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  1. #1
    Titan Adam Jensen's Avatar
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    Medical Ressurection?

    So for those of you who have played Mass Effect 2, you know that Commander Shepard, at the beginning of the game, was thrown from her ship (I say her because mine was female) and into space, where her suit suffered a leak and she died from asphyxiation and exposure to the vacuum of space. Her body was recovered by Cerberus and repaired, her memories and personality remained intact. She wakes up ready to kick alien ass (like literally, first thing you do is grab a pistol and shoot down mechs) and is tested to prove that her memories are intact.

    Given that the body is nothing more than an extremely complex system of chemical reactions, do you believe that such a thing is possible, that, if we had sufficient knowledge on how our bodies worked, that one day we could actually bring life to those who have died? To rebuild and repair them, like they are an organic machine? Will such technologies ever exist?

    And if such a thing ever becomes possible, here's the real question, would their memories and personality be intact, or would they be someone new and different?

    As to my personal belief, I think it is possible. Life is just a chemical reaction and the only reason it is so hard for us to recreate it is because of how complex it is. I cannot say whether bringing someone back from the dead would keep their memories and personalities intact however, for I do not know how the brain encodes such things.

    *Note that I am only using ME2 as an example, so there is no need to limit yourself to the ME2 universe.

    If a video game developer removed tumors from players, they'd whine about nerfing their loss in weight and access to radiation powers. -Cracked.com

  2. #2
    Titan Kalyyn's Avatar
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    With the right parts and knowledge, I can take any broken machine and make it work again. I see no reason why a human would be exempt from that rule.

    ---------- Post added 2012-04-19 at 06:14 PM ----------



    This video is a good watch.

  3. #3
    I am quite positive it might be able to work at some point in the future. I'm very interested though in a theory how their brain will become "alive" with an own consciousness.

    I question not whether it's possible, but allowed. I'm pretty sure technology like this will be forbidden to use or even study due to how much this can get out of hand.

  4. #4
    Possibly, though we probably know less about the human brains then our entire universe, so it might take a while really.

  5. #5
    Elemental Lord Dezerte's Avatar
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    We can replace damaged/dead organs already today, soon we'll be able to grow our own "reserve parts".

    But can you replace the brain? Possibly with the help of cryonics (if done immediately after brain death), freezing the brain so it remains intact.

    So you got your new brain. Are you still the same person? That's really tricky. In a sense, your new brain is a copy of your old brain, you're a clone. But if you're a clone you can't be the same person. From an outsiders view you'll act like your usual self, but "are you really *you*", is hard to answer. Probably as hard as answering "How does it feel to be dead?".
    To declare that a personal, inner experience gives certainty about the workings of the universe is to assign far too much value to one’s subjective sense of conviction.
    I’m not that arrogant.

    The brain, marvelous instrument though it is, isn’t infallible. It can misfire, seize or hallucinate, and it can do so in a way that’s utterly indistinguishable from reality to the person experiencing it.

  6. #6
    Herald of the Titans Maharishi's Avatar
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    It's mentioned in the game that there's really know way of knowing shepard's really even still shepard, or just a complexe VI approximation of the first shepard.

    That being said, no. While memories are not well understood, everything would seem to point to them decaying fairly quickly if the neurons they were part of died.

  7. #7
    Titan Kalyyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maharishi View Post
    It's mentioned in the game that there's really know way of knowing shepard's really even still shepard, or just a complexe VI approximation of the first shepard.

    That being said, no. While memories are not well understood, everything would seem to point to them decaying fairly quickly if the neurons they were part of died.
    A workaround to this would be to periodically make backups of your memory onto another storage device. That brings up the whole "but is that really you still?" argument, but that arguments is irrelevant from a practical standpoint.

  8. #8
    Herald of the Titans Maharishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalyyn View Post
    A workaround to this would be to periodically make backups of your memory onto another storage device. That brings up the whole "but is that really you still?" argument, but that arguments is irrelevant from a practical standpoint.
    I find it perfectly relevant. If i were, say, cloned, I would still probably not want to die, as the thing is an approximation. By the same token, I would not be being resurrected, I would be being simulated. Which is no comfort to proto-me in the face of death.

