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Posted on Sunday, August 18 - 2013

Thousands of people are queuing up to have their body cryogenically preserved after they die.Cryonics offers customers the possibility of immortality by freezing their remains after death in the hope of being resuscitated again in the future. It"s a long shot, but to the thousands of people willing to pay upwards of $250,000 to have themselves preserved, it"s worth it. Clients who can"t afford to have their whole body preserved can instead opt tohave just their head frozen for a marginally smaller fee.But will it ever be feasible to thaw out a person centuries down the line and bring them back to life ? There are significant risks of damage to the body and brain from prolonged periods of being frozen and even if this were not an issue, there"s the small problem of resuscitating someone who has been dead for hundreds of years.

Whether these problems will ever be solved sufficiently to make the preservation process worthwhile however remains to be seen. "The idea of preserving a person"s body at very low temperatures in the hope that it will be restored by future medical technology has been a staple of science fiction."  

View: Full article |  Source: BBCNews  

Views : 510

Posted on Friday, August 16 - 2013

Some scientists believe that in the future our brains may no longer need our bodies to survive.The concept of surviving as a brain in a jar has been a staple of science fiction for years, but how far-fetched is this idea ? Cyberneticist Professor Kevin Warwick believes that rather than improving our bodies we should be instead looking for ways to live without them. Even now, experiments have been conducted in which people have been able to control arobotic arm or computer program using nothing more than their own brain power.In the future it may be possible to have a human brain hooked up to a robotic mechanism that could allow it to survive indefinitely while still being able to physically interact with the world.

Such a setup may become critical in allowing humans to survive the journey to distant galaxies and could make it possible for us to eventually colonize distant planets that would take us thousands of years to reach. "Scientists areinvestigating whether or not we could one day live as brains without bodies, far away on another planet."  

View: Full article |  Source: Daily Mail  

Views : 526

Posted on Tuesday, August 13 - 2013

Scientists believe a surge of electrical activity in the brain could explain the NDE phenomenon.People who have been on the brink of death or who have died and been resuscitated have often described unusual experiences that include seeing a tunnel of light, the sensation of floating above one"s own body or the feeling of a divine presence. Some attribute these experiences to the passage between this life and the next, but scientistsbelieve there may be a more down-to-earth explanation.In a new study, researchers discovered that electrical activity in the brain could account for the vivid experiences some people describe.

"A lot of people thought that the brain after clinical death was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case," said study lead author Dr Jimo Borjigin. "If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state." "A surge of electrical activity in the brain could be responsible for the vivid experiences described by near-death survivors, scientists report."  

View: Full article |  Source: BBCNews  

Views : 838

Posted on Sunday, June 02 - 2013

Are humans capable of ever fully understanding the nature of our own consciousness ?For thousands of years, philosophers and scientists alike have pondered over the nature of our conscious selves. Some would argue that we are simply incapable of fully comprehending our own consciousness and that there is a cognitive gap in our understanding. "We"re rather like Neanderthals trying to understand astronomy or Shakespeare," said philosopher Colin McGinn of the University of Miami.Othershowever are more optimistic and take an approach more scientific than philosophical, believing that the nature of consciousness is simply a science problem waiting to be solved.

"Historically, philosophers have a disastrous record of explaining things," said neuroscientist Christof Koch. "Philosophers are very good at asking questions but not so good at finding satisfactory answers."But can studies of brain activity and cognitive patterns really lead to the ultimate understanding of how our minds work ? Only time will tell. "As you read this sentence, the millions of neurons in your brain are frantically whispering to each other, resulting in the experience of conscious awareness."  

View: Full article |  Source: Live Science  

Views : 379

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