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  1. disasterspark

    disasterspark Active Member

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    How possible is a brain transplant?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by disasterspark, Nov 18, 2018.

    I'm talking like transporting putting one human's brain into another, effectively switching bodies. Could this even be achieved in 100 years?

    EDIT 11/19/2018 - Actually more like a body transplant.

    "I'm thinking of putting my male MC in a girl's body. Which may or may not give his(her) male best friend a weird boner. Which then may or may not lead to confusing but hot sex."
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  2. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    Can't speak to now, but there were only 66 years between the Wright brothers' first powered flight at Kitty Hawk and Neil Armstrong setting foot on the surface of the Moon, so I'd be loathe to say that something wouldn't be possible a hundred years from now, even if it violates current scientific understanding.
     
  3. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    I think that personally, anything is possible. But the problem is our ideas of how it could be possible. People back then thought the only way you could fly was by having wings to flap. Today, we travel via jet engines and literally glide on wings instead of flapping them. A brain transplant might be possible but probably not in the conventional way we'd imagine it might be possible.

    A lot of the technology that we dreamed about turned out to work very differently in real life. So, anything is possible to create with technology but don't expect it to be too literal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  4. ToDandy

    ToDandy Senior Member

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    A hundred years took us from the first flight to landing objects on mars. It's improbable, and hard to wrap your head around, but not impossible and could easily be sold in a narrative. Hell, you could make it 50 years in the future and still make it believable.
     
  5. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    "We" can successfully transplant faces. I assume that a whole brain would enter a whole new world of complexity but, as others have said, progress can be incredibly fast!



    Is this for a plot, or are you thinking POTUS?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  6. seira

    seira Member

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    But if they transplanted a brain wouldn't you get that person's memories and personality and you might not have a clue who you are if they didn't know you. And since the body can't exist without the brain at all (as far as I'm aware) it would be near impossible to do. Unless they found a way to remove the brain and keep the body alive long enough to perform the brain swap lol
     
  7. Legolas

    Legolas Member

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    the possibility of a brain transplant is indeed possible in the future, I believe. right now nano technology is making great strides towards medical goals. it will be used to kill cancer, cure brain diseases, stop bleeding, ect. nano tech may indeed help in the transplant of organs eventually, possibly the brain as well. they may be able to one day reattach severed things, like broken links from the brain to the spine.

    http://www.understandingnano.com/medicine.html

    the body you transplanted the brain into would have to be the match of all matches but that has a work around too. there is currently a medical procedure dubbed bleaching that removes the DNA of the donor, so the dna of the receiver is injected into the organ to reduce any chance of rejection. the process basically bleaches out the old DNA turning it white. if I remember correctly the first person to ever benefit from this procedure was a woman in Israel who had throat cancer. they gave her someone else's esophagus. they have also bleached a heart and got it to beat keeping it out of the donors body.

    if you removed some ones DNA, and inserted the persons DNA who needed it, the rejection would be almost zero. I am having trouble finding the link to this one, but I did watch a YouTube video on this a few years ago. I am not 100% sure but I believe they did the dna transfer with stem cells or something to that nature.
    I cant remember the process correct name so this is most likely the reason I cant find the video. the process was discovered by going through household cleaners, and other easy to find items. they do not use actual bleach though.
     
  8. disasterspark

    disasterspark Active Member

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    Yes. I'm thinking of putting my male MC in a girl's body. Which may or may not give his(her) male best friend a weird boner. Which then may or may not lead to confusing but hot sex.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  9. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    Robert Heinlein did it in I Will Fear No Evil.
     
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  10. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    Now that would actually be legitimate transgenderism, interesting.
     
  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Yes--it would probably be more accurate to call it a body transplant.
     
  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Vladimir Demikhov was performing head transplants on dogs and monkeys in the '40's. The biggest issue with them was antibodies would cause the host bodies to reject them, and if that was fixed, the loss of mobility a severed spinal cord tends to induce. There have been more recent experiments following in this vein, but human tests haven't really been done for ethical reasons, though there are a few volunteers in Spain(?) waiting for a host body to show up and the blessing of a medical institution allowing it to happen. So, yeah, if in the future they fix the problem with organ rejection, which we're kind of close to and have a fairly successful workaround to, as well as the ability to induce nerve repair, which we're making great strides in, we could very well have fully functional brain transplants happening 50 years, if not the next decade. Which I would be excited to see, because I am seriously curious on how a brain would function in it's non-original body. Would it be practically plug and play after a healing process, or would there be a learning curve as it learns the ropes, or would it be like shoving a Mac formatted disc into an IBM and just not do anything properly at all?
     
