Carbon Nanotubes Will Rewire Your Brain, Make You Smarter

Carbon nanotubes, or hollow microscopic wires made of carbon (pictured), may one day replace some of the neurons in your brain. They could repair brain damage, or give a turbo boost to healthy brains.

A group of researchers in France and Italy have published a paper today in Nature Nanotechnology that carbon nanotubes can act as neural workarounds in the brain, forming tight contacts with the already-existing nerve cells and conducting electricity between them exactly the way neurons do with each other.

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According to Henry Markram, a lead scientist on the project at Laboratory of Neural Microcircuitry in Switzerland:

The new carbon nanotube-based interface technology discovered together with state of the art simulations of brain-machine interfaces is the key to developing all types of neuroprosthetics — sight, sound, smell, motion, vetoing epileptic attacks, spinal bypasses, as well as repairing and even enhancing cognitive functions.

If we use technologies like this to cure Alzheimer's patients, we may wind up with a generation of hyper-intelligent seniors ready to invent the next brain-boosting technology.

SOURCE: EPFL

Image of carbon nanotubes via Nanolab.

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