Startup Company Wants To Preserve Your Brain, Upload It Digitally ‘Someday’

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Either Hollywood writers have been on top of genius minds in the medical field, or scientists have been watching way too much Netlfix.

What appears to be a hybrid out of The Matrix and something out of Black Mirror, a startup company has successfully raised loads of cash to start a brain preservation service so that future generations can digitally map them and upload them to the cloud.

Yes, this is real.

The only down side? The brain has to be fresh, as in, you have to be euthanized first.

The company is called Nectome. MIT graduate Robert McIntyre is leading the charge with his sales pitch, “What if we told you we could back up your mind?”

Technology Review

Nectome is a preserve-your-brain-and-upload-it company. Its chemical solution can keep a body intact for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, as a statue of frozen glass. The idea is that someday in the future scientists will scan your bricked brain and turn it into a computer simulation. That way, someone a lot like you, though not exactly you, will smell the flowers again in a data server somewhere.

For Nectome’s ‘procedure’ to work, they plan to connect terminally ill patients to a heart-lung machine, allowing their embalming chemicals to pump into their carotid arteries while they’re still alive.

Not. The. Way. I. Want. To. Go.

Although this may also happen: A Kenyan Doctor Did Brain Surgery On The Wrong Guy

But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

The company has won a $960,000 federal grant, raised $1 million in funding, and has claimed an $80,000 science prize for preserving a pig’s brain so well that every synapse could be seen with an electron microscope. And people are already signing up — reportedly 25 so far, all of them paying a deposit of $10,000 for something that will likely never exist.

Nectome has also already bought and successfully embalmed the brain of a recently deceased elderly woman form Oregon.

What does Judge Josh say?

If you have the money to waste and you feel comfortable digitally copying yourself into a future ‘fake’ existence similar to The Matrix, more power to ya. But just watch Black Mirror and tell me there’s no chance something could go terribly wrong.

Spending a digital eternity with your family members sounds enticing. But if you have a mind open enough to accept uploading your brain to the cloud, I hope you have a mind open enough to think about all the possible consequences.

I suppose it also depends on your religious views. Personally, I would rather leave my brain in the hands of God, the Universe, however you may define it, and not some 32-year-old MIT graduate.


Josh Helmuth is a contributor for Mandatory who covers sports in St. Louis. Follow him here