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Cognisant
12th-April-2014, 06:25 PM
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R2BxGOdYm8U

There's various other videos on youtube showing EEG based BCIs and direct electrode stimulation of the brain so the a somewhat minimally effective brain-computer interface is at least theoretically possible.

In the video above you see a dog's head being kept alive independant of the body and there's also videos of monkey head transplants though the results are less impressive.

What I'm getting a is how hard would it be, really, to keep a brain (or the entire head) alive on artificial life support?

The oxygenation of the blood could be done by diffusion as in the video above (which is done rather crudely) now the removal of CO2 would be harder but I'm sure there's a way, and the oxygen could be mixed with a noble gas to prevent oxygen poisoning. By comparison replacing the heart would be simple, every heartbeat creates a variation in pressure, this pressure variation could be measured and a pump set up to output a pressure that's within the varying range.

Dialysis machines already exist for cleaning the blood of waste products, lymph nodes in the neck will provide ample protection if everything is done by surgical standards of cleanliness, even the hormones can be synthesised.

So why isn't this already happening?

Duxwing
12th-April-2014, 07:25 PM
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R2BxGOdYm8U

There's various other videos on youtube showing EEG based BCIs and direct electrode stimulation of the brain so the a somewhat minimally effective brain-computer interface is at least theoretically possible.

In the video above you see a dog's head being kept alive independant of the body and there's also videos of monkey head transplants though the results are less impressive.

What I'm getting a is how hard would it be, really, to keep a brain (or the entire head) alive on artificial life support?

The oxygenation of the blood could be done by diffusion as in the video above (which is done rather crudely) now the removal of CO2 would be harder but I'm sure there's a way, and the oxygen could be mixed with a noble gas to prevent oxygen poisoning. By comparison replacing the heart would be simple, every heartbeat creates a variation in pressure, this pressure variation could be measured and a pump set up to output a pressure that's within the varying range.

Dialysis machines already exist for cleaning the blood of waste products, lymph nodes in the neck will provide ample protection if everything is done by surgical standards of cleanliness, even the hormones can be synthesised.

So why isn't this already happening?

It's not happening because we need to better understand the body and brain before we can replace the former to support the latter; e.g., micronutrient management, not-yet-understood hormones or proteins.

A Way to Do It
After learning enough and experimenting on animals, we could visit the dying and offer them this chance to extend their lives. We would learn from the mishaps to improve our understanding until one day immediately lopping babies off at the shoulders and vatting their brains under the mighty mountains tall.

-Duxwing

RadicalDreamer31
12th-April-2014, 07:49 PM
It's not just a matter of slapping on a blood pump, and voilą. You NEED most of your organs to continua to live. Cells die, cells become infected. The brain also breaks down and dies. So even if you could maintain consciousness as a hydroponic brain; good luck making it to 120 years and beyond withOUT alzheimers / atrophy / dementia / etc.

How hard is life extension? Pretty fucking easy, get sleep, eat right, exercise. And if you make it to a century, you might find life extension not really your priority. But that's my opinion, I don't have the need to live forever.

However, if your still curious if it's possible. Go catch yourself some squirrels and try it out yourself, or better yet, on yourself :)

Methodician
12th-April-2014, 08:17 PM
THAT is freaky.

Anyway, to answer the question, "life extension" is pretty straight forward. I've been rigorously researching it lately. There are lifestyle factors and psychological/social factors that seem to play a huge role but new info is coming to light on the easier-to-control stuff like nutrition and exercise.

For instance, some of my primary objectives right now are to keep my insulin, IGF, mTOR, and a few other signals in check. I do this by limiting carbs and protein, thus getting about 55% of my calories from saturated and monounsaturated fat. There are lots of people taking more extreme ratios, getting upwards of 70% of calories from fat and still in excellent health, but I'm trying to stay within the bounds of normal biology until more info comes available. I also try to maximize my daily micronutrient intake (while cautious not to overdo certain ones).

Research has found that protein restriction can have a similar effect to caloric restriction and, better yet, it may come down to managing a few amino acids.

So far I have:

-Protein restriction may be as effective as caloric restriction on life extension... in fact protein restriction may be WHY caloric restriction works, for all I know...

-Leucine and Methinoine restriction has been shown to have similar effects and, for all I know might be WHY protein restriction works!!!

-Extra dietary Glycine might have the same effect as restricting Methenoine, I think it helps eliminate excess Methenoine or something...

All this new info is coming to the table really fast...

