In today's "they sure can, but should they?" news, Caltech scientists got a wild hair and decided to see if a group of artificial neurons–created from human DNA–could replicate the complicated processes of the human brain.
Using a vat-grown neural network of four brain cells, the team, essentially, trained a soup of cells to mimic the electro-chemical process that occur when a brain remembers:"
…the researchers' neural network plays a mind-reading game in which it tries to identify a mystery scientist. The researchers "trained" the neural network to "know" four scientists, whose identities are each represented by a specific, unique set of answers to four yes-or-no questions, such as whether the scientist was British. After thinking of a scientist, a human player provides an incomplete subset of answers that partially identifies the scientist. The player then conveys those clues to the network by dropping DNA strands that correspond to those answers into the test tube.
We all know what's next:
[Source: Laboratory Journal]
A. Darryl Moton is a high school debate coach, preschool bus driver, Black Iowan, and numerous other things that make you doubt his sanity. He's currently blasting True Widow and Helms Alee in Portland, Oregon.