“Killer” brain back-up of the firm loses partner

Getty Images

The business of trying to map people’s brains so that their memories can be stored in the computers has lost its link to the united States large university.

Start-up Nectome revealed his brain in the background, last month, a warning at the time that the process would be “100% fatal”.

A number of researchers in the neurosciences subsequently poured scorn on the plan.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced it is to cut ties with the project.

One of the university professors had already benefited from a federal government grant given to Nectome and tried to combine his work with his own research on the brain of the mouse.

“Neuroscience has not progressed sufficiently to the point where we know that any brain preservation method is powerful enough to preserve all the different types of biomolecules bound to the memory and the mind,” said MIT in a blog post explaining its decision.

Nectome responded by saying: “We appreciate the assistance MIT has given us, to understand their choices, and I wish them all the best.”The potential for the benefit of mankind’

The university’s internal publication of the MIT Technology Review was the first to draw attention to Nectome of the plans and the educational institution of his own involvement.

Since then, he said that the collaboration had drawn “criticism” of experts in the field, who feared that it gave credibility to an effort that was doomed to failure.

“Fundamentally, the company is based on a proposition that is simply not true,” said Sten Linnarsson of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

“[And there is a risk that] some people kill themselves to donate their brain.”

Nectome had already said that he believed that he would one day be possible to survey connectome – the neural connections in the brain to such a detailed degree that it would be able to reconstruct a person’s memories.

In order to achieve this goal, the brain must be preserved at the moment of death – a process called vitrifixation.

Getty Images

MIT Technology Review announces that the company has soon hoping to test his theories on the head of someone planning a physician-assisted suicide.

However, Nectome has acknowledged that his work is at a relatively early stage.

“We believe that the clinical of the human brain preservation has immense potential for the benefit of humanity, but only if it is developed in the light, with the contribution of medicine and neuroscience experts,” he said in a statement posted on its web site.

“We believe that rushing to apply vitrifixation, today, would be extremely irresponsible and evil possible adoption of a protocol validated.”

Despite the skeptics, Nectome won $960,000 (£687,000) grant from the US National Institute of Mental Health.

It is also supported by Y-Combinator, a high-profile Silicon Valley donor who previously invested in Dropbox, Airbnb and Reddit, among others.