Simple Brain Waves in Organoids

Clusters of brain cells, so-called brain organoids, have been bred in the biologist’s lab at the University of California, San Diego. According to the New York Times, the scientists altered human skin cells into stem cells, then “coaxed them to develop as brain cells do in an embryo”. “The organoids grew into balls about the size of a pinhead, each containing hundreds of thousands of cells in a variety of types, each type producing the same chemicals and electrical signals as those cells do in our own brains.” (NYT, 29 August 2019) The progression was stimulated by various means. A few days ago, the scientists reported that they have recorded simple brain waves in these organoids. “In mature human brains, such waves are produced by widespread networks of neurons firing in synchrony. Particular wave patterns are linked to particular forms of brain activity, like retrieving memories and dreaming.” (NYT, 29 August 2019) Someday it may be possible to use brain organoids to develop inverted or reversed cyborgs. Another method could be to take an adult brain from a deceased creature. There is no doubt that many interesting philosophical questions arise in this context, such as the boundaries between humans and machines and the rights of such cyborgs.