Radical human brain modification using high-powered lasers has been perfected

OK, so lets start with Transhuman steps. Things we can do to aid society and our species.

The good and the bad. The drug crowd has competition.




Extreme Tech
By John Hewitt
10 June 2014

Pinpoint fixing of trouble zones in your brain just got real. Enter the new Visuolase fiber-optic laser: 15 Watts of liquid-cooled, catheterized laser persuasion. When mated to a ROSA medical robot, this device makes the brain-fixer mech from Ender’s Game look downright primitive. Even the most stubborn neurons will be conformed. It’s not just the laser that makes this new medical virtuosity the experience of a lifetime, it’s the unreal, futuristic technology pipeline that now awaits. From the salubrious gauntlet we will detail below, even the most humble plebs who aspire to any of the device trials now in full swing can make of themselves a medical celebrity.

The ordeal for those to go under the (laser) knife begins with thorough evaluations to pinpoint any major design flaws, or life-hazards incurred in their basic cerebral mechanics. For the thirteen epilepsy patients involved in initial trials based at the Emory University School of Medicine, this included any number of unique labors and privileges. High on the list were the use of subdural (under the scalp, on the brain surface) electrode arrays to localize where seizures first begin. At its most basic level this would mean which half of the brain is primarily to blame. For those outfitted with this gear, cortical areas involved in vital functions like speech or face recognition can be also predetermined. These regions, whimsically designated as the “eloquent cortex” by neurosurgeons, are not so much the parts of the cortex that might be merely missed if ablated, but rather those whose loss could not be ignored.

Several patients were additionally given what is known as a “Wada” test to expand and confirm the electrode evaluations. This diabolical thrill involves injecting either the left or right arterial blood feedstock with a powerful barbiturate to see what critical functions drop out, or temporarily go offline. The whole patient workup is supplemented by MRI and PET scans to get a feel for the anatomy at hand; more-or-less a dry run of the procedure about to go down. This typically involves further dubious ingestion of radioactive labels in the case of PET, and gadolinium contrast agents for the MRI. In this vein of patient precautions, we should also make mention of the smattering of X-rays you may later absorb during the procedure from the fluoroscopic arm used to check on the probe position.

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