Nectome is a startup that wants to digitize the contents of your brain
Unfortunately the procedure is completely fatalBy Greg Synek 8 comments
Interfacing technology with humans has been going on for decades. Inspiration from science-fiction movies has helped researchers turn ridiculous inventions into reality. Startup company Nectome is now accepting deposits to fully preserve your brain so that future generations can rebuild your consciousness.
At first glance, the very concept seems impossible, but neuroscientist Edward Boyden of MIT believes otherwise. An $80,000 prize was awarded for demonstrating the preservation of a pig's brain such that all synapses were able to be viewed with an electron microscope. Whether the technique can be easily used on humans remains to be tested but there is evidence to suggest that success is feasible.
There is one major caveat in fully preserving the contents of a human brain. A person cannot be kept alive during the process. Local anesthetic must be given to someone who is approaching their end of life and then have embalming chemicals injected into neck arteries. The startup believes their process is fully legal in states and countries that allow doctor-assisted suicide.
Collecting data from brains and digitizing the contents is not yet perfected but that is not stopping the company from collecting deposits for the service. For a $10,000 refundable down payment, you can be put a waiting list. There is not yet evidence to suggest that memories are actually able to be recovered from tissues postmortem. The shear amount of information poses a challenge to collect and store.
Each nerve within the brain can have as many as 8,000 connections to other nerves. With current technology, mapping small sections is possible but is time-consuming and by nature is cost prohibitive. Nectome's hope is that future improvements to technology will allow for brain data to be fully recovered for analysis.