John Smart will give a talk, Chemical brain preservation: How to live "forever" at World Future 2012 in Toronto.
Recent Technology Reviews
Brain Preservation Foundation President Kenneth Hayworth has recently published a technical review paper discussing how extensions of existing technology would be capable of extracting the entire connectome of a chemically preserved human brain:
Hayworth, K. J. (2012) ELECTRON IMAGING TECHNOLOGY FOR WHOLE BRAIN NEURAL CIRCUIT MAPPING. IJMC Volume: 4, Issue: 1, pp. 87-108 [link to pdf of uncorrected proof copy]
An excellent new review of the four leading technologies in connectomics research:
Briggman, K.L. & Bock, D.D. (2011) Volume electron microscopy for neuronal circuit reconstruction. Curr Op in Neurobiology 22 pp.1-8
Researchers and others interested in the current state of development of technologies of brain preservation and connectomics/brain pattern restoration may enjoy the following papers. The new field of connectomics is undergoing particularly rapid development at present. Visit NLM Pub Med for more.
Brief overview on the state of the art in chemical preservation research:
Papers describing the state of the art in chemical brain preservation:
Palay et al. 1962. Fixation of neural tissues for electron microscopy by perfusion with solutions of osmium tetroxide.
Oldmixon et al. 1985. Perfusion dehydration fixes elastin and preserves lung air-space dimensions.
Excellent reference books describing theory and protocols for perfusion fixation of tissue and solid organs:
Hyat, M.A. 2000. Principles and Techniques of Electron Microscopy: Biological Applications, Fourth Ed., Cambridge U. Press.
Kiernan, J.A. 2008. Histological and Histochemical Methods: Theory and Practice, Fourth Ed., Cold Spring Harbor Lab Press.
Brief overview on the state of the art in cryopreservation research:
Papers describing the state of the art in cryopreservation:
Darwin et al. 1995. Effect of human cryopreservation protocol on the ultrastructure of the canine brain.
Pichugin et al. 2006. Cryopreservation of rat hippocampal slices by vitrification.
Fahy et al. 2009. Physical and biological aspects of renal vitrification.
Connectomics, Imaging, and Neural Circuit Mapping
There are a number of imaging and neural circuit mapping technologies that are rapidly improving in price/performance today. Any one of these might be used to complete a small animal (worm, insect, zebrafish), a mouse, and later, a human connectome in coming years. Which will ultimately be proven most cost effective is not clear at present, and may vary from application to application and lab to lab. Current viable technologies include:
1. Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy (SBFSEM)
2. Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIBSEM)
3. Ultrathin sectioning and automated tape collection for SEM
4. Electron tomography on thick cut sections (TEM or SEM)
5. X-ray tomography (either on vitrified tissue or stained plastic embedded tissue)
6. Atomic force scanning microscopy of block face in preserved tissue.
BPF Brief on The NIH Human Connectome Project:
What is a connectome?
Brief overview on the state of the art in high-throughput volume EM imaging of brain tissue:
Papers describing the state of the art in high-throughput volume EM imaging of brain tissue
Denk et al. 2004. Serial block-face scanning electron microscopy to reconstruct three-dimensional tissue nanostructure.
Knott et al. 2008. Serial section scanning electron microscopy of adult brain tissue using focused ion beam milling.
ATLUM project website:
Papers describing recent imaging technology advances:
Schneider et al. 2010. Three-dimensional cellular ultrastructure resolved by X-ray microscopy.
Please consider joining our Facebook page (social networking), our LinkedIn group (professional networking), and/or our Twitter feed (brief news updates). These are our primary interaction fora at present. The more practical, open-minded, future oriented, and rational folks who join the BPF community, the faster we can achieve our ambitious goals. Thanks for connecting!
BPF In The News
Neuroscience – and the Future of Humanity – Interview with Ken Hayworth.
Fri, October 19, 2012
Brain Preservation Now!
Tue, July 31, 2012
Thur, July 26, 2012
Discussion of BPF at the World Future Society conference.
The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality.
BPF is featured on Season 3, Ep 6, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, available via iTunes at this link.
Robin Hanson on why he's supporting the Brain Preservation Foundation.
An Update from Competitors for the Brain Preservation Foundation's Technology Prize.
A Connectome Observatory for Nanoscale Brain Imaging. Ken Hayworth's teleXLR8 talk, Kurzweilai.net article.
The Brain Preservation Technology Prize on the cover of Cryonics Magazine.
The Brain Preservation Technology Prize is mentioned.
Mind's circuit diagram to be revealed by a mammoth map. Article discusses BPF Brain Preservation Technology Prize.