cyborgbeetle

The Fly Who Bugged Me

In 2008, a red alert was reported in New Scientists, a journal of contemporary scientific achievements in an article called, “The Fly Who Bugged Me: Labs around the World Are Hatching a New Breed of Cyborg Animal Spies”, March, pp. 41-43, 2008.

Now, in a recent press release, Maharbiz, a research group of the University of California at Berkeley, echoed what has been hailed as an impressive yet alarming development in bio genetically designed instrumentality, “to engineer MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical) systems directly from living precursors through micro-system control on a cellular level during the developmental stages of an organism. We strive to ‘exploit’ nature’s fabricated processes to build new, complex living machines. The process begins by implanting robotic devices into insect larvae, to hijack control of motor functions, and induce physiological alterations to service us as a self contained platform for various transducers.”

As their first Cyborg prototype, Maharbiz used a Coleopteran named Cleopatra, also known as a finger length brown/green water beetle, that creates an audible sound if stepped on before it spreads its wings to fly. Now through a miraculous process, “maharbiz research associates seeds several neural electrodes into the Beatles’s nervous and muscular systems early in its life cycle in a patented process.”

The implanted electrodes act to integrate the beetle physiology and create a new emergent (in)sect. “A micro-controller with battery are mounted on the beatle’s dorsal thorax. The device transfers appropriate electrical signals via the implanted electrodes. This cyborg beetle system actually makes it possible  to control initiation, cessation, elevation and left/right turns of the beatle flight.”

Soon it will be possible for the “Borg insects” to learn meaning and evolve from the impulses unless it remains a mindless drone, immune to behavior modification aimed at making them part of some man-made manipulated collective, controlled by something other than a bug’s instinct.

Perhaps another answer is that the scientists of Maharbiz research group have been attending too many Star Trek Conventions.

cyborgbeetle