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Technical Briefing: Bio-neural Systems
- Star Trek: The Magazine

Bio-neural Gel Pack Voyager's advanced bio-neural systems organize information more efficiently and perform complex procedure at very high speed.

The computer system also incorporates bio-neural circuity. Bio-neural gel packs are organic computer 'circuits' composed of sythetic cerebral neurons, suspended in a nutrient gel medium. These gel packs are based on the organic organization of the humaniod brain, and work much faster than the isolinear chips, relying on a 'best-guess' decision-making process rather than a calculation based on all possible actions. Each pack consists of a transparent, flexible casing that contains the fluid, and a metallic interface bar at the top that can be plugged into the ship's systems, meaning that it can be swapped as easily as an isolinear chip. The fibers in an individual gel pack are capable of making billions of connections, thus generating an incredibly sophisticated and responsive computing architecture. The gel packs can operate indepently of other systems or, if necessary, they can use the isolinear cores to perform number-crunching operations and for data reference. The gel packs are used in systems throughout Voyager, but their principle function is to make instantaneous navigational computations.

The evolution of the EMH into a fully sentient being is the most impressive example of the bio-neural system's abilities. With one notable exception in 2365, holograms created by isolinear computer systems have not been able to achieve sentience, but the combination of a self-improving program with bio-neural systems has allowed the EMH to evolve into a being with apparently genuine emotions and intellectual capablities.

Bio-neural technology is extremely new, and in many cases does not respond to a conventional engineering approach. Because bio-neural gel packs use organic components, they are vulnerable to viral infections and can literally become sick. An infection can present serious risk to the efficient running of the ship. Because their organic nature, the gel packs can be treated by conventional medicine.