A First: Israeli Scientists “Have Used the Human Mind to Control Nano Robots Inside a Living Creature”

 

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Researchers at Bar Ilan University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, both in Israel, have developed new technology that allows tiny bots to release drugs into the body controlled by human thought alone. The test involved a man using his thoughts to activate nano robots inside a cockroach.


The bots have been built using a DNA origami structure with hollow shell-like components, and they come with a “gate” that can be opened and shut with the help of iron oxide nanoparticles that act as a “lock” – which can be prized open using electromagnetic energy.

The Israeli team believe the bots could help in controlled release of drugs over time. Led by Dr Ido Bachelet of Bar Ilan University, scientists demonstrated how to control this process with human brainwaves. Using a computer algorithm, they trained the system to detect when a person’s brain was under strain from doing mental arithmetic. The team then placed a fluorescent drug in the bots and injected them into various cockroaches that were placed inside an electromagnetic coil.

Wearing an EEG cap (which measures brain activity, the human subject was then tasked with solving mental arithmetic puzzles. By looking at when the fluorescent was released in the cockroaches, scientists were able to conclude their experiment had worked.

“As a proof of principle we demonstrate activation of DNA robots to cause a cellular effect inside the insect Blaberus discoidalis, by a cognitively straining task,” researchers wrote in the journal Public Library of Science One. “This technology enables the online switching of a bioactive molecule on and off in response to a subject’s cognitive state.”

The researchers believe the technology could be used to treat disorders such as schizophrenia, depression and ADHD.

The Daily Galaxy via Bar Ilan University and The Interdisciplinary Centre

Image credit: auricmedia.net

 

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