As for extending life by lopping off your head and feeding it artificial/supplemental nutrients, hormones, oxygen, etc... keep in mind that our organ systems have evolved in tandem for many millions/billions of years. To think that just because we could keep a dog head alive for minutes/hours, we could keep it alive for eons, is wishful thinking. While that technology may become available in the future (maybe 40-100 years on) it will probably involve a surrogate BIOLOGICAL body to keep your brain alive.

But, by the time that technology is available we should also have the technology to simply fix/augment/immortalize our existing bodies. Those dramatic tools, brain transplants and such, would be last-moment stop-gaps in case of some terrible accident that destroys your body but leaves your brain intact.

That said, if we can even keep the brain alive in some rudimentary sense for just a few years, I'd happily take that if I have my terrible accident too soon. I'd let them lop my head off and connect it to whatever they wanted if it'd buy me an extra couple years. Even a few months...

Redfire
12th-April-2014, 08:30 PM
Cognisant is only concerned with life extension beyond what is possible by lifestyle intervention.

Best case scenario: you get a couple of decades of extra life. But what then? Replacing biological neurons with artificial ones is too hard, and we don't even know if it would work.

The most plausible way is to keep the brain alive by periodically repairing the damage caused by metabolism. But how could this possibly work? Even simple brain surgery often has complications, how can you mess with the brain that much and NOT fuck up?

The truth is that I don't know much about biology so I may be completely wrong. But surely, if we really knew how our bodies work we wouldn't have so many physical problems, would we? A war on cancer was declared in 1971; how is that going? If we can't even cure cancer, how can we think about curing aging?

Cognisant
12th-April-2014, 08:47 PM
Cancer is damaged DNA going rouge, the only way to entirely prevent it would be damn near an immortality serum and the the only 100% sure way to fix it is to either destroy all the cancer cells (without killing the patient) or somehow fix them.

I'm talking about taking drastic measures for relatively short term life extension, a cure for cancer would make that utterly redundant.

Anyway I'm sensing a lot of hostility here, not being very objective guys :D

However, if your still curious if it's possible. Go catch yourself some squirrels and try it out yourself, or better yet, on yourself
We don't have squirrels here.

I can get rats though...

RadicalDreamer31
12th-April-2014, 09:46 PM
I just don't know anything about the science behind life extension.

The hostilities you may have sensed, may have come from an instinctual cation; the social implications / consequences of immortals walking about are incredible. This is not a humanity we are used to.

Redfire
12th-April-2014, 11:07 PM
I just don't know anything about the science behind life extension.

The hostilities you may have sensed, may have come from an instinctual cation; the social implications / consequences of immortals walking about are incredible. This is not a humanity we are used to.

The fact that we are used to our current pathetic state doesn't make it any better.

Back to the topic, though: I think a life support system for an isolated head/brain is not that far-fetched. And it could buy some extra time. I just don't think the other interventions will arrive soon enough, so the brain will just die eventually anyway.
On the other hand, 20 years may make a huge difference if progress speeds up.

By the way, since Cog told me about advances in BCIs, I started reading about them and it's just fascinating. Way more advanced than I thought.

EyeSeeCold
12th-April-2014, 11:54 PM
I would think life extension becomes harder the longer it is extended...


The transitional phase between organic life and artificial life support of the head/brain may not bring a person back from unconsciousness, even if the biological system is otherwise intact.


The idea is interesting though, if a real life Frankenstein monster were to be built would it have consciousness? If it did, what kind of consciousness could it possibly have? What about memories?

Cognisant
13th-April-2014, 12:02 AM
This isn't restoring dead tissue, indeed unconsciousness isn't a requirement, if I was having this done to myself I'd have surgical tubing with pointed sleeves used so that there's no interruption between the old blood supply and the new one; once the tubing is inserted the sleeve would be pulled out and discarded.

I could watch it all happening, while dosed up on painkillers of course.

Redfire
13th-April-2014, 04:34 AM
The point is that an isolated brain hooked to a life support system, communicating through a BCI, would be immune to all causes of death except for those that involve the brain. Most old people die from heart disease or influenza, so a certain ammount of life extension would definitely happen.
Is this not true? Can anyone explain why it isn't true then?

I think Itskov's 2045 thing included something like that in it's plans.

Pyropyro
13th-April-2014, 04:47 AM
Keeping tissues alive and happy using external conditions are quite easy IMO. It's routine college lab work. Keeping the cells from killing themselves or stopping from dividing, now that's sort of trickier.

If it's just a brain in a jar sort of thing then we have to solve the problem how to make brain cells regenerate. Otherwise the brain will simply shrivel and die regardless of the richness of your nutrient medium.

