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Genetic engineering

  1. May 26, 2005 #1
    Hypothetically could people genetically engineer brains that would automatically connect up to ours- eg make all the connections necessary- way way in the future?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2005 #2


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    Wouldn't that mean that everyone's head had to join with everyone else? If you mean telepathy, I don't know alot on that subject
  4. May 26, 2005 #3


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    It could very much resemble telepathy, if it were done with a wireless connection.
  5. May 26, 2005 #4


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    I think it is less a question of genetic engineering, although that might assist in the endeavor, and more an issue of brain/computer/hardware interface. If the signals coming from whatever region(s) of the brain you are interested in, say vocal areas, can be collected, digitized, transmitted, received, decoded and pumped into auditory regions then perhaps this could be done. It doesn't seem impossible. It comes down to understanding where the signals originate, capturing them in a usable form and sending them on.
  6. May 26, 2005 #5
    that seems intriguing
    Last edited: May 26, 2005
  7. May 26, 2005 #6
    No I mean like...

    Couldn't you PHYSICALLY connect two brains together in a space that was big enough for them (Eg somebodys head) by genetically engineering people whose brains would automatically make all the PHYSICAL connections necessary when given the ability to connect up to another person's brain

    Or would the connections in a person's brain have to be severed before it could be hooked up to another brain
  8. May 26, 2005 #7


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    didn't freewill jst post that? Oh, he changed his message
  9. May 26, 2005 #8


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    Were you wondering if two brains are better than one? :rolleyes:
    [sorry, couldn't resist]

    In conjoined twins, some may already share two brains. In the example shown by the link, the two brains are distinct but have shared blood vessels. There may be other cases where the brains are closely merged. Here is one case where the two conjoined twins share brain matter.
  10. May 26, 2005 #9
    I'm talking about two brains merging to become one brain (or some parts of brains merging to become part of the same brain) though, not brains just sharing blood vessels and such. And I'm not talking about brains that have merged together in the womb or whatever...I'm talking about taking brains that were not merged in the womb or whatever and merging them

    okay I have no idea what I'm talking about but my question is:

    It's impossible to physically connect two brains up to each other because there would be too many connections, correct? It's impossible to even connect one brain piece to another brain piece (that's separated from it) because of the amount of connections right? Would it be possible to do that (Any of those things) with a genetically engineered brain- or piece of one- (that was genetically engineered to make all the connections that were necessary) due to the fact that those connections could be made by the brain itself? (hypothetically)

    sorry, my sister and I both created accounts on here..is there any way to just delete one, then we wouldn't accidently leave each other logged in

    Last edited: May 26, 2005
  11. May 26, 2005 #10
    I was just thinking about that.
  12. May 26, 2005 #11


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    My last response was to show that there are people that already have brain-to-brain connections (not including the blood vessels). But speculating on your original question...
    Do you have a good concept of what genetic engineering(GE) entails?

    Instead of allowing the biology of reproduction to resort genes in succeeding generations; GE allows us to move genes across species. The end result is a organism that lives and grows much like a non-engineered one, except it contains some new genetic material. The new genes might code for example, florescence, allowing a fish to glow in the dark

    Another example of GE is production of a useful biochemical such as insulin. In this case, the human insulin gene can be inserted into a bacterium. The bacterium goes ahead and produces human insulin.
    Perhaps at the moment we don't have the technology to accomplish this, but it is conceivable that we could someday do this in vitro. I can picture two brains suspended in a semiliquid within a vessel (bowl). Neural connections between the two brains might be made using synthetic materials. The actual connections might be made utilizing http://www.nanoscience.cam.ac.uk/schools/nano/breakthroughs/medicine.html [Broken]

    Genetically engineering a brain to facilitate the task of connecting additional brains in parallel with itself, would be a formidable challenge, done either in or outside of the body. A simpler approach and done more easily in vivo, would be to merge two brains using wireless connections.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  13. May 27, 2005 #12
    I think the technology of understanding homeoboxes and the cellular basis of organization is a fundamental to this. I also would like to that that Gray's Anatomy (Williams et al, 1994) stated that the nervous system is the most complex system in the universe. So indeed anything is probable with respect to manipulating the brain and nervous system since we dont know enough to disprove any idea of this.
  14. May 27, 2005 #13
    I know but...

    say you wanted to merge your brain with that of another (inside another body) so that you could live longer (Eg so that you could use the body of the brain you've merged with, and so that you could expand your brain and live longer as a result)

    My question is:

    Would we be able to do this NOT in vitro? Could we do this with adults via genetic engineering or something like that? or are you saying it would be impossible to do that with genetic engineering or something like that?

