Re: Human Cloning: The Trade-In Strategy
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 08:11:16 -0500 (EST)

Hal FInney and Curt Adams raise a serious question about the viability of the
"trade-in" strategy I suggested, that being the problem of incongruities in
the mapping of nerve connections between the original brain and the
ennervation pattern in the "trade-in" body. Interestingly, on the same day,
Jeff Allbright points us to an article in Wired about the current state of
the art in brain-computer interfaces. I wonder whether one part of the
solution to the mapping problem might not lie in further devlopments in that
technology. Rather than a simple surgical or biochemical procedure of
connecting the neural pathways, perhaps each end of the connection could be
terminated in a "smart junction box", where the mapping process is assisted
with some sort of "external" or at least non-biological aid. Developing the
new functional connections then might be a cooperative process of the
"trade-in" body, the transplanted brain and some fairly sophisticated
computer device. Any thoughts on the viability of this approach?

Also, I wonder what the order of magnitude is that we're talking about here.
I assume that much of the cranial nerve structure would be carried across
from the "original", e.g. the entire occular system, including the eyes
themselves, would be transplanted, rather than attempting a hook-up to the
"trade-in's" eyes. This would be more difficult with the nerves that serve
the mouth and tounge, etc, but might not be insurmountable. If this were
possible, then the connections across the spinal column would then be the
biggest challenge. How many nerves are we talking about at that juncture?

Greg Burch <> <> or
"We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
-- Desmond Morris