If it's for the whole body then we need to have a workaround against the Hayflick limit (there's a limit on how many a cell can divide). Cancer cells don't have this limit. We need to figure out how to make normal cells get the same ability without turning ourselves into a mass of undifferentiated cells.

Redfire
13th-April-2014, 05:03 AM
If it's just a brain in a jar sort of thing then we have to solve the problem how to make brain cells regenerate. Otherwise the brain will simply shrivel and die regardless of the richness of your nutrient medium.

How soon will it shrivel up and die? Will it offer any life extension to, say, a 90 year old man?

If it's for the whole body then we need to have a workaround against the Hayflick limit (there's a limit on how many a cell can divide). Cancer cells don't have this limit. We need to figure out how to make normal cells get the same ability without turning ourselves into a mass of undifferentiated cells.

And you don't have this problem with an isolated brain?

A more general question: are there some aspects of aging which don't involve the brain in any way? Because if that's true then all research could be concentrated towards the problems that involve the brain, and then we do the procedure whenever is necessary. Anyone who isn't willing to become a brain in a jar doesn't deserve immortality anyway :P

I would ask sorry for my ignorance on this matters but then it wouldn't be true. I'm hardly sorry for wanting to learn.

Pyropyro
13th-April-2014, 05:36 AM
How soon will it shrivel up and die? Will it offer any life extension to, say, a 90 year old man?


Unfortunately I don't know. Its just that it tends to get worse as one ages. It's only compensated by brain cells that make better connection to their neighbors (brains are kind of a use it or lose it). So your 90 year old brain would only age. You'll probably be able to extend its life because you control the nutrients/waste material exchange and protect it from trauma.


And you don't have this problem with an isolated brain?


Because the brain has worse issues at hand.

A more general question: are there some aspects of aging which don't involve the brain in any way?


Hmmm... probably exposure to the elements (to the skin) and constant wear and tear (too the joints)

Because if that's true then all research could be concentrated towards the problems that involve the brain, and then we do the procedure whenever is necessary. Anyone who isn't willing to become a brain in a jar doesn't deserve immortality anyway :P

Well my endgame for humanity is a neural network sort of hivemind while Cog's endgame is more robotic. Perhaps they are more open to being a brain in a jar. As for me, I'm more okay if my brain is plugged into an organic body like say a Tyranid Hive Tyrant (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Hive_Tyrant#.U0oTqPmSySo).

I would ask sorry for my ignorance on this matters but then it wouldn't be true. I'm hardly sorry for wanting to learn.

Science develops because of people who says "I don't know" and "I want to learn more".

peoplesuck
13th-April-2014, 06:00 AM
what is the point, no one would want to go through with this. also i dont think we have the knowledge to stop decaying/aging./ unrelated but blue eyes is a sign of intelligence in humans but does anyone know if it is for animals as well.

peoplesuck
13th-April-2014, 06:03 AM
ps what they are doing to that dog is terrible.

Redfire
13th-April-2014, 06:11 AM
Well my endgame for humanity is a neural network sort of hivemind while Cog's endgame is more robotic. Perhaps they are more open to being a brain in a jar. As for me, I'm more okay if my brain is plugged into an organic body like say a Tyranid Hive Tyrant (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Hive_Tyrant#.U0oTqPmSySo).

Personally I'd definitely prefer to be a robot, or better yet, an invisible ghost of pure energy (doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense :P).

Why would you want to be part of a hivemind? Don't you like independence?

Science develops because of people who says "I don't know" and "I want to learn more".

Sure :)
Thank you for your time.

ps what they are doing to that dog is terrible.

Since I like dogs very much, I was also quite shocked, but the experiments proves that consciousness is entirely in the head and that you can transplant it. Even today some people still dispute that. Science is more important than individual reactions to this kind of stuff.

what is the point, no one would want to go through with this.

I would.
"Your mistake was to believe that a life without end can have no meaning - it is the only life that can have meaning."

Pyropyro
13th-April-2014, 06:27 AM
Personally I'd definitely prefer to be a robot, or better yet, an invisible ghost of pure energy (doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense :P).

Why would you want to be part of a hivemind? Don't you like independence?


I think I made a thread about this some time ago. My vision of the hive mind is more or less like the Internet but with our minds being the connectors rather than just our laptops/computers. I do like independence, it's seems that a hive-mind is a compromise between independence and the lack of empathy in this world.


