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scientists create owl monkey 'borg

By Anonymous 242 in MLP
Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 10:33:47 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

Actually, scientists have taken the first step toward plausibly making a cyborg. Using electrodes implanted in the brains of two owl monkey's, scientists have been able to isolate the plan that monkey brains create a fraction of a second before carrying out certain actions. The scientists then wired a robotic arm to the electrodes which duplicates certain actions of the monkey. Read more in a NY Times article (free registration required) or a Scientific American article.


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scientists create owl monkey 'borg | 14 comments (9 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
first steps already taken (3.40 / 5) (#1)
by acestus on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 08:35:46 AM EST

Actually, there are already quite a few pieces of technology that are good first steps toward 'borgs. I know a woman, for example, who had a device implanted at the base of her spine to edit out pain signals caused by a chronic condition. Direct stimulation of the human optic and aural nerve have already been done, though they're rudimentary. Still, this looks pretty neat. If only they had some video of it. I guess the public might not like it as much if they saw a monkey with a shaved head and wires leading out of it. Bah!

This is not an exit.
other stuff (2.50 / 2) (#2)
by wolfie on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 08:51:21 AM EST

I've heard of epileptics having implants that let them know when a seizure is about to occur, don't know if it's true.. just hearsay.. interesting though.. perhaps if it weren't 4am i'd go look it up

[ Parent ]
Terminal Man (none / 0) (#5)
by Burb on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 09:54:14 AM EST

Or isn't that the plot of "The Terminal Man" ?

[ Parent ]
'Terminal Man' (none / 0) (#11)
by fluffy grue on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 12:40:46 PM EST

The plot of Terminal Man was slightly different than that (and AFAIK the RL seizure-warning systems are real). TM's device didn't warn him of seizures, they attempted to override them by directly overloading the pleasure centers or something, and so TM got addicted to having seizures...

Lots of pseudoscience in that book. Like the plutonium-based nuclear reactor implanted in his armpit...
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Damn (1.00 / 1) (#8)
by delmoi on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 10:23:07 AM EST

After reading that headline, I was thinking the sciantists were creating a single owl-monkey cyborg, not an owl cyborg and a monkey cyborg. I still think my first impression was a lot cooler :P
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Cats (none / 0) (#10)
by Michael Leuchtenburg on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 11:48:19 AM EST

People have also experimented in seeing what a cat sees by attaching electrodes to the optic nerve. They also attached a camera to the cat, and got some pretty neat video comparisons. I found it very interesting. I can't recall where it is, but I believe it was linked on Slashdot at some point.

[ #k5: dyfrgi ]
[ TINK5C ]
This doesn't bother anyone? (none / 0) (#12)
by jethro on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 01:03:46 PM EST

It doesn't bother anyone that they're sticking wires into a monkey's brain?

I was pretty sure there's be at lease some anti animal experimentation comments, here and on slashdot, but found none.

Personally, I'd rather lose an arm than have them experiment on a monkey in order to build me a bionic one.

Not only do I find animal experimentation to be, well, really cruel (duh), it's also been proven to be completely inaccurate at times. Experients on monkeys in the past have proven that smoking is not bad for you. Drugs that benefit humans kill cats, etc.

Anyway, sorry to rant but I really expected there to be more of these (:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is kinky.
How else? (none / 0) (#13)
by Alik on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 01:22:33 PM EST

How else are you going to do this? Where are you going to get a brain whose motor system is like unto a human's? (And yes, here the model has been shown to correlate well with the human organism.) How are you going to get a human to be willing to spend hours on end just reaching for objects?

The biggest problem here isn't the experimental pain --- having wires in your brain isn't actually very painful, as reported by humans who have them. It's the sheer boredom of it all. A monkey is willing to keep picking up food as long as you keep it fed, clean, and mostly happy. A human just isn't.

Should we do everything possible to avoid cruelty? Should we make sure that we use as few animals as possible and avoid killing them if possible? Absolutely. Any IRB will mandate such practices. But why is it necessarily better to do such things on a human?

[ Parent ]
Not "How Else?", but... WHY? (none / 0) (#14)
by Blake on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:21:02 AM EST

Your comments pain me. You ask "How else are you going to do this?", and the obvious answer is, we shouldn't do this. Using cybernetics to create someone a new leg... cool, but take a bigger look. What need do we have for furthering medicine?? The human population is out of control. Do we really want people living to be 150 years old??! We're descimating the planets resources at an alarming rate, why contribute to that by descimating its wildlife?

"..is it necessarily better to do such things on a human?" Well, I don't see any other animals benefitting from this technology. Causing others to suffer for personal gain is historicaly the motivation behind the world's greatest tragedy's.

[ Parent ]

scientists create owl monkey 'borg | 14 comments (9 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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