(ScienceAlert) For the first time, researchers have cryonically frozen a whole mammalian brain and recovered it in near-perfect condition, with the cell membranes, synapses, and intracellular structures all intact.
What this means is that all the components we think are required to form a personal identity - including memory and personality - could potentially be preserved for a long period of time, before either being uploaded to a computer for perpetuity, or reanimated some time in the future. Yep, it's what Walt Disney always dreamed of doing (but actually never attempted) and what Austin Powers mastered with spectacular awkwardness.
"This is a big deal," John Smart, co-founder of the non-profit Brain Preservation Foundation, told Motherboard. "It's the first time that we have a procedure that can protect everything neuroscientists think is involved with learning and memory. Given the results announced today, it seems to me that long-term memories are successfully preserved by this technique. This is not yet certain or universally agreed, but seems highly likely from my position."
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