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Can the brain feel it? The world’s smallest extracellular needle-electrodes

A research team in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering and the Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute (EIIRIS) at Toyohashi University of Technology developed 5-μm-diameter needle-electrodes on 1 mm × 1 mm block modules. This tiny needle may help solve the mysteries of the brain and facilitate the development of a brain-machine interface. The research results were reported in Scientific Reports
on Oct 25, 2016.

(Image caption: Extracellular needle-electrode with a diameter of 5 μm mounted on a connector)

The neuron networks in the human brain are extremely complex. Microfabricated silicon needle-electrode devices were expected to be an innovation that would be able to record and analyze the electrical activities of the microscale neuronal circuits in the brain.

However, smaller needle technologies (e.g., needle diameter < 10 μm) are necessary to reduce damage to brain tissue. In addition to the needle geometry, the device substrate should be minimized not only to reduce the total amount of damage to tissue but also to enhance the accessibility of the
electrode in the brain. Thus, these electrode technologies will realize new experimental neurophysiological concepts.

A research team in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering and the EIIRIS at Toyohashi University of Technology developed 5-
μm-diameter needle-electrodes on 1 mm × 1 mm block modules.

The individual microneedles are fabricated on the block modules, which are small enough to use in the narrow spaces present in brain tissue; as demonstrated in the recording using mouse cerebrum cortices. In addition, the block module remarkably improves the design variability in the packaging, offering numerous in vivo recording applications.

“We demonstrated the high design variability in the packaging of our electrode device, and in vivo neuronal recordings were performed by simply placing the device on a mouse’s brain. We were very surprised that high quality signals of a single unit were stably recorded over a long period using the 5-μm-diameter needle,” explained the first author, Assistant Professor Hirohito Sawahata, and co-author, researcher Shota Yamagiwa.

The leader of the research team, Associate Professor Takeshi Kawano said: “Our silicon needle technology offers low invasive neuronal recordings and provides novel methodologies for electrophysiology; therefore, it has the potential to enhance experimental neuroscience.” He added, “We expect the development of applications to solve the mysteries of the brain and the development of brain–machine interfaces.”

submitted by Mikey Bautista
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Casio are best known for their G-Shock series of watches, some of the most rugged timepieces you can buy. And while the style and construction lend themselves to a tough and tactical style, G-Shocks won’t be the first watch you pick out of your drawer for more formal affairs. That is, until now. Casio have debuted the G-STEEL collection, a series of watches that combine the classic look of leather with the heavy-duty G-Shock heritage.

True to their overbuilt roots, the G-STEEL watches feature Tough Leather, a unique hybrid of synthetic leather and resin. It’s designed to be stylish and soft to the touch just like regular leather, but able to withstand abrasions over time in addition to water resistance.

As for the watches themselves, each model comes with the latest and greatest G-SHOCK technology, including a Tough Solar battery, shock resistance, and 200 meters of water resistance. For evening visibility the dial features Neo-brite lume on its hands and markers, while an automatic double LED gives extra illumination when needed. Adding to the 12/24-hour format analog and digital displays are 48-city world time, daily alarms, and a stopwatch and countdown timer, all in a robust 52.4 mm case.

Casio’s first foray into “tough formal” is definitely a collection to watch. You can pick up the light brown-strapped GSTS120L-1B model from Amazon at the link below, and be sure to check out the rest of the models on the G-Shock website.

Buy on Amazon

@redeyestakewxrning continued [+]

“So, you’re Japanese too, like that other version of me. You even have the same name,” he hummed, stroking his beard. “Interesting. Your timeline must be a branch-off of his. Dragon of Metal, you say? That’s even more interesting. I always pictured myself as more of an electricity-affinity kinda guy, but hey, that’s just me. So you consider yourself a good guy, I assume?”

“Yes. My name is Ayumu Saito. Well, one of my names. I kind of have two mothers and fathers. It’s a weird story,” he laughs.

He got what Jack was saying– and instantly calmed himself. Someone who could tell he was Japanese on the spot and actually believed him for once made him happy– even if it was himself.

“My birth parents gave me up for adoption ‘cause they were poor and wanted me to have a good life, and my foster parents gave me the name Jack Spicer– but then my birth parents wanted me back and found me. Then a whole custody dispute and they all eventually agreed to give my birth parents back custody of me. Yeah. I don’t know why I’m telling you this though. It’s weird.”

Ayumu laughs again, nodding.

“Yeah. I’m as good as it gets, both here and in the businessworld. I’m pretty much loved no matter what that shit lizard says.”

{Permanent Starter Call // Open.}

⌛ Dragon of Metal Verse


The smoke of the frankincense did nothing to calm The Dragon of Metal as he sat in the Meditation Hall within the Temple. He’d lost a Showdown and lost a very important Wu– to Chase Young, of all people. Raimundo told him it was fine and that -”Things happen, don’t worry about it, Jack. I know you.”– but Jack still worried. He knew Chase would be taunting him in his own way. He knew it.

Perhaps he should make his way outside. 

Getting out of his meditative stance, he stood and quickly made his way to the Temple doors before anyone could see him and let himself out. Some fresh air could do him some good. As he does so, he sees someone approach and he gasps. The person…kind of… looked like him?

“Who… I… Who are you?!”