What are bio-computers? How can they help us dive deep into the human brain?

Science never stops evolving, and this time, it has come up with a novel research area known as “organoid intelligence.” Can Science and Technology read the human mind? Let’s know better.
Understanding bio-computers!
Understanding bio-computers!

Hopkin University scientists very recently brought forward a plan for a novel area of research known as “organoid intelligence.” This particular field of study intends to create biocomputers. In such an invention, a blend of brain cultures developed and grown in laboratories, input and output devices, and real-world sensors are intended. The aim is to control the brain’s processing power and dive deep into the biological basis of learning, cognition, learning, and a myriad of neurological disorders.


Understanding the human brain-then and now!

Humans have always been inquisitive about the human mind. However, unlike all other parts of the body, studying the human mind has never been easy. Earlier, methods like ablation were used on animals, especially rats to study the human brain parts that are similar in both rats and humans. The use of brain studying techniques on animals and sometimes harming them eventually in the process of enhancing human behavior understanding has always been a controversial discussion. Moreover, while studying the rat brain was an easier and perhaps more accessible option to study the human brain, one cannot ignore the massive differences in the structures and functions of the rat brain and the human brain. Next came advanced methods like EEG, MEG, and fMRI to study the human brain.

Now, the technology is perhaps at its best, and thus, 3D cultures of the brain would be the next big thing. Modern-day scientists are designing brain organoids, which are actually 3D cultures of the brain designed in laboratories. These organoids would actually be called "mini-brains" and would be built with the use of human stem cells. These brains would be able to hold a myriad of structural and functional features of a developing human brain. Who thought mankind would be able to create a mini-human brain in the 21st century?

Human behavior is based on some internal or external stimulation. Various sensory inputs like vision, smell, touch, and more are required by the human brain, and that's what makes it a complex yet incredible organ of the body. A body of science just at its birth stage cannot compete with nature. The brain organoids not only lack sensory inputs like the normal human brain but also do not have blood circulation.


Understanding the bio-computers


Bio-computers would be designed and created by combining brain organoids and modern computing methods. Machine learning will be used to couple the organoids. Organoids would be grown inside flexible structures affixed with various electrodes. One can visualize them similar to the ones used in the case of Electroencephalogram readings. 

Such structures would be able to dive deep into recording and studying the firing patterns of neurons. They would also offer electrical stimuli in order to mimic sensory stimuli. Machine learning techniques would then be used to analyze human behavior and biology.

Not long ago, scientists grew human neurons on top of a microelectrode array that was able to not only record but also stimulate such neurons. With the help of positive or negative electric feedback derived from the sensors, neurons could be trained to generate an electrical activity pattern that would be generated in case the neurons were playing a sport like a table tennis.




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