When one sees a scientific journal article entitles “Complex Oscillatory Waves Emerging from Cortical Organoids Model Early Human Brain Network Development”, only one thing comes to mind: Are we on the verge of growing custom brains to create clever cyborg catgirls, if not fully organic genetically engineered catgirls suitable for domestic ownership? The summary of the breakthrough:
“Structural and transcriptional changes during early brain maturation follow fixed developmental programs defined by genetics. However, whether this is true for functional network activity remains unknown, primarily due to experimental inaccessibility of the initial stages of the living human brain. Here, we developed human cortical organoids that dynamically change cellular populations during maturation and exhibited consistent increases in electrical activity over the span of several months. The spontaneous network formation displayed periodic and regular oscillatory events that were dependent on glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling. The oscillatory activity transitioned to more spatiotemporally irregular patterns, and synchronous network events resembled features similar to those observed in preterm human electroencephalography. These results show that the development of structured network activity in a human neocortex model may follow stable genetic programming. Our approach provides opportunities for investigating and manipulating the role of network activity in the developing human cortex.”
Some have asked if this is indeed sentience, if such “brain organoids” have rights. Catgirls, of course, would obviously have rights, including the right to head pats and chin skretches!
Of course, there is always the possibility that this technology could be used for evil such as creating a creature that you’d see in Mystery Science Theater 3000, or perhaps re-create the plot of Bubblegum Crisis 2040. But is the possibility of creating a real-life version of Galatea too great a risk to pursue genetically engineered catgirls suitable for domestic ownership?
The full paper can be read below.