[ExI] Another step towards uploading

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Mon Oct 7 04:36:04 UTC 2013

On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 1:19 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> > While a tour-de-force of what we can do today in the lab, the scanned
> images are not enough to reconstruct her network topology. First, they used
> Nissl stains, so we can mainly see cell nuclei rather than dendrites and
> synapses. Second, the scan was optical resolution: we know there are fine
> branches below optical resolution.
I too am certain that the photographs, as good as they are, do not contain
enough to reconstruct the individual, but I am also certain that the
photographs do not contain anywhere near as much information as the slides
themselves do. So the key question is, in a era of advanced Nanotechnology
(and I don't think anybody is going to be doing any resurrecting before
then) which contains more easily available information, one of Alcor's
frozen brains or a box containing those 7400 slides? I am a little
surprised that Alcor seems to have so little interest in knowing the answer
to this question.

> > And third, 20 microns is too wide to get the topology.

Because they wouldn't be photographing them I imagine that if Alcor were to
ever use this technique their slides would be much WIDER than 20 microns,
and they would have far fewer than 7400 slides. The only reason to slice
the brain at all would be to ensure even diffusion of the chemical
fixative. And I think that if we tried to "help" the Nanotechnology people
by staining the slides, we could be causing more problems than we solved;
the best strategy would be to just preserve the tissue as best we can and
not try to second guess how those who have technology vastly more powerful
than we do how they intend to get at the information.

> > Now, we can hope the stained sections are stored safely and retain the
> information for the future methods.


  John K Clark
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