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NU2042 looking to the future

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Nipissing University recently hosted the first installment of a new speaker series, NU2042, featuring five researchers speaking for five minutes, looking 25 years into the future through the lens of their research. Those researchers believe the future looks bright and gave a rare glimpse into what lies ahead in terms of neuroscience research at the Grande Event Centre last Thursday. The room was filled to capacity and the people in attendance were treated to some engaging and thoughtful discussion about what the future might hold. Dr. Andrew Weeks showed how the next steps in three-dimensional modeling of the human brain will revolutionize how people understand its mechanisms.

Dr. Phil Nickerson discussed his work in repairing damaged cells in the eye and the need to be pragmatic. Nickerson says trusting the research process as new cells are created will work for everyone to treat eye degeneration, and even blindness. Dr. Michael Jones talked about his work in creating artificial intelligence, how computer engineers are going back to study the human brain and how it develops in their quest for AI. Jones was cautiously optimistic that in 25 years, Skynet would not be live and the human race would hopefully not be enslaved by killer, AI robots.

Dr. Jeff Kleim talked about neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to react and physically change, and how current and future technology will work with the brain to overcome catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Dr. Justin Carré discussed how international collaborations that cross academic disciplines will evolve, allowing for a much better understanding of a multitude of humanity, including his area of human aggression.

The next NU2042 is scheduled for September 21st.

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