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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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Immune Cells Become Active and Repair Brain While Sleep: Study

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice

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Sleep
Study suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during Sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the Brain. Pixabay

Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we sleep.

Microglia serve as the brain’s first responders, patrolling the brain and spinal cord and springing into action to stamp out infections or gobble up debris from dead cell tissue.

“This research shows that the signals in our brain that modulate the sleep and awake state also act as a switch that turns the immune system off and on,” said study lead author Ania Majewska, Professor at University of Rochester in the US.

In previous studies, Majewska’s lab has shown how microglia interact with synapses, the juncture where the axons of one neuron connects and communicates with its neighbours.

The microglia help maintain the health and function of the synapses and prune connections between nerve cells when they are no longer necessary for brain function.

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice.

The current study points to the role of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that signals arousal and stress in the central nervous system.

This chemical is present in low levels in the brain while we sleep, but when production ramps up it arouses our nerve cells, causing us to wake up and become alert.

The study showed that norepinephrine also acts on a specific receptor, the beta2 adrenergic receptor, which is expressed at high levels in microglia.

When this chemical is present in the brain, the microglia slip into a sort of hibernation.

Sleep
Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we Sleep and affects Brain. Pixabay

The study, which employed an advanced imaging technology that allows researchers to observe activity in the living brain, showed that when mice were exposed to high levels of norepinephrine, the microglia became inactive and were unable to respond to local injuries and pulled back from their role in rewiring brain networks.

“This work suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the brain,” said study first author Rianne Stowell.

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“Altogether, this research also shows that microglia are exquisitely sensitive to signals that modulate brain function and that microglial dynamics and functions are modulated by the behavioural state of the animal,” Stowell said.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. (IANS)