MIND TRANSPLANT: DO WE?

Suneet Sood, Professor of Surgery, UiTM, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Prashant Upadhyaya, Consultant in Pediatric Surgery, Dehra Doon, India

 

Prof Matah Ari is Indonesia’s leading neuropathologist. She delivered an important speech last December,1 which we bring here. We are unable to reprint her slides, but she has kindly provided the references. The speech is edited, to convert the spoken word to the written, and much shortened.

Where is the mind?

Our work on the memory molecule and the mind transplant, of course, follows the discovery of which part of the body was responsible for thought, and which part of that part was responsible for memory.

Philosophers think that we exist because we think -- cogito cogito ergo cogito sum, but from where have we always cogitated, or have thunk if not Latin?

Text Box: Table 1: Russian Troika 
•	Electrical memory is neuronal sparking, lasts a second, and can hold 12 items (thirteen in bakers).
•	Short-term memory exists as disulfide bonds at synapses, absorbs six items, and can process piecemeal information better than wholesome. “NASI LEMAK” is easier to remember than “NASILEMAK”.
•	Long-term memory follows the rule: “brain stroked stronger makes memory longer”. The first to state this was Charaka. In his book Charaka Samhita he wrote “rasriaawat jaat te silparparat nishan”, which means  “brain stroked stronger makes memory longer.”7 
Historically, the seat of Homo sapiens’ intellect has moved cranially, virtually from the seat itself. Early Europeans, broody people living in Denmark’s hamlets, thought that unhappiness emerged from the gall bladder.2 They coined the term “melancholic”, meaning “of black bile”. Happiness could be induced by chemical means, and was termed “albacholic” – “of white bile”. Aristotle taught that the heart was the mental engine, the brain its coolant. Galen discovered the venous rete mirabilis (“mesh wonderful”) in animal brains, presumed that humans had one too, and declared “Thought starts here!”3 Later Avicenna wrote “Canon of Medicine”, in which he destroyed several neurological misconceptions. His work was plagiarized by a weak man from Mycenaea, Gravis Seroxxus, who copied the “Canon” and changed its name to Yeuletpakaddes.4 Most scholars now agree that the brain controls us, though a corpus of men still believes that control originates lower down. Between 1850 and 1900 Broca, Brodmann, and others identified areas in the brain specialized for hearing, language, and so on,5 but were unable to determine where all the information was stored.

What is memory?

In 1900 Bekhterev proved that memory resides in the hippocampus, after observing hippocampal lesions in forgettable persons. (He also diagnosed Stalin with paranoia, but forgot to keep this secret, and was slain by the General Secretary.6) Bekhterev’s sheep experiments confirmed a. the relationship between memory and animal size: “larger ram = more memory” and b. the existence of three types of memory: “the Russian Troika” (Table 1)

For years we wondered, is long-term memory electrical or chemical? My colleague, Sfingkkes, from Thebes in Greece, used to ask all he met the questions: How is information stored? Can it be harnessed? We call these the Sfingkksian riddles.8 The answers are now known because of three recent events: the discovery of the “memory molecule”, the invention of the machine which reads this molecule, and the algorithm that stores the data logically.

Three recent events

  1. The memory molecule The memory molecule, “protein calcium-Calmodulin zeta kinase II”, was discovered by Jones and Douglas. It is a 54 kilodalton hourglass-shaped hippocampal protein now simply called kzJones (pronounced KAYzetajonz).9 Its tertiary structure depends on Stanton’s information-rich-ribonucleic acid (IRA), which is converted from informer-RNA (iRA) to IRA by electrical and short-term memory.  kzJones travels down the axonal ramp closely followed by the IRA which thus stores the information in the tertiary structure of kzJones. KzJones enmeshes with microtubules at the synapses, to form the nanopore-enmeshed memory organelle (NEMO).10 You will recall Stanton’s short animation, “Finding NEMO”, which was much appreciated yesterday at this very conference.
  2. The machine In 1992, Dececomix the Gaul developed the Braniac electroencephalographs, on which Hameroff and Penrose were able to record NEMO waveforms.11 Wayne and Grayson, using a Braniac V on bats and birds, collected signals from brain NEMOs as a long binary code but could not separate individual NEMO signals.12
  3. memoryneuroneThe Hebbesian sequence At Microsoft’s biotechnology division, Thomas Hebbes scripted a multithread recursive algorithm in which a stream of incoming femtoimpulses was received in a circular buffer. The software monitored and emptied the buffer while parsing the contents into binary values to be stored in a Brillig slithytove multidimensional array containing parity flags for each entry. It then serialized the array to a secondary flash storage in a logical order, now known as the Hebbesian sequence.13 Later Calvin used the Hebbesian sequence for separating  NEMO signals captured by Wayne and Grayson, and mapped the brains of volunteers.14 You might remember the newspaper report titled “Human brain in computer?” by Kent and Olsen.15 Klimesh named the signal a “meme”, and defined it as the number of molecular thoughts from one gram of brain under normal temperature and blood pressure.16

