X-Message-Number: 25005
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 06:53:09 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #24995 - #25003

To the NanoAging Institute:

I would be very surprised if current technology can adequately 
imitate our hippocampus. The reasons are very simple, and a good
series of articles about how our brain REALLY works recently 
appeared in the 12 Oct 2004 issue of NATURE. Basically, it doesn't
work at all like any contemporary computer, but by changing its
circuits and creating new neurons when needed. The dentate gyrus,
part of our hippocampus, is one brain area for which virtually
all neuroscientists now agree that it makes new neurons; it's
also an area concerned with acquiring new memories.

While I don't wish to claim that only biotech devices can 
imitate brains, I will say that any device able to do so is going
to look more like a device from biology than one from electronics.
I don't see any fundamental reason why nanotechnology couldn't
play an important role in its creation. But unless these guys
have made a neural net which really behaves like those of our
brains, they haven't succeeded.

            Best wishes and long long life to all,

                  Thomas Donaldson

PS: And yes, I have been studying how brains actually work in and
for my newsletter PERIASTRON, simply because I think that our
ability to revive someone badly damaged by freezing, embalming,
removal of their brains and placement of its pieces in the 
abdomen, etc etc etc --- all of that will depend on how well
we understand how brains work.

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