Atheistforums

Science Section => Science General Discussion => Topic started by: _Xenu_ on July 01, 2013, 10:20:26 AM

Title: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: _Xenu_ on July 01, 2013, 10:20:26 AM
Ethical issues aside, this is a path to immortality for anyone who could afford it.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/06/techni ... rcome.html (http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/06/technical-hurdles-have-been-overcome.html)
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: Solitary on July 01, 2013, 10:28:55 AM
Why would anyone want immortality accept they don't want to non exist. To me hell is never being able to die no matter what for eternity. I'd rather not exist for eternity.   :shock:  One life time is enough for me.  :-k   :Hangman:  Solitary
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: Plu on July 01, 2013, 10:29:05 AM
Uh. Wouldn't the cells in the brain still continue to decay as they always did?
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: _Xenu_ on July 01, 2013, 10:31:31 AM
Quote from: "Plu"
Uh. Wouldn't the cells in the brain still continue to decay as they always did?
Well, immortality short of brain disease anyway.
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: PopeyesPappy on July 01, 2013, 10:34:24 AM
Head transplants aside the technology that would make something like that possible would have to applicable to repairing spinal injuries.
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: Plu on July 01, 2013, 10:38:43 AM
Quote from: "_Xenu_"
Quote from: "Plu"
Uh. Wouldn't the cells in the brain still continue to decay as they always did?
Well, immortality short of brain disease anyway.

And, you know, old age. So not very immortal at all.
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: _Xenu_ on July 01, 2013, 10:40:55 AM
Quote from: "PopeyesPappy"
Head transplants aside the technology that would make something like that possible would have to applicable to repairing spinal injuries.
Thats what the articles about. Head transplants were successful in the 70s using chimps, but always resulted in paralysis. Now they've found a way to repair the damage, at least in rats.
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: Jason78 on July 01, 2013, 01:42:14 PM
Quote from: "Solitary"
Why would anyone want immortality accept they don't want to non exist. To me hell is never being able to die no matter what for eternity. I'd rather not exist for eternity.   :shock:  One life time is enough for me.  :-k   :Hangman:  Solitary

This is just buying an extra 30-40 years though.  I wouldn't mind having a couple of extra years to work on some stuff.
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: Mister Agenda on July 01, 2013, 03:57:46 PM
It would have the downsides of any major transplant: risk of rejection, need for immunosuppressant drugs.
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: Agramon on July 02, 2013, 02:41:53 AM
My skeptic radar pinged on this, so I checked out the Reddit comments (http://http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/1hey50/technical_hurdles_have_been_overcome_for_the/). Here's the top one:

Quote
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) researcher here.

Hard to tell if this is being misreported or what - that's not what these cited studies imply at all.

Pissing in cereal: Many rats given complete spinal transections do recover some function, such as bladder control, within weeks. This is without any intervention in a lot of cases. When you give an animal a focal injury like the one these guys describe, you might remove the connectivity from supraspinal processing centers from that of the spinal cord, but everything outside the lesion/transection is spared. A cursory glance at existing SCI literature reveals that the spinal cord is a significant, semi-autonomous, processing organ that is responsible for a great deal of motor function all on its own, and some of this returns after injury, especially if you're sparing pretty much all the interneurons from the cervical level on down. Nothing new. In fact, the idea that regeneration of axons is solely responsible for the return of bladder function is... spurious.

More pissing in cereal: we've been regrowing axons for quite some time, and we still don't have a great idea about how to get them to synapse to the right locations. Chondroitinase, BDNF, NoGo, stem cells, artificial scaffolding, what have you; each and every one of these regenerative therapies have produced neurite outgrowth of some kind, the histology shows new axons crossing the lesion site... and we get zero functional recovery. We don't really understand this part too well. yet. Anyone that tells you different right now is a liar.

Full-body transplants? Might as well just hook up a head to a heart-lung machine and induce a coma. About the best you can do in the next "5-10 years" if you take their ludicrous time estimates at face value.
I have very limited knowledge of this field (and didn't read the literature recommended by the commenter) so I can't really judge the commenter's points, but I thought the counter-point was a worthwhile read.
Title: Re: Head Transplants Move Closer to Reality
Post by: Colanth on July 05, 2013, 12:46:09 AM
I always take the word of the guy doing it over the word of a science reporter (who may have majored in botany) "explaining" an announcement he really doesn't understand.