Rat Brain Flies Jet

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Well, they finally did it. This is the kind of scifi that people have always found too fiction and not enough science, but it's left that realm entirely. Scientists have now grown a rat brain in a petri dish, starting just from some embryonic cells. Then they taught it how to fly a flight simulator. They plan to build computers with organic components. When John Searle said you couldn't get a machine that thinks without modeling it exactly on the causal structure of the human brain, I don't think this is what he had in mind. For some reason this strikes me as less creepy than growing rats' bodies without brains to harvest organs, but the moral implications of brains without bodies have got to be more serious.

3 Comments

Is that site legit? I have to research this. It's like the early stages of a Hamilton book! (Me Am Big SF buff)

It reminds me of the last book in C.S. Lewis's space trilogy -- the name eludes me at the moment, but they had a disembodied brain hooked up to life support, etc., and they worshipped it, offered sacrifices, etc. I think the connection is just that it's a disembodied brain (or in this case, something less than a brain). But I remember thinking, when I read that in Lewis's book, that it couldn't happen -- or at least not for a very long time.

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