Is it possible to build supercomputers that can replicate the human brain, or to develop nanotechnology that can lead to an implantable chip for interfacing with neurons and other types of cellular networks?
Once divergent fields, nanoscience and neuroscience are now advancing each other in ways that could propel extraordinary new research. Just what this means was the topic of an hour-long conversation recently led by neuroscientist Nicholas Spitzer. A transcript of the conversation with researchers Kwabena Boahen and Hongkun Park is at http://www.kavlifoundation.org/Spitzer-Boahen-Park.
Professor of Neurobiology and Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at the University of California, San Diego, Spitzer is responsible for groundbreaking studies into the activity and development of neurons and neuronal networks that span more than four decades. Spitzer explored this scientific intersection with two pioneering researchers in nanoscience:
Stanford's Kwabena Boahen Credit: Michael Halaas
In a far-reaching dialogue, the researchers discussed the synergy between nanoscience and neuroscience, what it means for the future, and how it is driving their current research—ranging from the development of a "Neurogrid" hardware platform that would emulate the cortex's inner workings, to creating nanowire platforms for administering biochemicals to cells.
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