schwit1 writes: The Pentagon is attempting what was, until recently, an impossible technological feat -- developing a high-bandwidth neural interface that would allow people to beam data from their minds to external devices and back. That's right -- a brain modem. One that could allow a soldier to, for example, control a drone with his mind. On Feb. 8, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -- the US military's fringe-science wing -- announced the first successful tests, on animal subjects, of a tiny sensor that travels through blood vessels, lodges in the brain and records neural activity. The so-called "stentrode," a combination stent and electrode, is the size of a paperclip and flexible. The tiny, injectable machine -- the invention of neurologist Tom Oxley and his team at the University of Melbourne in Australia -- could help researchers solve one of the most vexing problems with the brain modem: how to insert a transmitter into the brain without also drilling a hole in the user's head, a risky procedure under any circumstances.
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