Saturday, April 07, 2007

Stunning Future - Wireless Plugs and Light-controlled Neurons

Another post in the speculative future row:
  • The Canadian start-up Powercast supposedly developed the technology for wireless power supply via radio frequency waves. It's supposed to be accomplished with relatively little energy loss and it would totally revolutionize the handling of portable devices. Furthermore, they already have a deal with Philips.
  • In Neuroscience (according to a recent article in Nature, indicated to me by Carl), a German-American team managed to switch on and (now) off neurons with light. This truly has the potential to change the whole neuroscientific methodological apparatus (even in the realm of the philosophy of neuroscience, finally introducing a more direct causality) and it could have major impact on clinical applications. "Our new mastery of neural circuits using light might thus eventually allow us to master our own brains — and behaviour (last sentence of the review by Häusser & Smith, 2007, Nature 446, 617-619)". Let's hope for the best.

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