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Author Topic: Ratbots  (Read 609 times)

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Offline mystictigerTopic starter

« on: October 16, 2010, 05:54:23 PM »
I don't know if this is cool, terrifying, or pointless.

On the one hand, do I have objection to rats being used in science? Not particularly; animal modeling is far less ethically dubious than using humans. But the only aspect I've thought about that is in regards to drug testing.

My instinct on this is that it's just about headline grabbing shock rather than actual vital scientific need.

Your thoughts please, so I can make up my own mind.

Offline Silk

Re: Ratbots
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 06:28:36 PM »
Its concerning, because rats have a very similar bilogical make-up to humans, which is why their such a favored choice for testing. I don'treally like it but saving lives is as it is.

It concerns me because the jump from rodent to primate is a small one.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Ratbots
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 06:46:27 PM »
We've been using snail neural cells for a very long time now because they only have a handful of dendrites, in comparison to the mass that mammals have. I guess the question is "where is the line drawn." Given the structure of motor control cells is closer across mammals than say, the cortex is, this could be helpful for demonstrating how to control cybernetic implants.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Ratbots
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 06:09:23 PM »
Rats would do the same to us if they had the chance.   XD

Offline mystictigerTopic starter

Re: Ratbots
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 06:48:40 AM »
Having thought about this a little more, I'm starting to think of its long-term therapeutic (and coolness) uses.

If human-machine integration is to be achieved, experiments like this are probably going to be needed. So if we want decent prosethtics or cool cyberware, then it's probably going to happen sooner or later. Still, the idea of a machine with living parts in it makes me a little uneasy at times.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Ratbots
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 08:41:01 AM »
I really don't even see an ethical side of this issue. If you read the article these are not "brains" that are being put into these devices, but rather cultured masses of particular neuronal cells. Depending on procedure you wouldn't even have to kill the rat to do this (though they probably do...).

All they are doing is using a biological circuit instead of a mechanical one, which is significant because evolution has been in the developmental business a little longer than we have and its generally a good idea to crib ideas from it. Brain cells are not magic. Nor are they organisms on their own.

EDIT: As an afterthought, shouldn't this be in Elliquiy U? Not sure where the political or religious angle comes in.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 09:40:10 AM by DarklingAlice »