John Donoghue to direct new Wyss Center for Neuro-Engineering in Geneva

Neuroscientist John Donoghue of Brown University has spent the past decade working on brain-machine interfaces that allow paralyzed people to control prosthetic limbs using only their minds, a project called BrainGate. This summer, he’s packing his bags for Switzerland to become director of the new Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering in Geneva, part of the resurrection of an extensive research facility abandoned by pharma giant Merck Serono in 2012. (Science)

A Speech Synthesizer Direct to the Brain 

Recordings from the brain's surface are giving scientists unprecedented views into how the brain controls speech. Could a person who is paralyzed and unable to speak, like physicist Stephen Hawking, use a brain implant to carry on a conversation? (Technology Review)

Brain-controlled Google Glass

Google Glass has been hacked so that it can be controlled by brainwaves. By combining the smart glasses with an electroencephalography (EEG) headset, the software makes it possible to take a picture without moving a muscle. London-based start-up This Place said the tech could be utilized in high-pressure hands-free situations such as during surgery. (BBC News)

European Effort for Computer-Simulated Brain Draws Fire

The Human Brain Project is Europe’s flagship contribution to neuroscience. Established last year and funded by the European Commission, the project was meant to rally scientists and computer engineers around developing better tools to study how the brain works. But its most ambitious goal – a computer simulation of the entire brain – came under attack on Monday when hundreds of neuroscientists from around the world sent an open letter to the commission condemning what they see as an absence of feasibility and transparency. (The New York Times)