Last fall Nicholas Carr blogged about whole brain emulation, in which one does a software simulation of every neuron & structure of a brain just like yours. Kinda like in “The Matrix” with Keanu, or one of those stupid brain in a vat science fiction novellas.
So now Science Daily tells me that “Brain Mapping Time Reduced From Years To A Few Months With New Technology”:
Mapping the billions of connections in the brain is a grand challenge in neuroscience. The current method for mapping interconnected brain cells involves the use of room-size microscopes known as transmission electron microscopes (TEMs). Until now the process of mapping even small areas of the brain using these massive machines would have required several decades.
Research teams at the University of Utah John A. Moran Eye Center and the University of Colorado at Boulder report technical advances that have reduced the time it takes to process high-speed “color” ultrastructure mapping of brain regions down to a few months.
These advances did not require the invention of new electron microscopes. The technical leap comes mostly from new powerful software that “takes over” the building, connecting and viewing of terabyte scale pictures produced by TEMs. Perhaps just as important is the fact that these researchers are now making these technologies available world-wide to scientists in multiple fields of research. ‘Our goals were to unleash a global network of electron microscopes and provide web-accessible imagery for battalions of brain network analysts,’ said Robert Marc, Ph.D. . .“
I like the parts about ”unleashing a global network“ and ”battalions“ of brain network analysts. This guy reminds me of the way-over-the-top villain Monty Meekman who keeps showing up in nanoscopically famous novels that I can’t seem to make myself stop writing.
”Wetmachine”–a water-based machine inside the cranium. An ironic conceit that becomes less ironic every day. Pretty soon this place will be completely literal, and what a drag that will be.