Tranquillisers putting children’s lives at risk

· Anti-psychotics may cause long-term harm, say critics
· Youngsters under 6 being given unlicensed drugs

New evidence has shown children’s lives are being put at risk by a surge in the use of controversial tranquillising drugs which are being prescribed to control their behaviour, the Guardian has learned.

The anti-psychotic drugs are being given to youngsters under the age of six even though the drugs have no licence for use in children except in certain schizophrenia cases, the report says.

The number of children on the drugs has doubled since the early 1990s as the UK begins to follow a trend started in the US, but critics say they are a “chemical cosh” that could cause premature death.

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‘Brain’ in a dish flies flight simulator

(CNN) — A Florida scientist has developed a “brain” in a glass dish that is capable of flying a virtual fighter plane and could enhance medical understanding of neural disorders such as epilepsy.

The “living computer” was grown from 25,000 neurons extracted from a rat’s brain and arranged over a grid of 60 electrodes in a Petri dish.

The brain cells then started to reconnect themselves, forming microscopic interconnections, said Thomas DeMarse, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida.

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DeMarse's "brain in a dish" contains 25,000 living neurons.

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104 products on shelves already contain toxic ‘grey goo’ by stealth, say Friends of the Earth

Some skin creams use nano particles but many are now concerned about the use of the technology in foods
Potentially toxic chemicals are being incorporated into food, packaging, health supplements and other products by stealth, it is claimed.

Manufacturers boast that nanoparticles can deliver drugs or vitamins more effectively, kill harmful bugs in food or create self-cleaning windows.

But scientists, consumer groups and green campaigners fear the technology is being introduced into the diet, body and environment without proper safety checks.

Nanoparticles are 80,000 times thinner than a human hair – so small they can cross membranes protecting the brain or a baby in the womb.

Critics say it is not known how such tiny particles will interact with the body and organs in the long term, whether they are toxic or how long they will persist in the body.

Doom-mongers have warned that nanoparticles could mutate and reproduce out of control, consuming all life on earth, a scenario often referred to as “grey goo”.

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Some skin creams use nano particles but many are now concerned about the use of the technology in foods

Read more104 products on shelves already contain toxic ‘grey goo’ by stealth, say Friends of the Earth

Chemical brain controls nanobots – BBC NEWS

A tiny chemical “brain” which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented.The molecular device – just two billionths of a metre across – was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously in a test.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say it could also be used to boost the processing power of future computers.

Many experts have high hopes for nano-machines in treating disease.

“If [in the future] you want to remotely operate on a tumour you might want to send some molecular machines there,” explained Dr Anirban Bandyopadhyay of the International Center for Young Scientists, Tsukuba, Japan.

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The researchers have already built larger 'brains'

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Can a thinking, remembering, decision-making, biologically accurate brain be built from a supercomputer?

Out of the Blue

Can a thinking, remembering, decision-making, biologically accurate brain be built from a supercomputer?

In the basement of a university in Lausanne, Switzerland sit four black boxes, each about the size of a refrigerator, and filled with 2,000 IBM microchips stacked in repeating rows. Together they form the processing core of a machine that can handle 22.8 trillion operations per second. It contains no moving parts and is eerily silent. When the computer is turned on, the only thing you can hear is the continuous sigh of the massive air conditioner. This is Blue Brain.

Read moreCan a thinking, remembering, decision-making, biologically accurate brain be built from a supercomputer?