Brainstorm Health: Freezing Your Brain, Lundbeck Parkinson’s Deal, Louise Slaughter Passes
Hello and happy Friday, readers—this is Sy!
Silicon Valley has no shortage of out-there ideas ostensibly meant to change the world. The latest? A straight up Black Mirror-esque proposal to chemically freeze human brains in an effort to “preserve neurons and synapses” and, theoretically, digitally upload memories.
Y Combinator venture Nectome is offering to “embalm” your brain for $10,000 to keep it crisp and, well, freshly brain-y. There is one catch, though: The process will kill you, as the company states upfront (it’s “100% fatal,” according to the founders).
Nectome is gearing its pitch to terminally ill patients who would then be connected to life support systems, put under anesthesia, and then injected with a chemical embalming cocktail, as my colleague Grace Donnelly writes—all while still technically alive. And Y Combinator president Sam Altman (alongside another two dozen reported paying customers) are already on board with the experiment. “I assume my brain will be uploaded to the cloud,” Altman tells MIT Technology Review.
Have a great weekend, and we’ll be back with you at our Brainstorm Health conference in southern California next week!
American Heart Association, Duke partner on machine learning heart project. The American Heart Association (AHA) and Duke University’s Clinical Research Institute are testing out machine learning in a new project aimed at treating heart diseases. AHA’s “Precision Medicine Platform” contains a multitude of data from partners like Intermountain Healthcare, Duke Clinical Research Institute, and drug maker AstraZeneca, among others. (Modern Healthcare)
Lundbeck snatches up Parkinson’s drug developer. Denmark-based drug maker Lundbeck has agreed to purchase Prexton Therapeutics in a deal that would be worth up to $1.1 billion (and $123 million upfront). Lundbeck, which specializes in neurological drugs, was drawn in by Prexton’s experimental Parkinson’s disease treatment foliglurax. (Reuters)
THE BIG PICTURE
Louise Slaughter, rare Congressional scientist, dies at 88. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat who had served in the House of Representatives since 1987, died aged 88 on Friday. The 16-term Congresswoman was known as a champion for women’s rights and health care issues; she was also one of the rare, bonafide scientists in the legislative branch (there are a fair number of physicians in Congress, but not a whole lot of medical academics). Slaughter studied microbiology in college before earning a master’s degree in public health. She authored the landmark Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which bars employers from discriminating based on genetic data. (CNN)
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|Produced by Sy Mukherjee|
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