Cyborg Insects and Remote Controlled Rats

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Metallic green beetle Metallic green beetle (Caramosca/flickr)

Researchers are beginning to understand how to “hack” the central nervous systems of certain animals in ways that would allow us to control their movements—including a flying beetle which can be remotely steered. Emily Anthes, author of Frankenstein’s Cat, looks at the potential applications, as well as the ethical considerations, of remote controlled animals.


Emily Anthes

Comments [6]

Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

There is no end to the absolute cruelty of human animals to nonhuman animals. We eat them, wear them and exploit them by the millions. In doing so we destroy the planet and deplete our health.

Mar. 28 2013 02:37 AM
Margaret from NJ

This is horrifying--the use/abuse of sentient creatures in this way is unconscionable, one more category of humanity's general abuse of nature.

Any social psychologist knows where accepting these early steps can & probably will lead. Research should not even begin without prior ethical constraints in place. And some research should not begin at all.

It's almost unbelievable that Mary Shelley's exhortation is so well-known and so well ignored.

Mar. 27 2013 01:58 PM
Retired Attorney from Westchester

When I worked in the legal department of a Pharma company, we heard that some labs were thinking of substituting lawyers for lab rats. Three reasons:

1. - There were a lot more lawyers than rats without useful work.
2. - Sometimes the scientists became attached to the rats, but this wasn't a problem with lawyers.
3. - There were some things the rats just wouldn't do, no matter how much you rewarded them.

Has DARPA thought of this? :-)

Mar. 27 2013 01:37 PM
Ro from Manhattan

Is it April 1st?? I wish it was - hearing this! The arrogance of humans for their own ends is HORRIFIC! I am totally disgusted!

Mar. 27 2013 01:34 PM
Carol Davis

Just more examples of animal exploitation. Not cool.

Mar. 27 2013 01:28 PM
Tony from Canarsie

What this country needs is a good $45,000,000 robotic cicada?

Mar. 27 2013 01:26 PM

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