  9. #9
    Reminds me of a certain thread over on teamliquid. Overall I'd just leave it at I'd prefer it not to be a test subject on that.

  10. #10
    Old God Grizzly Willy's Avatar
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    The way I see it, a person is defined by their physical brain and the chemical makeup of it that formulates it's behavior, including thoughts, memories, and values. Removing portions of the brain, or manipulating any of the mental aspects I mentioned, effectively changes who that person is. To address the idea of backing up your brain with a hard-drive: that would be altering the person if their brain had lost the memories and then gained them back via this hard-drive. They no longer have the original, merely a copy.

    So, I think that if you were to bring a person back from the dead, unless their brain was just as intact as it was before they died, you are not bringing back the same person. It might be close enough to be indistinguishable, but it isn't the same.

  11. #11
    the hardest part would definitely be getting the corpse's brain working again. Still, I suspect people will work towards this. Immortality and all that. (well I suppose not immortality, you'd wake up and start aging again)

  12. #12
    I wouldn't know but doesn't the heart and brain shut off after death? Meaning a lot of things in your body are going to start dying off soon.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Led ++ View Post
    Possibly, though we probably know less about the human brains then our entire universe, so it might take a while really.
    We know very little about both, but I wouldn't take the leap into saying that we know more about the universe than we do about our own brain. The universe is a vast and complicated place, and at the moment we only see so much of it as one does when they first look at a classic mechanical wind up watch that is welded shut. We guess at cause and effect, and in some cases things line up, but there is a great deal we simply can't account for. Higher branches of math and physics understand that we're doing things wrong, but we're doing them wrong right enough that things come into ballpark estimates.
    As easy example is 2+2 = 4, 2*2 = 4, 2+3 = 5, and 2*3 = 6. 5 isn't 6, but they're fairly close, and depending on what you're doing, they may be just close enough. Suffice to say, brains are complicated, even "simpler" brains, like the ones in cephalopods are terribly complex, despite having less neurons but extremely similar cognitive functions to vertebrae mammals.

  14. #14
    Well it really depends how long the person has being dead and how long the brain was deprived of oxygen. If the brain is deprived of oxygen long enough i.e. >20 mins then the brain tissue itself will undergo necrosis and the neuron to neuron connections will breakdown leading to permanent damage. If that happens then even if the person is revived they'll most likely be a vegetable.
    But then again its a game :P

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Grokan View Post
    So, I think that if you were to bring a person back from the dead, unless their brain was just as intact as it was before they died, you are not bringing back the same person. It might be close enough to be indistinguishable, but it isn't the same.
    Just like you are not the same person you were a moment ago

  16. #16
    The Insane Catta's Avatar
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    If they were just after death... Once the brain starts decaying you start loosing... you

  17. #17
    Herald of the Titans Theodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cattaclysmic View Post
    If they were just after death... Once the brain starts decaying you start loosing... you
    This is the limitation I cannot see us overcoming, barring the ability to replicate a human brain, neuron for neuron, being developed and made so our brains can recover from a sort of 'recovery point' in the event we die. That's some pretty unrealistic tech for the present though.

    If you managed to repair the brain back to working order then you would be giving life to a body that no longer has any memories, knowledge or anything else that made that person them. The patterns of neurons in our brain that form memories won't be replicated without a map of them existing to work from, so a person is dead and gone, even if the body and brain lives.
    Last edited by Theodon; 2012-05-05 at 07:02 PM.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Titansruler View Post
    I am quite positive it might be able to work at some point in the future. I'm very interested though in a theory how their brain will become "alive" with an own consciousness.

    I question not whether it's possible, but allowed. I'm pretty sure technology like this will be forbidden to use or even study due to how much this can get out of hand.
    they only forbid tech when the military needs to benefit from it for 50 years first.

  19. #19
    Old God Grizzly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jpp View Post
    Just like you are not the same person you were a moment ago
    Well, yeah. Close enough to be indistinguishable, but not the same.

  20. #20
    Once the body is dead, cells start to decay very quickly and there would be serious brain damage. Even with very futuristic technology, I bet too much information would be lost to properly reconstruct the memories in the brain. You would have to replace a lot of it with some kind of boilerplate memories and personality.

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