Is it time to give up on consciousness as ‘the ghost in the machine’?

While it’s clear that both the experience and content of consciousness are real, we argue that, from a science explanation, they are epiphenomenal: secondary phenomena based on the machinations of the physical brain itself. In other words, our subjective experience of consciousness is real, but the functions of control and ownership we attribute to that experience are not.

Source: Is it time to give up on consciousness as ‘the ghost in the machine’?

Japan will send a transforming robot ball to the moon to test lunar rover tech | Space

“The transformable lunar robot will be an ultra-compact and ultra-lightweight robot that can traverse in the harsh lunar environment,” JAXA stated. The robot’s diminutive size and small mass of 250 grams, JAXA added, “contributes to a reduction in volume during transportation to the moon. Therefore, it is expected to play active roles in future lunar exploration missions as well.”

Source: Japan will send a transforming robot ball to the moon to test lunar rover tech | Space

Exclusive: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time | New Scientist

EPR involves rapidly cooling a person to around 10 to 15°C by replacing all of their blood with ice-cold saline. The patient’s brain activity almost completely stops. They are then disconnected from the cooling system and their body – which would otherwise be classified as dead – is moved to the operating theatre. A surgical team then has 2 hours to fix the person’s injuries before they are warmed up and their heart restarted.

Source: Exclusive: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time | New Scientist

The world’s first Gattaca baby tests are finally here – MIT Technology Review

Handed report cards on a batch of frozen embryos, parents can use the test results to try to choose the healthiest ones. The grades include risk estimates for diabetes, heart attacks, and five types of cancer.

According to flyers distributed by the company, it will also warn clients about any embryo predicted to become a person who is among the shortest 2% of the population, or who is in the lowest 2% in intelligence.”

Source: The world’s first Gattaca baby tests are finally here – MIT Technology Review

Brain Mapping Tech Inflates Tissue 20x to Reveal Remarkable Detail

“ExM can be used to explore neural connectivity in 3D with spatial precision sufficient for resolving individual synaptic connections,” the authors say. “If you could reconstruct a complete brain circuit, maybe you could make a computational model of how it generates complex phenomena like decisions and emotions,” says Boyden, “you could potentially model the dynamics of the brain.”

Source: Brain Mapping Tech Inflates Tissue 20x to Reveal Remarkable Detail

Researchers Build Artificial Synapse Capable of Autonomous Learning | University of Arkansas

Researchers from France and the University of Arkansas have created an artificial synapse capable of autonomous learning, a component of artificial intelligence. The discovery opens the door to building large networks that operate in ways similar to the human brain.

Source: Researchers Build Artificial Synapse Capable of Autonomous Learning | University of Arkansas

5 Neuroscience Experts Weigh in on Elon Musk’s Mysterious “Neural Lace” Company – IEEE Spectrum

What can we expect from Neuralink, the new Elon Musk company devoted to brain-computer interfaces?

This is very exciting technology, and I am fascinated by what it could mean.  Here Eliza Strickland asks 5 neuroscience types what they implications and limitations could be.

Source: 5 Neuroscience Experts Weigh in on Elon Musk’s Mysterious “Neural Lace” Company – IEEE Spectrum

“Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed the first stable semisynthetic organism — a bacterium with two new synthetic bases (called X and Y) added to the four natural bases (A, T, C, and G) that every living organism possesses. Adding two more letters to expand the genetic alphabet can be used to make novel proteins for new therapeutics, according to the researchers.”

Scientists identifiy the first evidence of ‘virtual particles’ hopping in and out of existence, which were first predicted in the 1930s | It’s Interesting

The theories of QED suggest that the universe is full of “virtual particles,” which are not really particles at all. They are fluctuations in quantum fields that have most of the same properties as particles, except they appear and vanish all the time. Scientists predicted the existence of virtual particles some 80 years ago, but we have never had experimental evidence of this process until now.

Source: Scientists identifiy the first evidence of ‘virtual particles’ hopping in and out of existence, which were first predicted in the 1930s | It’s Interesting