(NaturalNews) Pretty soon every bodily function will be capable of regulation and control by futuristic, man-made technologies, and this bionic insurgence is apparently starting with the human appetite. As reported by BBC News, U.K.-based scientists have developed an implantable microchip that they say can suppress hunger and induce weight loss better than weight-loss surgery and other conventional methods.
The chip, which is designed to be attached to the vagus nerve, has already been dubbed an "intelligent implantable modulator," which means it is allegedly smart enough to read the signals associated with appetite inside the gut and react accordingly. Just a few millimeters across in size, the chip contains a series of cuff electrodes that affix to the vagus nerve and read and process both the electrical and chemical signatures of appetite.
"This is a really small microchip and on this chip we've got the intelligence which can actually model the neural signals responsible for appetite control," says Professor Chris Toumazou from Imperial College London, one of the lead authors of the study, as quoted by BBC News. "And as a result of monitoring these signals we can stimulate the brain to counter whatever we monitor."
The bionic future of humanity, as envisioned by the mainstream scientific community
One of the largest nerve systems in the body, the vagus nerve begins at the base of the brain and extends throughout the body in a complex, interwoven tapestry of nerve fibers. When allowed to function naturally, the nerve primarily sends signals from the stomach to the brain that regulate hunger, fullness, and energy metabolism. The vagus nerve also sends signals from the brain to the stomach that regulate gastric acid and digestive enzyme secretion, as well as control gastric capacity and blood glucose levels.
"As far as the brain is concerned, it will get the same signals from the intestinal system as it normally gets after a meal," insists Prof. Stephen Bloom, who is also heading up ongoing research on the chip. "These signals tell it don't eat any more -- the gut's full of food and you don't need to eat any more."
Though human trials could take another three years to get started, animal trials have already been successful, claim the chip's advocates. Existing findings, they say, already show that the appetite microchip works better than weight-loss interventions like the gastric band at reducing both food consumption and hunger.
"There will be a little tiny insert and it will be so designed as to have no side effects, but restrict appetite in a natural way," adds Prof. Bloom.