Since I like dogs very much, I was also quite shocked, but the experiments proves that consciousness is entirely in the head and that you can transplant it. Even today some people still dispute that. Science is more important than individual reactions to this kind of stuff.

ps what they are doing to that dog is terrible.

It is indeed a part of Science's dark side. I remember my thesis adviser lamenting that Science and Technology is moving at breakneck speeds yet ethics are not catching up. Fortunately, there are standards being set place that protects the interest of both science and those that are being studied on. (It's a very controversial topic though)

Redfire
13th-April-2014, 06:57 AM
It is indeed a part of Science's dark side. I remember my thesis adviser lamenting that Science and Technology is moving at breakneck speeds yet ethics are not catching up. Fortunately, there are standards being set place that protects the interest of both science and those that are being studied on. (It's a very controversial topic though)

Yes, but a dog can't agree to be part of an experiment. It's not ethical by any standards. But it's still necessary, so we just have to stomach it.

I think I made a thread about this some time ago. My vision of the hive mind is more or less like the Internet but with our minds being the connectors rather than just our laptops/computers. I do like independence, it's seems that a hive-mind is a compromise between independence and the lack of empathy in this world.

To each his own. I'll take total independence and feeling dead inside any day of the week :P

Cognisant
13th-April-2014, 11:52 AM
Well my endgame for humanity is a neural network sort of hivemind while Cog's endgame is more robotic. Perhaps they are more open to being a brain in a jar. As for me, I'm more okay if my brain is plugged into an organic body like say a Tyranid Hive Tyrant.
That would be awesome, ideally I'd like to do that too but for now the whole techno-lich thing would be easier to do.

If it's just a brain in a jar sort of thing then we have to solve the problem how to make brain cells regenerate. Otherwise the brain will simply shrivel and die regardless of the richness of your nutrient medium.
In mice young blood has been used to improve the vigor of older mice.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/oct/17/young-blood-reverse-effects-ageing

C'mere I vanna suck ya blooood :D

Josteen
13th-April-2014, 04:37 PM
The body is literally already a perfect machine with the most effective mechanism to support consciousness, it actually the thing that spawns consciousness.
In my opinion no matter what machine we made to emulate what the body does, it will never become better than the body, it will be so complex that in the process of creating this artificial "body" you ended up just might as well create a clone of the body because the state of perfection of this artificial body were just to be equal with the original body.
This kind of study is fascinating, watching this video increases my knowledge and opens up my mind to lots of possibilities. It proved that our ability to artificially support life is virtually limitless, but in the end those replacement cannot surpass the original in anyway, each and every cells in our body have their own function and they are interconnected with each other.
Organic cells that have the ability to be assimilated by the body is the most effective way of doing this in my opinion.
If your goals were to transcends humanity through this method, i cannot know for sure, this concept is very new and with things like PETA and the human rights dilly dally i doubt that this concept can be further studied.
Right now in my knowledge, scientist were looking more into genetics in order to increase longevity/preserve life quality/ transcending human kind rather than using a different medium to achieve it because it sounds more "natural" and acceptable although in my opinion it was the same thing and they're just being a hypocrite about it.

Cognisant
13th-April-2014, 06:13 PM
Literally perfect?

Hold on a moment as I pop your little bubble of ignorance, I have one heart, if that one heart fails I'm dead, if my one liver fails I'm dead, whereas if my brain was on artificial life support I could have multiple pumps and dialysis machines running in parallel so I can continue living even if some of them fail and the likelihood of a dozen machines malfunctioning independently & simultaneously is somewhat unlikely.

Furthermore as we age our organs begin to function less effectively, this can then affect other organs in a cascade of catastrophic failure, it can take minutes or it can take years but either it dosen't matter, it's unavoidable. Imagine keeping a car running without ever swapping out old parts, you just keep refurbishing them, well there's only so many times you can regrind the cylinders before you're affecting the structural integrity of the engine block, likewise there will never be a simple cure to aging, no drug or mutagen could possibly do it.

Organic cells that have the ability to be assimilated by the body is the most effective way of doing this in my opinion.
What about the accumulating scar tissue, heavy metals (trace amounts but it increases over time) parasites, general cellular waste (the blood brain barrier has been likened to a chain-link fence beside a highway in how shit accumulates on it).

because it sounds more "natural" and acceptable
Oh c'mon what is this?

Josteen
14th-April-2014, 03:55 AM
Well you said the dog died after a few hours after being kept alive in that machine.
I didn't say that it was impossible to artificially support life in fact it was very possible it have been done a Fuck ton of time and this video proved to what extreme it can it be done.
But the dog could have lived a lot longer if he was not separated from his body at the first place, I was just saying that the state of perfection of this artifical body would have just be equal to what the original body is capable of doing.

