Human brain-powered computers may be the way of the future

(CNN) The human brain is unmatched in its ability to process information.

Sure, we have days when our minds don’t feel as sharp. But the extraordinary 3-pound organ is still capable of things that supercomputers and robots can’t.

The human brain evolved to form billions of neurons, enabling us to learn and make complex logical decisions. We can look at two different animals, for example a cat and a dog, and tell them apart, while a computer struggles with the task.

Advances in artificial intelligence have led some to wonder when computers will cross the line that separates humans from technology, such as the sentient computer HAL 9000 from the sci-fi novel and movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

So far, no form of AI has made such a leap towards humanity. But there may be a new game in town.

Back to the Future

Networks of brain organoids may one day be used to support biocomputers.

A new field called organoid intelligence may be the basis for computers powered by human brain cells.

Lab-grown brain organoids—nicknamed “intelligence in a dish”—are pen-dot-sized cell cultures containing neurons capable of brain-like functions.

Scientists announced Tuesday their plan to use brain organoids to create energy-efficient “biocomputers” that rival today’s supercomputers and could revolutionize pharmaceutical testing for diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

But the biological hardware comes with a number of ethical concerns, including whether organoids can achieve consciousness or sentience or feel pain.

Defy gravity

A Russian rescue spacecraft intended to return cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio to Earth has successfully docked outside the International Space Station.

The trio traveled to the space station in September, but were stranded with no way home after their original capsule developed a coolant leak. The crew will return to Earth later this year.

Meanwhile, Crew-6, including two NASA astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, arrived at the orbital laboratory on Friday.

Sultan Alneyadi, who will become the first Emirati astronaut to complete a long-term stay in space, said he brought a special treat to share with his ISS crew members.


Camels equipped with robot jockeys race in Dubai’s Al Marmoom Heritage Village in April 2021.

Camels rule in Dubai, where they compete in beauty pageants and races.

The humped animals, long-standing cultural symbols of the Emirati way of life, are so prized that cloning camels has become a booming industry in the Gulf State city.

Dr Nisar Ahmad Wani, who in 2009 created the world’s first camel clone, is the scientific director of the Reproductive Biotechnology Centre, where dozens of camel clones are produced each year.

The clones are replicated from camel “beauty queens”, known for their characteristic drooping lips and long necks, and elite racers. But scientists can also use technology to save a critically endangered species of wild camel.

Will rich

Scientists stumbled upon an unusual hummingbird with glittering gold neck feathers in Peru’s Cordillera Azul National Park. But what scientists thought was a new species has a complicated family history.

It turned out that the hummingbird was a hybrid produced when two rose-throated species came together. But how created two shades of rose gold?

The improbable chromatic evolution probably happened over millions of years — and the researchers just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see it.

The night sky

A ring-like shell is all that remains of a supernova that lit up the sky more than 1,800 years ago.

More than 1,800 years ago, a bright new light appeared in the evening sky. Chinese astronomers recorded their observations of the “guest star,” which lasted about eight months before fading from view.

The event is considered the first recorded supernova in human history. Now, a new telescope image has captured the whipped ring-like remnants of the stellar explosion against a glowing backdrop of stars.

Meanwhile, as the sun becomes more active, skygazers have seen an uptick in spectacular light shows such as the Northern Hemisphere Northern Lights and Southern Hemisphere Northern Lights.

Even if you don’t live all the way north or south, keep an eye out because the dancing lights appear in unexpected places.

Take notes

Share these highlights with a friend to expand your knowledge:

— A scientist was running an errand when he discovered a giant flying insect on the side of a big box store. His find turned out to be an incredibly rare insect from the Jurassic period.

— The Hubble Space Telescope captured a movie of what happened after the DART spacecraft slammed into the asteroid Dimorphos, revealing how the space rock formed a tail after the collision in September.

— Newly discovered chemicals are so deadly to fungi that scientists were inspired to name them after actor Keanu Reeves as a nod to his violent roles in films such as “John Wick” and “The Matrix.”

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