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Innovation fuses neurotechnology with modern security

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Art by Joanne Jun

Art by Joanne Jun

Art by Joanne Jun

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Scientists have worked to create devices, like the silicon chip, that mimic the actions of the human brain. The silicon chip, invented by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce, holds large quantities of information and performs mathematical operations. Now, however, the latest silicon chip detects chemicals, explosives and cancer cells, all with the help of actual neurons. Nigerian neuroscientist Oshiorenoya Agabi developed the first neurotechnology device named Koniku Kore by fusing live neurons from mice stem cells into a silicon chip. Even though neurons have a short lifespan, Agabi discovered a way to keep the neurons alive in the device for a couple months; he also programmed the neurons to provide a receptor that could detect explosives and cancer.

Koniku Kore breathes and smells air; it can identify the smell of explosives or air molecules of cancer, just like dogs can with their sensory systems. The device revolutionizes airport security since using Koniku Kore discreetly at airport checkpoints could mean that passenger and luggage screenings no longer need to exist. While the formation of this humanoid mechanism seems beneficial, some fear that the device could become something that replaces human capabilities.
“Artificial neurons that can smell disease and explosives is so amazing, but artificial intelligence clearly sounds scary,” said biology teacher Mrs. Eileen Cairo. “With some strong limitations, this could really prove to be a wonderful thing.”
Others find that the benefits supersede the detriments.

“I believe that the device is a very advanced source of technology and really can make a change to such things like airport security,” said senior Richard Rinka. “We are living in a world now where technology like this just keeps getting better and better, and I believe we should let it.”

Although Koniku Kore is presently in its prototype stage, it could immensely impact numerous industries. Also, while the prototype is not officially released, it could disclose what method Agabi uses to keep the neurons alive for longer periods of time. With Agabi’s prototype presented at TEDGlobal and having projected revenue of 30 million dollars, Agabi aspires to build a brain of biological neurons in the next five to seven years.

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Innovation fuses neurotechnology with modern security