Posts Tagged 'brain'

Ken Hayworth on How to create a Connectome Observatory of the mouse brain and beyond, OpenQwaq, November 13 2011

Ken Hayworth

See A Connectome Observatory for nanoscale brain imaging | KurzweilAI.

Ken Hayworth gave a talk and Q/A on How to create a Connectome Observatory of the mouse brain and beyond, in OpenQwaq, on November 13 2011.

New technologies now permit imaging brain tissue at resolutions approaching 5x5x5nm. voxel size, down to the protein level. “This is more than sufficient resolution to determine all the connectivity and the properties of the synapses that are needed to explain the functionality of the brain circuits,” Ken said.

“In 100 years, if we have the technology to bring someone back, it won’t be in a biological body,” Ken said in a New York Times article last year. “It is these scanning techniques and mind-uploading that, I think, will bring people back. This is a taboo topic in the scientific community. But we have a cure to death right here. Why aren’t we pursuing it?”

In the Q&A, participants compared connectome preservation via the chemical brain preservation techniques proposed by Ken’s Brain Preservation Foundation to cryonics.

“If there was really a concerted effort to develop brain preservation technology, it would be easy to have highly reliable hospital brain preservation procedures ready to go in any hospital before the end of the decade. It is all a matter of will,” Ken said.

There are two videos:

VIDEO 1, recorded by Catarina Lamm – Youtube | Blip.tv | Vimeo
VIDEO 2, recorded by Eugen Leitl – Youtube | Blip.tv | Vimeo

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Ken Hayworth on How to create a Connectome Observatory of the mouse brain and beyond, OpenQwaq, November 13 2011, 10am PST

Ken Hayworth

UPDATED – See write-ups and videos at:
Ken Hayworth on How to create a Connectome Observatory of the mouse brain and beyond, OpenQwaq, November 13 2011
A Connectome Observatory for nanoscale brain imaging | KurzweilAI

Sunday, November 13, 2011,
at 10am PST (1pm EST, 6pm UK, 7pm continental EU)
Talk title: How to create a Connectome Observatory of the mouse brain and beyond
Presented by: Dr. Kenneth Hayworth

Several laboratories are now using Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopes (FIB-SEM) to image small volumes of plastic embedded brain tissue at resolutions approaching 5x5x5nm voxel size. The fact that FIBSEM can obtain such resolution is of fundamental importance since at this resolution all neuronal processes should be traceable with 100% accuracy using fully automatic algorithms. A fundamental physical limitation of the FIB ablation process is that this resolution can only be obtained for very small samples on the order of 20 microns across. To overcome this limitation I have developed a technique using a heated, oil-lubricated, ultrasonically vibrating diamond knife which can section large blocks of plastic-embedded brain tissue into 20 micron thick strips optimally sized for high-resolution FIB-SEM imaging. Crucially, this thick sectioning procedure results in such high-quality surfaces that the finest neuronal processes can be traced from strip to strip.

In this talk I will present these results as well as a detailed design for a machine automating this thick sectioning procedure on the scale of a whole mouse brain. An entire plastic-embedded mouse brain would first be sectioned on this machine into a tape containing 500 tissue slabs (each 20 microns thick). The same machine is then used to section each of these slabs into 300 tissue pillars each 15mm long and 20x20microns in cross section. These “pillar tapes” have been carefully designed to allow random access FIB-SEM imaging of any 20x20x20micron sub-volume within the mouse brain quickly and with 100% reliability.

Spreading these pillar tapes among 20 specially designed FIB-SEM machines would create a “Connectome Observatory” of the mouse brain. Similar to an astronomical observatory, individual neuroscience researchers could request time on this Connectome Observatory, and over a ten year period could use it to map out 50 separate brain regions each with a dense reconstruction of 300x300x300microns in volume and trace over 8 meters of the finest projecting axons between these 50 regions.

About the speaker: Kenneth Hayworth is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Hayworth is co-inventor of the Tape-to-SEM process for high-throughput volume imaging of neural circuits at the nanometer scale and he designed and built several automated machines to implement this process. Hayworth received a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California for research into how the human visual system encodes spatial relations among objects. Hayworth is a vocal advocate for brain preservation and mind uploading and a co-founder of the Brain Preservation Foundation which calls for the implementation of an emergency glutaraldehyde perfusion procedure in hospitals, and for the development of a whole brain embedding procedure which can demonstrate perfect ultrastructure preservation across an entire human brain.

