back to article Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Boffins from the Technische Universität Wien in Austria have created a simulated brain, run it in a computer, and taught it a trick. "Brain" may be overstating things just a tad, because the simulation was of nematode C. elegans, a tiny worm that has just 300 or so neurons. We know that number because nematode C. elegans has …


  1. steamrunner

    I'm confused. Where does the pole (on the tail) come from? Now I follow that they programmed the brain of the worm and, I presume, they also thus programmed something to mimic the 'body' (?) motion (to show output from the 'brain?)', but what about this pole?

    Did someone leave a 'pole' subroutine lying somewhere in a library and the 'body' coder just accidentally tacked it on the end? Did they then magically notice the pole-code doing something? Or did someone randomly think "I know, I'll stick a pole on it's arse" - and if so, why a pole and not a beeper, or a LED, or a wifi link to a nuclear trigger?! How did they think "this will end up with it balancing a pole" if they didn't know the learning outcome?

    (Even reading about this stuff is obviously waaaaay beyond me! Especially on a Monday. And a Friday. And all other days).


  2. sisk Silver badge

    So when the machine apocalypse finally happens it will be caused by simulated worms that went insane from balancing poles on their tails.

  3. SquidEmperor

    Well - now we know where the worms went

    "I got that reference"

  4. Stevie Silver badge


    "Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer"

    Or, to be more accurate, they did nothing of the sort.

  5. Simon Ward

    Approximately 300x more neurons than a typical middle manager, then ...

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Kendall Jenner. Pepsi not supplied.

  7. Schultz

    They promised us a human brain...

    (for a modest billion euros, cf. Human Brain Project) and now they deliver a nematode? Oh the humility is truly superhuman!

  8. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    look forward to seeing the video of the amazing nematode circus.

  9. onefang Silver badge

    'I'm OK with that too so long as it is not these iWorms:

    "14 cattle eyeworms removed from Oregon woman’s eye"'

    Oh, she was eyeing off the entire Apple ecosystem then? If you look closely enough you can see the pixels in a Retina display, but that's a little too close.


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019