If you're asking Bryan Johnson, founder of startup Kernel, he'll tell you those machines should be implanted inside our brains. His team is working with top neuroscientists to build a tiny brain chip--also known as a neuroprosthetic--to help people with disease-related brain damage. In the long term, though, Johnson sees the product applicable to anyone who wants a bit of a brain boost. Yes, some might flag this technology as yet another invention leading us toward a future where technology just helps the privileged get further in life. But helping restore brain function in stroke survivors or memory for those with dementia would be life changing for those individuals and their families.
The human cerebral cortex has undergone an extraordinary increase in size and complexity during mammalian evolution. Cortical cell lineages are specified in the embryo, and genetic and epidemiological evidence implicates early cortical development in the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities, and schizophrenia. Most of the disease-implicated genomic variants are located outside of genes, and the interpretation of noncoding mutations is lagging behind owing to limited annotation of functional elements in the noncoding genome. We set out to discover gene-regulatory elements and chart their dynamic activity during prenatal human cortical development, focusing on enhancers, which carry most of the weight upon regulation of gene expression. We longitudinally modeled human brain development using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)–derived cortical organoids and compared organoids to isogenic fetal brain tissue. Fetal fibroblast–derived hiPSC lines were used to generate cortically patterned organoids and to compare oganoids' epigenome and transcriptome to that of isogenic fetal brains and external datasets. Organoids model cortical development between 5 and 16 postconception weeks, thus enabling us to study transitions from cortical stem cells to progenitors to early neurons. The greatest changes occur at the transition from stem cells to progenitors. The regulatory landscape encompasses a total set of 96,375 enhancers linked to target genes, with 49,640 enhancers being active in organoids but not in mid-fetal brain, suggesting major roles in cortical neuron specification. Enhancers that gained activity in the human lineage are active in the earliest stages of organoid development, when they target genes that regulate the growth of radial glial cells. Parallel weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) of transcriptome and enhancer activities defined a number of modules of coexpressed genes and coactive enhancers, following just six and four global temporal patterns that we refer to as supermodules, likely reflecting fundamental programs in embryonic and fetal brain. Correlations between gene expression and enhancer activity allowed stratifying enhancers into two categories: activating regulators (A-regs) and repressive regulators (R-regs).
The IQ test has long been dismissed as an inaccurate way to discern how intelligent a person really is - but now scientists may have found a better way. Researchers say MRI scans can measure human intelligence, and define exactly what it is. This could lead to radical leaps in AI with machines programmed to think in the same way we do. Researchers say MRI scans can measure human intelligence - and define what it is. This could lead to radical leaps in AI with machines programmed to think in the same way we do.
This topic came a couple of days ago, while I was having a coffee with some friends, so I felt inspired to write about it. Background: there has been some serious talk about the possibility of having implanted an actual chip in the human brain that can merge human brain with software interface. Facts: some people have undergone complex surgeries to have this sort of implants into their brains. Some of this people have Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer. The surgeries are complex and expensive though.
Wanted: 10,000 New Yorkers interested in advancing science by sharing a trove of personal information, from cellphone locations and credit-card swipes to blood samples and life-changing events. Researchers are gearing up to start recruiting participants from across the city next year for a study so sweeping it's called'The Human Project .' It aims to channel different data streams into a river of insight on health, aging, education and many other aspects of human life. Pictured are people walking inside the Oculus, the new transit station at the World Trade Center in New York. Researchers are gearing up to start recruiting 10,000 New Yorkers early next year for a study so sweeping it's called'The Human Project' 'That's what we're all about: putting the holistic picture together,' says project director Dr Paul Glimcher, a New York University neural science, economics and psychology professor.