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Brain transplant

James B. Hutchins jbh at anat.UMSMED.EDU
Fri Oct 22 20:33:16 EST 1993


In article <2a9lep$puf at vixen.cso.uiuc.edu> hjb41542 at uxa.cso.uiuc.edu
(Hyun June Bahk) writes:
>
[stuff deleted]
>	Although with great difficulty, transplanting of organs has been
>practiced for some time now.  It seems that tissues, bones, and organs can
>be grafted or tranplanted with assembly-line precision in near future(?)
>But what about the brain?

The problem of connectivity was mentioned by another poster.  Additionally,
to connect an embryonic brain "on the fly" as an animal is developing versus
reestablishing or forming new connections in an existing brain/spinal cord
is an almost insurmountable task, in my opinion.

Additionally, it seems to me that you would have to induce nerve cells to
divide at some point to really make the whole thing work.  Neurons don't
_want_ to divide.  In fact, I often wonder if they violate Gurdon's
famous axiom: "There is neither loss nor stable alteration of the genome".

>I've seen some movies about such topic but I don't
[stuff deleted]
>complete body transplant?...Can mind and body problem finally be solved?
>
>						Wondering,
>						Oskee

Again, in my opinion, there IS no "mind-body problem".  That one was
easier to solve than a brain transplant :-).

Minsky may want to jump in here (I _hope_ you do!) but I would submit
that any analog processor with (say) 10^11 elements each connected in
10^3 (or more) possible ways will look an awful lot like either a) a
'mind' or b) a horrific mess.

Jim

-- 
Jim Hutchins                    []     E-Mail: jbh at anat.umsmed.edu
Asst Prof of Anatomy            []     Asst Prof of Neurology
Univ Mississippi Med Ctr        []     Jackson, MS



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