Lab-Grown Brains Sprout Human Eyes

Scientists have been using stem cells to grow tiny human brains for years, in order to study the organ’s development. Now they’ve grown one with actual, functional eyes

In a historic first, hundreds of brain organoids grown in Petri dishes from donated human stem cells have sprouted symmetrical pairs of eyes. These rudimentary structures can not only sense the light around them, but send those signals to the rest of the organoid. The impact of this breakthrough is mind-boggling, to say the least…

“These organoids can help to study brain-eye interactions during embryo development, model congenital retinal disorders, and generate patient-specific retinal cell types for personalized drug testing and transplantation therapies,” said Jay Gopalakrishnan, senior author of the study.

You do realize what will happen, sooner or later…now that we’ve moved the bar this far. Someone will succeed in sprouting mouth and vocal cords… and the wee bairn will say, “Mommy!”.

Why go tiny when you can go BIG!


Computer chip the size of a dinner plate

…A network spread across a cluster is like a brain that’s been scattered around a room and wired together. Electrons move fast, but, even so, cross-chip communication is slow, and uses extravagant amounts of energy.

Eric Vishria, a general partner at Benchmark, a venture-capital firm in San Francisco, first came to understand this problem in the spring of 2016, while listening to a presentation from a new computer-chip company called Cerebras Systems…

…“Slide 3 was something along the lines of, ‘G.P.U.s actually suck for deep learning—they just happen to be a hundred times better than C.P.U.s,’ ” Vishria recalled. “And, as soon as he said it, I was, like, facepalm. Of course! Of course!” Cerebras was proposing a new kind of chip—one built not for graphics but for A.I. specifically…

…Cerebras’s approach is unique. Instead of making chips in the usual way—by printing dozens of them onto a large wafer of silicon, cutting them out of the wafer, and then wiring them to one another—the company has made one giant “wafer-scale” chip. A typical computer chip is the size of a fingernail. Cerebras’s is the size of a dinner plate. It is the largest computer chip in the world…

What a delightful article…process…approach! Honestly, I haven’t digested all of this, yet. But, I wanted to get it up and posted so other folks who wander through here might check this out,