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Amateur Scientist Tries to Hack Human-Human Interface to Treat His Own Spinal Cord Injury

Amateur scientist Gianni Garulli in his lab, trying to hack Human-Human Interface to treat his spinal cord injury

We’ve been doing it for 10 years already: connecting two humans so that one uses their own brain signals to control the other one’s limb. But how about hooking up two limbs of a single human so that one limb can control the other?

This is exactly what Gianni Garulli, a hardware and firmware developer from Lonato del Garda, Italy, tried to do. Having suffered a spinal cord injury that affected his legs, one more heavily than the other, he was on the lookout for treatment, even if it required some serious tinkering.

So when his daughter Elisa came across our booth at the FENS 2022 in Paris, one thing caught her eye: the Human-Human Interface (HHI) and the idea of neuroplasticity. Christmas was nearing and with it, their old tradition of spending holiday time doing projects together. As it happened, the perfect Christmas gift was there for the taking.

Elisa’s own background helped too. As a PhD student at Charité University Hospital, Berlin, she studies neurotechnology and holds an MSc in biotech. Moreover, she used to be part of O.W.L. (Open Wet Lab), a biohacking association committed to bringing science out of labs and making it more accessible to everyone. And that, reader, may ring a bell or two.

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Backyard Brains Has Official South Korean Distributor

— Written by Tim Marzullo —

South Korea (called the “Republic of Korea” locally) is a great fit for Backyard Brains. The country is famous for investing heavily in technology and education, having modernized at a mind-boggling pace since the ceasefire of the Korean War (1950-1953). Over the past two years, we have been working closely with a Korean company, OSUNHITECH

They have been in business for the last 25 years, and are about 3x the size of Backyard Brains (the size is important – there are only three layers of management at OSUNHITECH, so decisions can be made relatively quickly and negotiations tend to be efficient). They primarily produce microscopes (and are an official importer for Zeiss), are focused on the educational market, and have been looking to expand into neuroscience and molecular biology. Microscopy and neuroscience walk hand in hand, so we were open to discussing an alliance with them when first contact was made.

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Our Wireless Human-Human Interface Enters 2022 Amazing Maker Award Contest (Help Us Win!)

wireless human-human interface in action

Picture this: you’re sitting in your bedroom in Germany, video chatting with a friend in South Korea over coffee. You sip your coffee and they have no choice but to sip theirs!

That’s exactly what our new prototype, the Wireless Human-Human Interface, is about. It transmits biosignals from one person’s brain to the ulnar nerve in another person’s arm. Yes, that’s what our classic Human-Human Interface does too. Except that you can now do it remotely!

So far, people could connect remotely via WiFi. Now they can also connect via electrophysiology!

Which is why we’re super excited to announce that the Wireless HHI has made it into the selection for this year’s Amazing Maker Award contest, along with 95 other applicants! The top 12 projects will be selected as finalists and published in Make: Magazine, and the best 3 are to get cash prizes. It’s a juried competition, but community votes will count as well.

Best of all, you can help us too if you like our prototype! Just head over here and hit “Vote”. (You’ll need to log in or register if you haven’t already.) You can vote once per day per project till July 15, when the winners will be announced.

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