How your brain data could be used against you

A “memory prosthesis” implant seems to improve memory in people with brain damage, as I wrote in September. The device is designed to mimic the way our brains typically form memories in a seahorse-shaped structure called the hippocampus.

And a noninvasive form of brain stimulation, which delivers gentle pulses of electricity via a swimming cap of electrodes, seems to improve the memory of older people, as I reported last year.

Electrodes implanted in the brains of people with depression are helping us to better understand and treat the disorder. One team has used a set of electrodes to develop a “mood decoder,” designed to tell when a person is entering a depressive state and help reverse it.

It’s not just brain data that could be dangerous in the wrong hands. My colleague Tanya Basu has written a guide to protecting your menstrual health data in a post-Roe world.

From around the web

The World Health Organization has finally published a definition of long covid in children, following a long-running and extremely heated debate among parents, doctors, and scientists. Children and adolescents with “post-covid-19 condition” have symptoms affecting their everyday life for at least two months, typically including fatigue, anxiety, and changes to their sense of smell. The WHO has included a list of other potential symptoms, which include chest pain, fever, nausea, rash, palpitations, and cognitive difficulties. (WHO)

Speaking of long covid, here’s what not to ask someone who’s experiencing lasting symptoms. (The Atlantic)

He Jiankui, the controversial scientist whose work led to the world’s first babies born using CRISPR gene editing, has had his Hong Kong visa revoked. The Hong Kong government made the announcement hours after He claimed he was in contact with universities, companies, and research institutes there. (Associated Press)

A 53-year-old man is considered to be the third person with HIV to be officially cleared of the virus. The man received bone marrow stem cells from a person with a genetic mutation that makes cells resistant to HIV. (Nature)

Your body is electric. Cracking the code of the “electrome” could help us find new ways to understand and treat all kinds of diseases. (New Scientist)

Source: MIT Technology Review

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