News FocusNeuroscience

Neurons and Silicon Get Intimate

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Science  23 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5414, pp. 578-579
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5414.578

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Researchers may be a long way from making a cyborg, but several teams at the American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, California, last month reported that they are coaxing neurons to grow in patterns that could form a link between biology and silicon circuits. These networks, usually just a few cells patterned into a circuitlike configuration, aren't likely to give even a pocket calculator a run for its money anytime soon, but they will allow neuroscientists to explore basic questions such as how the nature of a neuron's connections with its neighbors affects its ability to fire.