Attention Ray Kurzweil: We Can't Even Build an Artificial Worm Brain
There is simply no way that a comprehensive human brain simulation will be feasible in the near future.
In the human brain, 100 billion neurons are connected by 100 trillion synapses. And, really, this staggeringly complex structure is only the beginning. (Consider that there may be roughly one hundred thousand trillion electrical signals traversing the brain in one second.)
C. elegans was the first animal to have its genome sequenced. We can freeze it in liquid nitrogen and revive it. We can track it in 3-D. You can browse a library of its complete genome, its proteome (like the genome, but proteins) and even its whole nervous system on the internet. Science has studied this organism more thoroughly than any other -- with the possible exception of the fruit fly and the laboratory mouse -- in the entire animal kingdom.
If we can't simulate 302 neurons and 5,000 synapses, how can we hope to conquer 100,000,000,000 and 100,000,000,000,000? Let's not even get started on the 100,000,000,000,000,000 electrical signals per second that form the traffic on that neural road network.
So, no mind uploading yet. Sorry, Ray Kurzweil.
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- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
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