TF Daily Feed: Scientists Implant Artificial Neurons to Control Venus Flytrap

A union of science, technology, and botany took place at the Linköping University last week. The researchers were able to successfully wire an artificial neuron into a Venus flytrap, causing it to slam shut.

Scientists at the Linköping University in Sweden have created an artificial organic neuron, or nerve cell, that can be integrated with a living plant for the first time. The experiment used the carnivorous Venus flytrap. When electrical pulses from the artificial nerve cell were connected to the carnivorous Venus flytrap, the plant’s leaves closed. This will be a huge milestone in the melding of living things and computers.

The study involved three Swedish universities: Linköping University, University of Gothenburg and Lund University. They created an artificial neuron that functions similarly to a biological neuron. Neurons are messengers of information within a living body. They transfer information through electrical impulses and chemical signals. These manufactured neurons are made up of ion and electron-carrying components.

Using small wires, the scientist connected the newly produced neurons to the Venus flytrap cells. It triggered the plant to close by releasing a controlled electric pulse that passed through the cables. Simply put – the messages are sent and acted upon in the same way as they would be sent by a real brain.

Artificial intelligence, robots, brain-computer interfaces, and wearable technologies like bio limbs will all benefit from this new breakthrough technology in the future. Simone Fabiano, Associate Professor at the Department of Science and Technology, said, “We chose the Venus flytrap so we could clearly show how we can steer the biological system with the artificial organic system and get them to communicate in the same language”.

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Feature Image Via Unsplash.

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