Great research starts with the right questions. At Nectome, we seek to understand how long-term memories are physically created, and how those physical traces might be preserved. Our research has four main thrusts:
The success of vitrifixation at preserving an entire mammalian connectome gives us reason to believe that memory preservation is possible. Our current connectome preservation research seeks to further characterize the quality of our preservation, extend the technique to other species, and modify the chemistry of vitrifixation for greater long-term stability at a variety of convenient temperatures.
We are currently investigating the level of preservation we can achieve for proteins, nucleic acids (DNA/RNA), lipids, carbohydrates, and other critical biomolecules. We work with multiple labs that have expertise performing biochemical assays to ensure reliable and independent results.
We feel that long-term memory extraction experiments are very underexplored, but we also think that Nectome can make significant progress in this area.
The field of molecular dynamics has improved dramatically in recent years, enabling never-before-possible insights into biomolecular interactions at the atomic level. By studying computer simulations of fixatives and cryoprotectants, we can learn about the molecular effects of our preservation technology and use that information to optimize our preservation techniques.