Successful transplant experiments: a quantum of solace

In 2004 Borgia discovered that cantarella, a kJones-specific poison, destroyed its tertiary structure, reducing the binary code to a string of zeros.17 Borgia named this procedure “formatting”. In 2005 Calvin and Hebbes joined my team, and developed the Transmogrifier that could reapply stored information on cantarella-formatted hippocampal IRA. In 2006 we were able to: a. store the memes from hippocampal slices, b. format the tissue, and, c. apply micropotentials to the IRA to return the identical binary code to the slices. We had luck in progressively bigger hippocampal slices, till we used intact mice. After transmogrification, the intact mice remain in suspended animation until physically struck. We found this by accident, when several failures with intact mice so drove us to frustration that a junior colleague threw his shoe at the mouse, which woke immediately. We now use the booting up technique regularly, albeit with the judicious use of a small gavel, not shoe.

In 2007 we autotransplanted mice memes. We used adult, knowledge-naïve, Moose Riverdale mice. Undergraduate mice were exposed to Bush’s shock-foot-get-cheese training model18 till they acquired postgraduate status. Controls received cheese without training. After formatting and transmogrification, test mice recovered their postgraduate status, while controls remained undergraduate. Next, we repeated the experiments, using cross-transmogrification. Our results, as yet unpublished, were as expected: undergraduate mice became postgraduate, and vice versa. We have also conducted early stress studies, using the restrain-mouse-show-female technique.19 We could transplant stress from stressed mice to stressless mice, showing that emotion too is transplantable. Thus, what was initially considered a mere brain transplant may actually be a mind transplant.

The FDA has not yet allowed clinical studies. Nevertheless, clinical experiments are taking place in China, Cuba, and some African states, where ethical restrictions are tenuous. Rumor has it that several aging but influential politicians are now demanding for their minds to be transplanted into young criminals who are to be executed.

References

  1. Ari M. Spying into memory. J Edgar Hoover Memorial Oration, MI6 Headquarters, London, December 007 
  2. Peare WS. The melancholy Danes. Barron’s Educational Series, 2002
  3. Bear MF, Connors BW, Paradiso MA. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Baltimore: Lippincott, 2001
  4. Safavi-Abbasi S, Brasiliense LBC, RK Workman RK. The fate of medical knowledge and the neurosciences during the time of Genghis Khan and the Mongolian Empire, Neurosurgical Focus 2007;23(E13),3
  5. Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessel TM (editors). Principles of Neural Science, 4th edition, McGraw-Hill:New York, NY. 2000
  6. Hippocampus. In: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocampus
  7. Haldipur CV. Madness in ancient India: concept of insanity in Charaka Samhita (1st century A.D.).Compr Psychiatry. 1984;25:335-44
  8. Sophocles S, Monocles M. The Oedipus cycle and the Sfingkksian riddles. Neurology. 1996;41:2014-5
  9. Jones C, Douglas M. Hour-glass shapes in the wooden Holly. Faith and Begob, 2003;36:24-36
  10. Stanton A, Unkrich L, Brooks A, DeGeneres E, Gould A. Blue-Tang Dory and short-term memory loss. In: Finding Nemo, Waldisni International, 2003 
  11. Hameroff SR, Penrose R. Orchestrated reduction of quantum coherence in brain microtubules. In: Toward a Science of Consciousness, Hameroff SR, Kaszniak A (editors), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2004  
  12. Wayne B, Grayson R. The Sphingkkian Riddlers: studies in bats, robins. Gotham Journal, 2003;66:660-6
  13. Hebbes T, Carroll L. Jabberwocky  experiments in Microsoft’s wonderland. Momeraths Outgrabe J Comp Engg 2000;420;420
  14. Calvin J, Hebbes T. Scientific progress goes boink. Proc Tiger Res For 2006;33:2-4
  15. Kent C, Olsen J. Human brain in a computer? Daily Planet, Metropolis City, April 1, 2006
  16. Klimesh DC. Meme storage in DNA. www.fractal.org/Life-Science-Technology/Publications/Meme-storage-in-DNA.htm, 2005
  17. Borgia R. Studies with Renaissance poisons. In: Papal papers, El-severe, Rome, 2005, p1492-1503
  18. Bush G. The shock and awe model. Am J War Res 2002;22:31-4
  19. Disney W. Stress in Mickey, Minnie, and other mice. Nature 1981; 294(5843):686-8