    (When I say with genetic engineering I mean with a brain/body that's been genetically engineered to make two brains become one via the genetically engineered brain making the necessary requirements)

    What I'm asking is:

    Would it be possible to genetically engineer a brain to connect up to another brain, making the two brains become one brain? (regarding two adult brains not in-vitro brains)

    I guess my next question is:

    If two adult brains merged (eg became one) would that mean the consciousness of one of them would die? or would the two consciousness become one?
  15. May 27, 2005 #14
    Somebody said this about genetic engineering..

    In theory everything can be done. Everything. Thats the scary part. You can build anything with organic molecules.

    Anyways all I wanted to know was...

    If you wanted to make two or more brains become one (Physically) could you do that by using a genetically engineered brain (as one of the two or more brains) in the process to eliminate the need to make the connections between the two brains ourselves (Since making the connections between the two brains ourselves would be impossible with our current technology including for example nanotechnology)

    Would you be able to make the two brains become one without killing either. What would the negative effects of merging the two brains be on both brains.

    * by genetically engineer, I just mean create in some way. "Genetic engineering" seemed the most appropriate term to use

    Anyways can anyone tell me what problems there would be with physically connecting two brains. (When I say connecting I always mean physically merging. In regards to this thread.) Some problems I thought there would be- that may not be problems- are



    #3: Rejection (immuno-response rejection) as well as synaptic rejection- eg There'd be no nerves to it, no feeling to it, and chances are, eventually no connection to it

    #4: the confusion in the brain(s) from resulting stimuli could shut down ad kill one or both brains

    #5: Taking out diseased or damaged parts of the merged brain(s) (over time) could cause problems (if the two brains were hardwired together, destroying that link could be fatal, acting as an extreme shock to both parties.)

    #6: in order to merge as one, one brain would have to be able to assimilate the other into it, without actually moving any of the neuronic pathways anywhere, which is physically impossible

    #7: as for making it genetically possible to merge, I don't think that is possible. That is EXTREMELY complicated, and DNA coding is not cpabale of that, I believe

    #8: To merge two conciousnesses into one, would be a physical impossibility. For one, both brains would have to speak *exactly* the same language, second, there'd need to be some way for the rest of the body to udnerstand that there is a new conciousness, there would also need to be somewhere for that conciousness to reside in


    I guess I'm talking about merging two conciousnesses into one, as well as merging two physical brains into one. Because you'd need your original conciousness to survive, regardless of whether it was an altered one, right?
    Last edited: May 27, 2005
  16. May 28, 2005 #15
    wed have to use genetic engineering and not something else to create creatures like that right?
  17. May 28, 2005 #16


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    Bioengineer may be a better term.

    You can build things out of organic molecules without genetic engineering, just using laboratory techniques. Genetic engineering implies that the ability to physically merge a foreign brain with a person's own brain is coded into the DNA.

    To bioengineer this task, someone else (or something such as artificial intelligence) would develop the methodology, the specialized equipment and perform the task of brain-merging. Since this will take place in the future, we shall assume our understanding of neurology will advance to the point where this procedure is possible.

    I don't claim to know how, or try and speculate the potential short comings in such a merger.
    (perhaps in a galaxy far far away, this would be easy :biggrin: )
  18. May 28, 2005 #17
    so would it be impossible to do something like that at the moment or in the near future with bioengineering/something else. Can we do stuff like bioengineering at the moment?

    Last edited: May 28, 2005
  19. May 30, 2005 #18
    D.O.O.S... actually you'll forgive me for my rather aside joke concerning what I was thinking about. I was not actually thinking about how genetic engineering could enhance the melding of minds at the same time as you... I was only pointing out what it would be like, in real time!

    I think you might want to research Siamese twins who have been joined at the head and determine if there are separate identities and so forth operating there or if they consider themselves as one.

    The siamese twinning phenomenon may or may not be the result of much earlier experiements with genetic engineering. My bet is that they are the result of prehistoric genetic engineering just as are many deformity cases, mutations and cancers.
  20. May 30, 2005 #19
    I think that Siamese twins who have been joined at the head have probably had separate identities- but I think that's because their brains were only partly joined. If their brains had been completely connected to each other, they probably would have had just one identity.

    Besides, even if two or more identities did exist in one brain, (that was created from, say, a merging of brains) the person could possibly live in each identity. I mean, when people have multiple personalities, don't they experience life as each personality?

    PS- could somebody photoshop something/fix a photo for me? if so pm me (it's nothing big)
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
  21. May 30, 2005 #20
    Yes and no.
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