Scientists hack into flies’ brains with remote control to make them sex-obsessed

A team of scientists has successfully hacked the brains of flies for the first time using remote control.

Neuroengineers at Rice University can now use remote control on the brains of flies, after they 'hacked' neurons controlling the bodies and movements of the flies.

Specifically, the scientists took remote control of a neuron which makes the insects spread their wings in a common mating gesture.

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This new power has been called the 'holy grail' of neurotechnologies, as it can not only help a fly reproduce, but could also be used to treat diseases and creating brain-machine interfaces like Elon Musk's Neuralink.

Jacob Robinson, one of the scientists behind the research, said: "To study the brain or to treat neurological disorders, the scientific community is searching for tools that are both incredibly precise, but also minimally invasive.

"Remote control of select neural circuits with magnetic fields is somewhat of a holy grail for neurotechnologies.

"Our work takes an important step towards that goal because it increases the speed of remote magnetic control, making it closer to the natural speed of the brain."

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The remote control technology was only possible because the flies were genetically engineered to have heat triggers in their brain. That means that, fortunately, remote control of brains can't be done to just any old fly⁠—at least not yet, anyway.

It seems that the possibilities of brain-computer interfaces are endless. Elon Musk's company Neuralink, which lets people control computers with their brains, could not only help people who are paralysed but also give them orgasms on demand.

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