Nanoparticles will let you log in with your mind (and cure diseases)

New Scientist reports that an experimental method of infusing the human body with “magnetoelectric nanoparticles (MENs)” can soon be used to interface directly with our brains. This would allow all sorts of advancements, from superior imaging of otherwise hard-to-read areas of the body to, according to the researchers, one day interfacing with computers using only your mind.

credit: Sony Pictures

Your brain won’t have Bluetooth quite yet

Now, before you run out to buy an antivirus package that’s compatible with your brain as well as your PC, be assured that for now, that particular step is a long way off. But that doesn’t make this any less exciting. Dr. Khizroev spoke to NewScientist about the possibilities:

“When [they are] injected in the brain, we can ‘see’ the brain and if necessary, we can release a specific drug inside a specific neuron on demand,” says Khizroev. His team has already shown that the particles can be used to carry and release an anti-HIV drugs, as well as the cancer drug paclitaxel.”

Start with medicine, end with infinite possibilities

Manipulating nanoparticles in this manner would allow doctors to release precise doses of medicine to highly specific locations inside the brain, or for that matter any other major organ. This could mean that any procedure that’s highly invasive and damaging to surrounding systems (think auto-immune and cancer treatments) won’t have ”carpet bomb” the entire body with medicine just to get to the problem area.

Where you’ve heard of nanoparticles before

Nanoparticles are a staple of science fiction, and the fact that the researchers themselves are positing future possibilities such as computer interfacing is extremely exciting. Usually, the job of (sometimes unduly) hyping technological advancements in the face of sci-fi is left up to us.

It’s great that you have our backs, Dr. Khizroev.

Of course you’ll want to find out all the details concerning MENs and what purposes they’ll be put to in the coming decades. What luck! All you need to do is hit the source link over to NewScientist, and you’ll be able to absorb all the nanoscience that your heart could wish for. Or, you know, you could wait until you can just download it into your brain, Neo-style. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.