Thursday, October 26, 2006
News of the Day 10-26-06
Check your Elmo. Really, is nothing sacred? One agent said, "I've never seen a meth arrest have more impact than this one." Well, hell, yeah. It's Elmo. (Hmm. . . I wonder if they had meth mouth. Who would want to check?) . . . Scientists have identified a gene with a "pivotal role in developing alcoholism," according to Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research. You know what that means, don't you? That's right! TECHNOCORRECTIONS!!! . . . Speaking of technocorrections, let's get a little more sci-fi for a moment. Nature reports that U of WA researchers are working on an "implantable electronic chip that may establish new nerve connections in the part of the brain that controls movement." Lucky monkeys who've had this tested on them have had brain changes induced that lasted more than a week. The idea is to strengthen neural connections in patients with brain injuries, stroke, or paralysis. But let's use our imaginations, shall we? This study indicates that the brain's nerve signals can be used to change itself. Now link this to the ongoing combos of brain-computer interface. Forget putting a chip in an offender's brain (voluntarily placed, of course) that can be zapped by signals if he steps outside a radius (not that sci-fi, folks). This would allow signals from a computer to influence or shape mental and physical responses, a good thing for paraplegics, a timely thing for cash-strapped policymakers with large corrections budgets. For a free society? . . . When are those conferences on technocorrections going to get started?