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Startup offering to preserve brain with '100 percent fatal' procedure for $10,000

Need a way to hold on to your memories forever? One startup is offering a special, but fatal, procedure to help you keep your brain active.

>> Read more trending news

Researchers at Nectome, a medical company founded by MIT graduates, have discovered a way to maintain brain functionality after death with high-tech embalming, a process used to prevent a body from decay. 

“Our mission is to preserve your brain well enough to keep all its memories intact: from that great chapter of your favorite book to the feeling of cold winter air, baking an apple pie, or having dinner with your friends and family,” co-founders Robert McIntyre and Michael McCanna wrote on the business’ website.

 >> On If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain could start eating itself

They will target patients suffering from terminal illnesses. The individuals will be sedated, connected to heart and lung machines, and injected with the embalming chemicals while they are alive. 

The procedure is “100 percent fatal,” the founders warned, but the solution “can keep a body intact for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, as a statue of frozen glass.”

The analysts believe their investigations will help future scientists “recreate consciousness” and retrieve information from the brain’s molecular details. 

>> Related: A few glasses of wine a day can keep your brain ‘clean,’ study says

“You can think of what we do as a fancy form of embalming that preserves not just the outer details but the inner details,” McIntyre told MIT Technology Review.

“If the brain is dead, it’s like your computer is off, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t there,” added Ken Hayworth, a neuroscientist and president of the Brain Preservation Foundation -- the organization that awarded McIntyre for his recent work on preserving the pig brain.

>> Related: Scientists worry brain-wasting 'zombie deer' disease could spread to humans

The surgery is not yet available to the public as they are still unsure if the memories will be found in the dead tissues. However, they are inviting prospective customers to join a wait list for a $10,000 deposit, which is fully refundable. So far, 25 people have signed up. 

“When a generation of people die, we lose all their collective wisdom. You can transmit knowledge to the next generation, but it’s harder to transmit wisdom, which is learned,” McIntyre said. “That was fine for a while, but we get more powerful every generation. The sheer immense potential of what we can do increases, but the wisdom does not.”

Russia investigation: Special counsel Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization


Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump and his associates, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

The subpoena is the first directly connected to one of Trump’s businesses, The New York Times reported Thursday. The newspaper was the first to report on the subpoena, citing two unidentified sources briefed on the situation.

The breadth of the subpoena was not immediately clear, although some documents sought were related to Russia, the Times reported. According to the newspaper, the subpoena was served “in recent weeks.”

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

The Trump Organization has already provided investigators with a range of documents, most focused on the period between when Trump announced his candidacy for president, in June 2015, to his inauguration, in January 2017, CNN reported in January. Citing an unidentified source familiar with the situation, the news network reported that the recently issued subpoena was meant “to ‘clean up’ and to ensure that all related documents are handed over to the special counsel.”

In a statement released to several news outlets Thursday, Alan Futerfas, an attorney representing the Trump Organization, said reports of the subpoena were “old news.”

>> Related: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates to plead guilty in Mueller investigation

“Since July 2017, we have advised the public that the Trump Organization is fully cooperative with all investigations, including the special counsel, and is responding to their requests,” Futerfas said. “This is old news and our assistance and cooperation with the various investigations remains the same today.”

The decision to subpoena the Trump Organization, which is owned by the president and managed by his children, appeared to mirror the strategy employed by Mueller with the Trump campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper noted that the campaign “voluntarily gave documents to the special counsel for months before receiving a subpoena in October.”

>> Related: Mueller indicts 13 Russians, 3 Russian entities in election meddling probe

Mueller, who headed the FBI from 2001 to 2013, was appointed by the Justice Department in May 2017 to oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His investigation has thus far led to several indictments and a handful of guilty pleas from people connected to Trump.

Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities last month on accusations that they interfered with American elections and political processes, starting in 2014. On Twitter, Trump claimed that information in the indictments proved his innocence on allegations of colluding with Russia to win the election.

Five people have pleaded guilty to charges levied against them in Mueller's investigation. Most recently, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiring against the United States.

She thought her professional gamer boyfriend was cheating so she bought samurai sword, police say

A Washington state man is lucky it wasn’t a final game over. 

