like something from Doctor Who…

Nothing so dramatic. A team of scientists from the Technische Universität München and the Jülich Research Center has created a graphene transistor array capable of recording electrical signals directly from living biological cells – which could revolutionise bioelectronics.

Graphene? Is that –

The wonder material that can do anything? Yup. It's better suited to bioelectronic applications than traditional silicon as it's chemically stable and biologically inert, according to the team's report in Advanced Materials.

Bioelectronics? Tell me more

According to The Engineer, the transistor array could be used to create sensors and actuators that could be implanted in the brain, eye or ear to compensate for neural damage.

But I don't have neural damage…

That's as maybe, but there are all sorts of applications for this tech. Sensors in the brain that can pick up on electrical signals? You could be turning things on and off with the power of your mind before too long. Or even operating Siri with thought control – the possibilities are endless.

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