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Scientists have created key parts of synthetic brain cells that can hold cellular “memories” for milliseconds. The achievement could one day lead to computers that work like the human brain.
These parts, which were used to model an artificial brain cell, use charged particles called ions to produce an electrical signal, in the same way that information gets transferred between neurons in your brain.
Current computers can do incredible things, but this processing power comes at a high energy cost. In contrast, the human brain is remarkably efficient, using roughly the energy contained in two bananas to do an entire day’s work. While the reasons for this efficiency aren’t entirely clear, scientists have reasoned that if they could make a computer more like the human brain, it would require way less energy. One way that scientists try to replicate the brain’s biological machinery is by utilizing the power of ions, the charged particles that the brain relies on to produce electricity.