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Musk’s Neuralink Developing Ultra-High Bandwidth Brain-Machine Interfaces

Founded as a medical research company in 2016, Neuralink has hired several high-profile neuroscientists

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Medical imagery can then be combined with AI to enable the reach of treatment to more people as well as provide targeted therapy based on individual symptoms. Pixabay

Not many people know that Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk owns a startup called Neuralink that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces, existing only in sci-fi movies at the moment, to connect humans and computers.

The least visible Musk company is set to reveal its progress in developing the technology to connect computers to human brains on July 16 during at event in San Francisco that would also be live-streamed.

“We’re having an event next Tuesday in San Francisco to share a bit about what we’ve been working on the last two years, and we’ve reserved a few seats for the Internet,” Neuralink tweeted.

Founded as a medical research company in 2016, Neuralink has hired several high-profile neuroscientists from various universities.

Musk, Neuralink, Brain
Not many people know that Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk owns a startup called Neuralink that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces. Pixabay

The company is focused on creating devices resembling tiny sewing machines that can be implanted in the human brain – to improve memory or more direct interfacing with computing devices.

Musk recently said: “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. It is mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.”

Musk believes that humans will have to explore the cyborg-like technology as Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to grow.

He has also responded to fans on Twitter about his progress on a so-called “neural lace”, which is sci-fi term for a brain-computer interface.

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Recent reports claimed Neuralink has raised $39 million of a planned $51 million funding round.

Neuralink has previously teased a product that would connect human brains to computers via an implanted chip.

In November last year, Musk told Axios that the technology would involve an “electrode to neutron interface at a micro level”. (IANS)

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Here’s Why You Should Follow a Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet can reduce frailty in old age

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Meditarranean diet
Eating a Mediterranean diet for a year could help keep the mind sharp and reduce frailty in old age. Pixabay

Researchers have found that eating a Mediterranean diet for a year could help keep the mind sharp and reduce frailty in old age. This is the latest health advice.

The study, published in the journal ‘Gut’, showed that following a Mediterranean diet boosts the types of gut bacteria linked to ‘healthy’ ageing, while reducing those associated with harmful inflammation in older people.

As ageing is associated with deteriorating bodily functions and increasing inflammation, both of which herald the onset of frailty, this diet might act on gut bacteria in such a way as to help curb the advance of physical frailty and cognitive decline in older age, the researchers suggested.

Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet boosts the types of gut bacteria linked to ‘healthy’ ageing. Pixabay

“Older people may have dental problems and/or difficulty swallowing, so it may be impractical for them to eat a Mediterranean diet,” they added. But the beneficial bacteria implicated in healthy ageing found in this study might yet prove useful therapeutic agents to ward off frailty, said the study researchers led by University College Cork in Ireland.

For the study, the research team involved 612 people aged between 65 to 79 years, before and after 12 months of either eating their usual diet or a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil and fish and low in red meat and saturated fats, and specially tailored to older people.

The participants, who were either frail, on the verge of frailty, or not frail at the beginning of the study, lived in five different countries: France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and the UK.

Previous research suggests that a poor/restrictive diet, which is common among older people, reduces the range and types of bacteria (microbiome) found in the gut and helps to speed up the onset of frailty.

According to the researchers, sticking to the Mediterranean diet for 12 months was associated with beneficial changes to the gut microbiome.

Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet includes fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Pixabay

It was associated with stemming the loss of bacterial diversity; an increase in the types of bacteria previously associated with several indicators of reduced frailty, such as walking speed and hand grip strength, and improved brain function, such as memory; and with reduced production of potentially harmful inflammatory chemicals.

More detailed analysis revealed that the microbiome changes were associated with an increase in bacteria known to produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids and a decrease in bacteria involved in producing particular bile acids, overproduction of which are linked to a heightened risk of bowel cancer, insulin resistance, fatty liver and cell damage.

According to the study, the bacteria that proliferated in response to the Mediterranean diet acted as ‘keystone’ species, meaning they were critical for a stable ‘gut ecosystem,’ pushing out those microbes associated with indicators of frailty.

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The changes were largely driven by an increase in dietary fibre and associated vitamins and minerals–specifically, C, B6, B9, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and magnesium, the study said. (IANS)