Science can be scarily brilliant sometimes, with clone sheep becoming a thing years ago, so many wondered what is next. Apparently, it’s lab-grown brains next, as they’re so advanced they can play old games like Pong while in Petri dishes.
Granted, Pong is far from the hardest game ever these days but this is a brain made in a laboratory. It will be interesting to see how these lab-grown creations evolve and if this can lead to more scientific breakthroughs.
Are the lab-grown brains good at Pong?
Despite these lab-grown brains learning how to play Pong, BBC says they could be better, though it’s still an accomplishment. The brain in question learned how to play Pong in about five minutes but didn’t always hit the ball.
While not a pro, the brain’s success rate while playing the game was seen as more than a random chance. Even if it missed the ball a lot, the fact that this was a brain made by a laboratory is still an accomplishment.
Researchers also stressed that the brain isn’t evolved enough to know how to play Pong as a normal human would. This shows that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to making these lab-grown creations act human.
First Pong, then, alzeimer treatments
Scientists don’t just want to make lab-grown brains to play video games with, as Dr. Kagan has hopes this leads to Alzheimer's treatment. Kagan hopes that these lab-grown creations can act as experiments that can lead to helping the human brain in real life.
"When people look at tissues in a dish, at the moment they are seeing if there is activity or no activity. But the purpose of brain cells is to process information in real time," he says. "Tapping into their true function unlocks so many more research areas that can be explored in a comprehensive way."
Considering all the brain-related tragedies in the world, we hope that Kagan gets his wish and good development comes from this. If these brains can also play video games well, that would be a neat bonus.