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Cyborg Rats Raise Ethical Eyebrows February 3, 2012
Rat Wired For Brain Control
“This type of research raises enormous ethical concerns, let alone the poor animals whose lives are wasted on dubious and ego-driven experiments.” — Jan Creamer, UK-based National Anti-Vivisection Society.
Experiments designed to help humans overcome brain injuries and some diseases are in the process of turning rats at an Israeli research facility into “cyborgs,” or cybernetic organisms.

Scientists at Tel Aviv University’s psychology department are attempting to replace parts of the rodents’ brains with digital equipment.

The research aims to eventually help people overcome diseases such as Parkinson’s or those who have suffered a stroke.

By swapping damaged brain tissue with a microchip wired to the brain, people would be able to do things that were previously impossible due to injuries or other impairment.

But heavily sedating mice and inserting probes into their brains to learn how to do that is being called “grotesque” by animal-rights advocates.

Another concern is the question of at what point in replacing human body parts with electronics would a person no longer be human.

Photo: University of Tokyo