Scientists Use Lab-Grown Brain Tissue to Create a “Biocomputer”

American scientists have developed a functional biocomputer by fusing computer gear with human brain tissue generated in a lab. According to the experts, the brain cells employed in the experiment demonstrated speech recognition and basic math problem solving abilities. The researchers created brain-like tissue in the shape of a “brain organoid.” An organoid is a group of unique, sophisticated cells that can be produced in a laboratory setting from stem cells, according to Harvard University’s Stem Cell Institute. Organoids can be created in the lab to resemble real human tissue and organs in both appearance and function. According to the Stem Cell Institute, stem cells “can follow their own genetic instructions to self-organize” during this process.

Thus far, researchers have succeeded in creating organoids that mimic several organs in appearance. The liver, stomach, kidney, lung, and brain are some of these organs. The general purpose of these lab-created organoids is to research the functioning of organs without the necessity to conduct actual organ experiments. The researchers reported that stem cells may create neurons resembling those in the human brain in the biocomputer experiment. Signals are sent from electrically charged cells called neurons to the brain and other regions of the body. Feng Guo was the experiment’s leader. He teaches Intelligent System Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington and works as a bioengineer. His group has released the findings of their investigation in a paper published in Nature Electronics.

The brain organoid was fastened to a series of conventional electronic computing circuits by the researchers. This system is known by the researchers as Brainoware. The organoid and electronic circuits were able to communicate thanks to the system. An artificial intelligence (AI) technology was utilized to assist in deciphering the organoid’s brain activity. Guo told Nature that the scientists’ goal is to create “a bridge between AI and organoids.” Guo thinks that adding more speed and energy to computer circuits through the integration of organoids could enhance AI computing systems’ functionality.

According to the study, computers that are not as good at certain tasks as people can benefit from having more human intelligence added to them. For instance, compared to computers, humans are often faster learners and require less mental effort to think. The researchers evaluated the Brainoware system’s voice recognition capability at one point in the trial. The system was trained using 240 recordings featuring eight distinct voices by the team. According to the researchers, the organoid’s response to the various voices was represented by distinct brain impulses. According to Guo, the system’s accuracy level was 78%. Guo told MIT Technology Review, “This is the first demonstration of using brain organoids [for computing].” “Seeing the potential of organoids for biocomputing in the future is exciting,” he continued.

These findings, according to Guo, convinced his team that a brain-computer system can enhance computing performance, particularly for certain AI tasks. However, he pointed out that even the Brainoware system’s top accuracy rates fell short of those of conventional AI networks. Guo stated that this is one area in which his group intends to make improvements. Developmental neuroscientist Lena Smirnova works at Baltimore, Maryland’s Johns Hopkins University. She told Nature that in order to make these systems better, additional study is required. However, she added, “The study validates a few important theoretical concepts that may eventually enable the creation of a biological computer.” Smirnova pointed out that similar computing tasks had already been accomplished by researchers using different types of neuron cells. However, she pointed out that the most recent study was the first to show this kind of behavior in an organoid brain.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.