Could We Be Reborn?
We humans are fascinating. Our genetic code, which is stored in our DNA, contains about 1.5 gigabytes of information – enough to fit on a standard DVD three times over. However, 99.9% of this information is shared with all other humans, meaning the information that makes up who we are individually is just over 1 megabyte – enough to store on an old floppy disk!
So could we store a digital copy of ourselves? Could we be scientifically reborn with our memories intact?
Our understanding of the complex human genome is growing. Advances in technology and scientific research have enabled us to map and read our intricate DNA with precision.
Developments in DNA and stem cell storage have given rise to capabilities that have opened diverse ethical discussion. We can already grow tissue from embryonic stem cells and this is being carried out with success. Scientists have proved that cloning is possible and that we could technically clone a human being.
But is that enough? What about memories, emotions and the experiences that shaped our personality? Is there any use in rebuilding ourselves physically if the essence of our being cannot be recreated?
In recent years, neurologists have been mapping our brains and understanding the function of neurons and how they communicate. We are learning how memories are formed and how neuron connections and proteins help us store memories.
Ultimately, we are learning the biology of consciousness. We can already delete and replace memories in mice.
Our brain’s storage capacity is not in itself a problem. Ignoring cellular data, the brain is capable of storing a few gigabytes of data. The problem lies in the way the neurons connect in order to store and share information.
Each neuron —> Read More