…so you may want to be careful the next time you pull out that flyswatter.
Sam Parnia practices resuscitation medicine. In other words, he helps bring people back from the dead — and some return with stories. Their tales could help save lives, and even challenge traditional scientific ideas about the nature of consciousness.
“The evidence we have so far is that human consciousness does not become annihilated,” said Parnia, a doctor at Stony Brook University Hospital and director of the school’s resuscitation research program. “It continues for a few hours after death, albeit in a hibernated state we cannot see from the outside.”
Tiny, glowing probes packed with LEDs and sensors are scientists’ newest tool for measuring and manipulating the brain and other living tissues. They’re flexible, they can operate wirelessly, and yes, they’re small enough to fit through the eye of a needle.
Check out the image on the left: An LED probe lights up a mouse brain.
Everybody knows a computer is a machine made of metal and plastic, with microchip cores turning streams of electrons into digital reality.
A century from now, though, computers could look quite different. They might be made from neurons and chemical baths, from bacterial colonies and pure light, unrecognizable to our old-fashioned 21st century eyes.
Far-fetched? A little bit. But a computer is just a tool for manipulating information. That’s not a task wedded to some particular material form. After all, the first computers were people, and many people alive today knew a time when fingernail-sized transistors, each representing a single bit of information, were a great improvement on unreliable vacuum tubes.
Malnourished sea lion pups have started arriving in northern California – by the vanload.
It’s a three-day, two-night trip for the weary mammalian travelers, with overnight stops in San Luis Obispo and Moss Landing. At the end of the road: The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, where the pups will be cared for and returned to health.