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Help the Brain Preservation Foundation

24 Post author: aurellem 13 November 2013 09:18PM

(First time poster, long time reader)

I'm currently volunteering for the Brain Preservation Foundation (http://www.brainpreservation.org/), and I'd like to ask for your  help.

The purpose of the BPF is to incentivize and evaluate the development of technology which can preserve a human brain in such intricate detail that all of the brain's cells and connections are preserved. It's the only prize of its kind for a relatively endangered, yet essential type of research.

We run a cash prize ($100,000 USD) called the "Brain Preservation Technology Prize" for the first team that can preserve a large mammal's brain to our high standards. The first $25,000 of that prize goes to the first team that can preserve the ultrastructure of a mouse brain.

Steve Aoki (http://steveaoki.com/), a musician that you might have heard of, is currently planning to give around $50,000 to one of four brain-related charities. One of these charities is the Brain Preservation Foundation! Whichever charity gets the most votes will win all the money.

This money is critically important to us to get the necessary supplies and lab time to administer the brain preservation technology prize. Evaluating brains that people send us involves electron microscopy, which is quite expensive (around $8,000 to evaluate a brain!) We are currently getting submissions and this extra money will give us the funds we need to run the prize.

To vote, just visit http://on.fb.me/15XFdTG, and click the "like" button by the "Brain Preservation Foundation" comment. You can see a graph of the votes at http://aurellem.org/bpf/votes.png (updates every 15 minutes). Thanks for taking the time to read
and vote!

More about the Brain Preservation Foundation :
http://www.brainpreservation.org/

More about the charity:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151608608587461

Votes graph:
http://aurellem.org/bpf/votes.png


I'd also love to hear your own opinions on the BPF and your assessment of its effectiveness, as well as your thoughts on  chemopreservation vs cryopreservation.

Comments (20)

Comment author: orthonormal 14 November 2013 08:03:07PM 15 points [-]

There are three salient facts you might include in the post, the sum of which made it more worthwhile for me to participate:

  1. Voting consists of Liking a comment on a FB post, not publicly Liking a FB Page.
  2. BPF actually has a chance to win; in fact, they are currently in the lead.
  3. There are only about 1700 votes total as of now (most of the way through the voting period), so incremental votes actually matter significantly.
Comment author: Athrelon 13 November 2013 02:07:50PM 5 points [-]

Thank you for your work, Aureliem.

Comment author: gjm 13 November 2013 05:21:50PM 4 points [-]

This money is critically important to us [...] will give us the funds we need to run the prize.

Wait, are you saying that the BPF is offering a prize that it knows it doesn't have the resources to administer? Isn't there something rather dubious about that, morally speaking?

Comment author: ChristianKl 13 November 2013 07:03:58PM 2 points [-]

I counts on the fact that it will gain the donation it needs in time to administer everything.

Comment author: aurellem 13 November 2013 08:34:09PM *  22 points [-]

There are two pools of money for the prize:

The first is the $100,000 prize purse which we have secured. This is not money we have on hand, but is instead money that we have a binding legal access to in the event that the prize is won. Like the million dollars for the Ansari X prize, the prize purse money only materializes when the prize is won. We can't use it or access it now, and even if we could, it would be dubious morally, as you say.

The other pool is the General Fund, which we use to fund lab time, disposables involved in electron microscopy, travel costs, etc, with with main cost being equipment/lab time for evaluation. The general fund is much smaller then the prize purse currently, and while we do have enough money to perform several evaluations, we need more money to help us with outreach and the inevitable roadblocks we will face while administering the prize.

Bottom line is that the prize purse is separate from the general fund, and the general fund is quite lean. While we currently have enough money to run the prize (most likely), more money will help us with inevitable setbacks, and also play a critical role in helping us to promote the prize and even recruit new competitors.

Comment author: aurellem 26 November 2013 08:39:02PM 2 points [-]

We ended up winning the contest, so thanks for your help everyone!

Comment author: Jolly 20 November 2013 11:02:35PM 1 point [-]

I'm doing what I can to ensure they win O:)

Comment author: Vaniver 13 November 2013 11:02:59PM 1 point [-]

I'd also love to hear your own opinions on the BPF and your assessment of its effectiveness, as well as your thoughts on chemopreservation vs cryopreservation.

I'm curious under what conditions you think anti-aging research is superior to preservation research, even for people who expect to have to be preserved to make it to the far future. (It may make sense to restrict 'anti-aging' research to 'anti-degenerative neurological conditions' research.)

Comment author: V_V 14 November 2013 12:16:07PM -2 points [-]

Smells fishy. You can budget $100,000 for the prize but you don't have the money necessary to run the tests needed to administer it?

Comment author: aurellem 14 November 2013 02:38:01PM 1 point [-]

See http://lesswrong.com/r/lesswrong/lw/j1j/help_the_brain_preservation_foundation/a1ns, my previous comment. Is there something there that you still feel "smells fishy"?

Comment author: V_V 14 November 2013 04:22:12PM 0 points [-]

Yes. Why did you arrange your budget that way?

Comment author: CronoDAS 14 November 2013 06:19:42PM *  1 point [-]

I'd guess that it's easier to get people to give money in the future than give money now.