Scientists Hijack Fruit Fly Brains to Remote Control Their Wings

Are we one step closer to remote controlling human brains?

According to a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Nature Materials, we just might. A team of researchers at Rice University have officially been able to hack into the brains of fruit flies and successfully command them to make a specific movement — with just a click of a wireless remote control.

The team — an assemblage of experts in genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and electrical engineering — first created genetically modified flies bred to express a specific heat-sensitive ion channel which, when activated, caused the insects to spread their wings.

They then injected the gene-hacked buggos’ brains with a heat trigger: magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, which quickly heat up in the presence of a magnetic charge.

Then, by switching on a magnetic field, the scientists were able to warm those iron oxide nanoparticles — and in turn, those heat-sensitive, wing-specific ions.

In other words, the study showed that within half a second of a human clicking a button, the bugs would spread their wings. It’s a crude hack, but an intriguing proof of concept for altered animals controlled by technology.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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