Computer scientists attempting to electronically replicate the human brain are close to creating a 'living PC'.
Engineers at the University of Massachusetts are developing microprocessors which mimic biological synapses – the nerve cells which pass messages across the human body.
The science fiction-style project is being undertaken by Joshua Yang and Qiangfei Xia, professors of electrical and computer engineering at the US college.
Their work focuses heavily on memristors – a computer component which could change science forever, switching the focus from electronics to ionics.
Ionics, unlike electronics, is not dependent on a power source. It essentially has a memory, so even if it loses power it can remember what it was doing before and continue the action.