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High School Students Create Robo Roaches At Cooper Union

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Work is done on a cockroach at the Cooper Union - New York, NY - Aug 10, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Work is done on a cockroach at the Cooper Union – New York, NY – Aug 10, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

murnane_feature Paul Murnane
Paul Murnane has been running around the streets of New York City with...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - This is far from your average teenage summer camp experience.

At the Cooper Union, physics professor Robert Uglesich and some very smart high schoolers are spending their summer on a variety of projects.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane In Manhattan

Among them is “a neuroprosthetic where they’re taking an electrical box and interfacing it with the nervous system of a cockroach,” he says.

Electrical impulses through wires on the roaches’ antenna can be patterned to tunes from student Dumitchel Harley’s iPod, such as Lady Gaga and Weezer.

The cockroach is alive during the experiment.

“I wanted to go to pre-med when I go to college and then hopefully become a neurosurgeon,” said Harley.

He admits that with some, there is a thin line of ethics. But with this kind of research, he says there can be big benefits.

“It has applications in terms of prosthetics which will replace sensory functions,” says Uglesich. “For example, artificial retinas.”

What do you think about this kind of research? Let us know in the comments section below…

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