  13. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Brain transplant:
    The issue in addition to organ rejection is that you cannot attach the brain to the cranial nerves or spinal cord. You would need to connect the ears and eyes for example.

    In the fantasy genre, it's done magically, obviously.
    In old sci-fi novels it's done without explaining or the explanation is bogus.

    If you want to add a new sci-fi trick, new technology that has been developed and successfully tested is a neuro-patch that goes around the injured spinal cord. It will be a while before that is commonly done for spinal cord injuries. But it looks like it will be done now.

    Next is the slow process of retraining the brain to control the new connections. Think about an undersea cable that one sends a phone connections through, cut it in half, now patch it back together but with the individual trunk lines all mixed up. You have to retrain the brain to control the body.

    Or you could transplant the brain, spinal column and maybe the eyes.

    And stem cell research with nerve tissue is being done, that's an endless source to repair bodies in the future.

    Anyway, brain transplant shouldn't be an issue in a future sci-fi world.

    It's not going to happen anytime soon in this world. And I wonder if it wouldn't be whole heads before just the brain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  14. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That might be a question for philosophers.
     
  15. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    supposedly the Russians were going to give it a shot back in 2017. I can’t find anything about whether they did or didn’t, but it would be enormously unethical if they did.

    This is a 2015 CBS article on the proposal and the doctors
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/human-head-transplant-two-years-away/
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  16. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    And let us remember that fine documentary on the subject called "Spock's Brain."

    On second thought, let's not.
     
  17. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Banned Contributor

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    "Givers of pain and delight," afore shadowing of my future life.
     
  18. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Well, no, I wouldn't say so. The patient is the sentient being--the brain.
     
  19. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I know a few people who seem to have had one already.
     
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  20. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    A brain starved of input would likely die very quickly. I’d imagine that would be something worth addressing in your sci-fi world.

    Maybe somekind of brain-in-a-vat kind of system that washes the brain with false stimuli to keep it functioning whilst also integrating with the new body. As a cery crude analogy the brain is to the body as the engine is to the car. One without the other means they’ll fall into disrepair. One can at least oil the chasis and such, but an engine will seize up if it’s not kept running regularly - of course it is possible to disassemble an engine into parts ... the brain is a tad less modular though :)
     
  21. Norfolk nChance

    Norfolk nChance Banned

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    @disasterspark


    I Doubt brain transplants will ever happen if Ray’s claims of “in the know” are true.

    Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, claims to know and foresee people will be able to upload their entire brains to become digitally immortal by 2045.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_uploading


    and there’s Dmitry Itskov with the heavily supervised and regulated Russian 2045 Initiative

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2045_Initiative

    http://www.2045.com/


    The need for transplants within 25years maybe mute, if so then judgement day is coming!


    Norfolk nCyborg
     
  22. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Digital immortality sees the uploading of my brain to a full-size dollybot. The agency sets me to work down the old people's home on a minimum wage [bitcoin]? Different home each Friday special.

    'Ooer, you are naughty, Mr Bentham.'

    It's a job, I can't complain.

    With head transplants - the rage is to 'pass' as another community says. The tell-tale are, or is, rheumy eyes, obsession with dustbin rotas [old joke, appropriate]

    The scene in California amidst my bombshell babes:

    'Are you sure you are twenty-five?'

    'Now let's get an early night together and I'll draw up an excel spreadsheet for our love-making.' Or maybe 'Box sets, box sets, what's wrong with BBC2 Newsnight, my darling, my puffed wheat.'

    Something like that, I need a second draft if you don't mind.
     
  23. Malisky

    Malisky Fortune cookie Contributor

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    Literal brain transfering? Realistically impossible. I don't know in which genre you are writing, but you can have some kind of hard drive disc implant that uploads copied memories (and not only) to a functioning brain. It takes on the new brain like a virus, overriding the system thus transforming it accordingly. Destroying old neuron connections and paths and creating new ones; a host brain that becomes the perfect copy brain of the uploader. I know that this sounds far fetched as well, but for some reason it is at least plausible from my P.O.V. I don't know why, it just does. Anyway, a male's brain is usually larger than a female's brain, so in the scenario of transplanting it, it might not even fit inside the smaller sculp. As a downside to my idea on the other hand, the gray matter - white matter ratio (and other important structural and neurochemical aspects) greatly differ between male and female brains, which I assume cannot be changed even if the "virus" disc overrides the original persona.
     

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