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Max Hodak on Brain-machine interfacing: current work and future directions, Teleplace, October 17

Max Hodak gave an ASIM Expert Series talk in Teleplace on “Brain-machine interfacing: current work and future directions” on Sunday October 17.

Max Hodak in Teleplace

About 30 participants attended the talk and contributed to the discussion with very interesting questions and comments. For those who could not attend we have recorded everything (talk, Q/A and discussion) on video. There are 4 different videos on blip.tv:

VIDEO 1: 600×400 resolution, 57 min
VIDEO 2: 600×400 resolution, 58 min, taken (mostly) from a fixed point of view
VIDEO A: 360×240 resolution, 61 min, recorded by Phillip Galinsky
VIDEO B: 600×400 resolution, 68 min, recorded by Next Dila Dreamhacker

NOTES: To download the source .mp4 video files from blip.tv, open the “Files and Links” box.

Max Hodak in Teleplace

Abstract: Fluid, two-way brain-machine interfacing represents one of the greatest challenges of modern bioengineering. It offers the potential to restore movement and speech to the locked-in, and ultimately allow us as humans to expand far beyond the biological limits we’re encased in now. But, there’s a long road ahead. Today, noninvasive BMIs are largely useless as practical devices and invasive BMIs are critically limited, though progress is being made everyday. Microwire array recording is used all over the world to decode motor intent out of cortex to drive robotic actuators and software controls. Electrical intracortical microstimulation is used to “write” information to the brain, and optogenetic methods promise to make that easier and safer. Monkey models can perform tasks from controlling a walking robot to feeding themselves with a 7-DOF robotic arm. Before we’ll be able to make the jump to humans, biocompatibility of electrodes and limited channel counts are significant hurdles that will need to be crossed. These technologies are still in their infancy, but they’re a huge opportunity in science for those motivated to help bring them through to maturity.

Max Hodak in Teleplace

Max Hodak is a scientist-in-training working on brain-machine interfacing at Duke. He founded Quantios to use computing, machine learning to improve life. American, French dual citizen.

Teleplace is one of the best 3D applications for telework, online meetings, group collaboration, and e-learning in a virtual 3D environment (v-learning).

Max Hodak on Brain-machine interfacing: current work and future directions, Teleplace, October 17, 10am PST

UPDATE: see Max Hodak on Brain-machine interfacing: current work and future directions, Teleplace, October 17, with pictures and full video coverage.

Max Hodak will give an ASIM Expert Series talk in Teleplace on “Brain-machine interfacing: current work and future directions” on Sunday October 17, 2010, at 10am PST (1pm EST, 6pm UK, 7pm CET). Those who already have Teleplace accounts for teleXLR8 can just ahow up at the talk. There are a limited number of seats available for others, please contact Giulio Prisco if you wish to attend.

Abstract: Fluid, two-way brain-machine interfacing represents one of the greatest challenges of modern bioengineering. It offers the potential to restore movement and speech to the locked-in, and ultimately allow us as humans to expand far beyond the biological limits we’re encased in now. But, there’s a long road ahead. Today, noninvasive BMIs are largely useless as practical devices and invasive BMIs are critically limited, though progress is being made everyday. Microwire array recording is used all over the world to decode motor intent out of cortex to drive robotic actuators and software controls. Electrical intracortical microstimulation is used to “write” information to the brain, and optogenetic methods promise to make that easier and safer. Monkey models can perform tasks from controlling a walking robot to feeding themselves with a 7-DOF robotic arm. Before we’ll be able to make the jump to humans, biocompatibility of electrodes and limited channel counts are significant hurdles that will need to be crossed. These technologies are still in their infancy, but they’re a huge opportunity in science for those motivated to help bring them through to maturity.

Max Hodak is a scientist-in-training working on brain-machine interfacing at Duke. He founded Quantios to use computing, machine learning to improve life. American, French dual citizen.

Teleplace is one of the best 3D applications for telework, online meetings, group collaboration, and e-learning in a virtual 3D environment (v-learning). Those who already have Teleplace accounts for teleXLR8 can just ahow up at the talk. There are a limited number of seats available for others, please contact Giulio Prisco if you wish to attend.


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