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ByB teaches Undergraduate and Graduate Students about Neurons

Tim recently taught the Neurophysiology Section of a Biomedical Engineering Course, “Quatitative Physiology,” at the University. Notably, this was the first time ByB did its cricket ganglia nicotine experiment in a public setting. Did it work? Maybe…the smooth metal of the desk table made the manipulator very slippery with its brick support, and holding onto the neuron proved challenging. But you can listen for yourself! Below are links to the five lectures (each 30-50 minutes long) you may enjoy as an intro to neural engineering. The cricket experiment is at the beginning of lecture 5; you can notice from Tim’s initial “Uh” interludes that doing a tough experiment while narrating can be a bit challenging at first ;)

Lecture 1: Neural Recording

Lecture 2: Neural Data Analysis

Lecture 3: Manipulating the Brain

Lecture 4: The Electrode Problem

Lecture 5: NeuroProsthetics


ByB Partners with Business School

ByB applied last week to the second stage of the Zell Institute Dare to Dream grant. This grant, should we get it, will give us some funds for our initial runs of SpikerBoxes (stay tuned…we are close to final production). The grant, run every school semester by the UM Ross Business School, has three stages, from initial idea (design), to business hypothesis (assessment), to full blown business plan (integration). Once you get past the design stage, you have to partner with a business school student(s).

But, Tim and Greg are gearheads! We wouldn’t know what to do with a value chain diagram if one landed on our coxa! We don’t much hang around that part of campus. But have no fear. ByB, harking back to its renegade origins, went to the lobby of the business school to do some cold recruiting. Connie Chung and her team, through the persuasive cold pitching of Greg, joined ByB as partners for the grant. You can see us working at the local Expresso Royale on South U below. Wish us luck; we hear next week. Thanks Connie!

Business Partner


Concentrate Media interviews Backyard Brains

Concentrate Media, an Ann Arbor business magazine, recently interviewed Greg about ByB. You can read the article here.

Note: The opinions of Greg Gage do not represent the opinions of ByB. We acknowledge that insect brains and human brains are different.

Brief Primer for the newbies

-Insects don’t have mylein sheaths on their axons.

-Insects don’t really have a brain; rather, they have three fused ganglia pairs in their head

-Insects use Acetylcholine as the excitatory neurotransmitter of choice, rather than glutamate like humans.

But, like all creatures great and small, we can learn about how our brain works by studying the neurons of 340 million year old insects.

ByB