Ani Liu of the MIT Media Lab has figured out how to direct sperm using an EEG (brain controlled interface). She is flipping the polarity on a 12v signal to guide the sperm while recording and projecting the microscopic activity onto a floor. This process is called “galvanotaxis”.
Liu’s project is a piece of performance art in which she dons an EEG machine (a brain-computer interface which measures the electric activity generated by thoughts) to direct the movement of sperm along an XY axis. Using a process called galvanotaxis, in which movement of single-cell organisms and other cells are influenced by an electric field, sperm—which Liu collected from her husband—swim towards the positive electrode at about 12 volts per centimeter on a circuit under a microscope. By changing the charge back and forth, the sperm swim left and right; this activity is then projected into a room, which Liu captures on video.
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