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Finding the Human Soul: Scientific Mission ‘Number 1’ of China

A group of Chinese scientists plans to develop the most powerful brain scanner of all time, able to observe the structure and activities of each neuron in a living brain.

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A group of Chinese scientists plans to develop the most powerful brain scanner of all time, able to observe the structure and activities of each neuron in a living brain.

Defining the human ‘soul’ is a task that humanity is choking on from the beginning of civilizations: from some pilgrims like Heraclitus (who defended that the soul was a mixture of fire and water) to more visionaries like Democritus (for the one that the soul is connected to the brain and when dying the conscience is lost), this subject has been object of debate during millenia. Plato, however, was the one who elevated the soul to a fundamental element in our existence on this planet … a relevance that remained practically unalterable until the arrival of other philosophers like Descartes.

And if putting clear on dark around the soul is difficult, equal or more it is to locate it inside (or not) of the human body. Until now, the soul has identified itself with the heart, the stomach or even the reproductive organs -according to what current we are studying- but the brain has undoubtedly been the epicenter of most researches in search of the best kept secret of our being

The last we have known, perhaps the most ambitious to date, takes us to China. There, a group of scientists plans to develop the most powerful brain scanner of all time, able to observe the structure and activities of each neuron in a living brain. And, while today’s scanners can only visualize objects of more than 1 millimeter, the new device is designed to visualize objects 1,000 times smaller.

The device budget? 126 million dollars.

The project, whose details are unknown to be classified as “top secret” by the red government, is developing in the industrial town of Shenzhen and its high budget will overcome all barriers in the scientific community for the manufacture of a civil sensor funded by A state; record that so far holds the FAST telescope (the largest in the world, located in Pingtan).

The scanner will “revolutionize brain studies”, say its promoters in statements to the local South China Morning Post. “It will show us a different world with a phenomenon never before seen … maybe even the soul”.

In fact, the physicists responsible for the scanner are extraordinarily optimistic: “For the first time, we can capture a complete picture of human consciousness or even the essence of life itself. Then we can define them and explain how they work in precise physical terms, just as Newton and Einstein defined and explained the universe. “

Beyond soul searching, the brain scanner developed by the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology will also deal with more mundane … and urgent issues. For example, this technology will be used for the study and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases as urgent as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

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