Backyard Brains

October 18, 2009

backyardbrains.jpgThe $100 Spike guys, Gage and Marzullo, are back at the SfN annual meeting this year with additional developments. If you missed out, a version of their 2008 presentation is available here and it will give you a bit of the flavor. There was also an interview of Marzullo from the Nature podcast.
Their 2009 presentation is entitled: Backyard brains: You too can do neurophysiology in your garage . You can find this at poster board GG30 and it is in the Theme H section so it will be up all day Sunday. Go visit.

iphone-spike.jpgI noted in an earlier post that these gentlemen have incorporated as Backyard Brains and have been working on the SpikerBox product. This system uses the leg of a cockroach as the source of neuronal activity. As you can see in the figures, not only did they succeed in recording a spike (unlike last year) but they’ve developed an iPhone app! iPhone!


As I mentioned last year, I’m a big fan. Science plus entertainment combined with a plucky privateer spirit. Just the kind of thing that might interest some kids in getting all science-y. I sincerely hope these guys manage to turn this into a commercial product that, just perhaps, we will someday see requested in a DonorsChoose proposal. How cool would that be?
You will wish to note important disclosures from the abstract.

  • Zell Institue for Entrepeneurship (UM)
  • Tim Marzullo’s wallet
  • Greg Gage’s Credit Card
  • The Brown Jug, Ann Arbor, MI

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