Every living things have a unique body of its own, even blood pressure, appearance, and chemical properties varies greatly in each living things.

If your original organ fails than you can use an artifical one to replace it, but this replacement is inferior compared to the original organ.

You ended up trying to emulate everything that the body does in order for it to work like what you intended, mind if I tell you that even artifil body breaks down in time and require a tremendous amount of maintenance in order for it to work properly?

Organic body also need to be maintained in order for it to keep working correctly but our current situation and how the society works it is easier to do because we are already doing it without realizing it everyday.

You mentioned the dialisis machine before, do you know anything about it? I have a few families that lives on it due to their kidney failure, it prolonges their live and it surely help them, but is it as good as their own kidney? Can they still do things that they usually can do with their original kidney? They can't.

If it was perfected to fit the person in need and to eliminate those gimmicks then it would end up just being a clone of what the original kidney is.

Pyropyro
14th-April-2014, 03:57 AM
That would be awesome, ideally I'd like to do that too but for now the whole techno-lich thing would be easier to do.


Die Necron Scum!:evil:

In mice young blood has been used to improve the vigor of older mice.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/oct/17/young-blood-reverse-effects-ageing

C'mere I vanna suck ya blooood :D

This is probably due to growth hormones being transferred to the old mice. We'll who knew that bathing in virgin's blood is actually invigorating?

Methodician
15th-April-2014, 07:34 PM
The body is literally already a perfect machine with the most effective mechanism to support consciousness, it actually the thing that spawns consciousness.

This appears to be a manifestation of a common reaction. People want to believe that we were given this perfect form by god or whatever. The human body is a beautiful, amazing machine with astounding capabilities but where do you get off using a word like "perfect"? Can I be killed by poison? Ravaged by disease? Can I hold my breath for 3 days? Why not? "perfect" is impossible but we could certainly make some improvements on a good thing.

That said, I agree that the best path to improvement is to build on what we've got. I'd like to keep my body but continue evolving. Eventually I may not be recognizable as human but that's okay. If I get 6 arms, vision reaching to the extremes of the electromagnetic spectrum, a faster brain with better memory, etc... I'll be a happier man.

THAT said, I'd choose a brain-in-a-jar life over a quick death. Assuming I'm hooked up to some sensory systems and networked into a computer or something. Gotta have an interface to the world or being kept alive means nothing.

Josteen
16th-April-2014, 04:24 AM
It is not perfect in the sense that it is able to do anything that we wanted and have invulnerability to anything.

Yet in our condition and environment, it is the most "fitting", i am not going to say the word perfect anymore since you misunderstood me before.

I do believe that the body CAN be improved, but building from the ground up is a waste of time and resource since this artificial one will take a lot of time just to be on par with the natural body, therefore improving upon what we have now is more feasible in my opinion.

To clarify, i am never even considering the religious view when i wrote all those things, and i know everything and how interesting is the brain in a jar theory was, but then, imagine when our technology is capable of achieving such thing, not everyone can become a brain in a jar, someone have to maintain the machine and watch over them, and in a sense this person becomes some kind of a god that controls the life and death of others and manipulate other's reality.

Brain in a jar also present a huge individuality problem since everything you feel and senses is never actually your own, although this kind of thing is already happening in the real world where the collective mind of our society tried to make you be the same as other and reward you for it and hate and punishes you for not being the same and thinking like others, but yet everything you feel and senses is still your own no matter what they do.

Redfire
16th-April-2014, 10:39 PM
Brain in a jar also present a huge individuality problem since everything you feel and senses is never actually your own

Why not?

Josteen
17th-April-2014, 02:58 PM
Others controlled it and what you see and feel is essentially what they want you to feel, and your life is jo longer yours in a sense. It's too complicated according to your own meaning of individuality and reality.

You might now see this as a problem but I see it as one bug problem.

Redfire
24th-April-2014, 12:18 AM
If anyone is interested, I asked around in Longecity and got an excellent answer:

http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/70026-brain-sens/?gopid=658053#entry658053

Pyropyro
24th-April-2014, 07:10 AM
I'm intrigued with one of the posts there about sensory deprivation and stimulation. Hmm... perhaps we could trick the brain into becoming an organic computer. We could send unsorted data to the brain, have it process the information and then decipher the result of the thought process.

It's sort of a win-win. The brain gets plenty of exercise while we have one less brain degeneration factor to worry about.

Of course we can simply hook it up with the Matrix :D