Professional gamer Alex Lovell’s girlfriend said she thought he was cheating on her after she found the dating app Tinder on his phone. She said she also found a woman’s red hair in their shower drain. Emily Javier, the girlfriend in question, had hair dyed green, The Washington Post reported.

>> Read more trending news 

With the alleged evidence against Lovell, Javier told police she did what she thought was the answer: She went to the mall and bought a samurai sword.

“I thought, I was gonna stab him while he was sleeping,” The Post reported Javier telling police.

But instead of stabbing him, she told police she reached for her sword on March 3, which she had taped to their shared bed along with two knives, and started cutting Lovell over and over as he slept.

He said he woke up and his lifetime of watching kung fu movies, along with martial arts training, helped him stop the attack, Oregon Live reported.

“I told her I loved her, and she was killing me. She needed to call police, or I was going to die,” Lovell told Oregon Live.

Police said she called 911 and told them that she had stabbed her boyfriend and that they needed to hurry because she thought he was dead. When emergency responders arrived, they found Lovell in a ball lying in a blood-spattered room, Oregon Live reported.

The professional gamer had nearly lost his index, middle and ring fingers, but doctors were able to reattach them, Oregon Live reported.

Lovell told the The Columbian that he was not unfaithful to Javier, but he did spend a lot of time playing video games and training for the gaming competitions.

“I  barely had time to hang out with my girlfriend, let alone another girl,” he told the Vancouver, Washington, newspaper.

Javier is charged with attempted murder and was taken to the Clark County Jail on $350,000 bail. She’s scheduled to stand trial in May, Oregon Live reported.

Small Texas town buys $4 million luxury mansion, but deal backfires. Now what, officials ask? 

The 8,000-square-foot mansion perches on a cliff overlooking Lake Travis about 20 miles outside of Austin, Texas. It has a wine cellar in the basement, a billiards table in the game room and red leather reclining loungers in the home theater. Greek statuary guards two turquoise negative-edge swimming pools. There is a helipad nearby.

>> Read more trending news 

The estate rents for as much as $2,000 a day. “First, you arrive at the private gate to realize how tranquil the location is. Then, you pull up to the circular driveway and see the magnificence of the home,” a delighted client wrote in a recent review. “It is hard to believe that this is an actual vacation rental! We each had our own private bathroom, which was extremely nice.”

“The views are better than any others you will find on the lake,” said Lago Vista City Councilman Kevin Sullivan.

He would know. That’s because the taxpayers of Lago Vista are the mansion’s reluctant owners.

Three years ago, this picturesque lakeside city of 7,000 shelled out nearly $4 million — a figure representing more than half of its annual budget — to buy the sprawling villa. After a couple of years of failing to unload it, the city has turned to using it for the occasional city council retreat and, more recently, renting it out to tourists.

“People love it,” said Jacqueline Wittmuss, owner of JW Properties, which manages the rental for the city.

>> Related: Miami bridge collapse: 6 confirmed dead, police say

Not everyone. Paying top dollar with public money to acquire a manor featuring 20-foot ceilings, a giant pantry and a three-oven kitchen “was not the wisest decision,” said Mark Tippetts, a former city councilman.

“It’s not the best situation,” added Ed Tidwell, Lago Vista’s new mayor.

For the story of the city’s reluctant purchase of the Hill Country estate, and interviews with city officials involved, visit

Man in car dies after being hit by 35-pound boulder thrown from highway overpass

Authorities are looking for whoever threw a nearly 35-pound rock off an overpass Thursday, killing a man in a car being driven by his wife, according to officials

>> Read more trending news

The boulder hit Christopher Lopez, 23, who was in the front passenger seat of a Toyota Corolla being driven by his wife, Guadalupe Gutierrez. Her mother and the couple’s 4-year-old daughter were also in the car, according to KABC

Gutierrez drove her husband to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to KABC.

“This was an intentional act," CHP Lt. Chuck Geletko told KABC. "Even though the person or persons who threw the boulder may not have known who was inside the vehicle at the time, any prudent person would know that a boulder that size would seriously harm someone driving on the freeway below.”

GoFundMe account was started to help the family with funeral expenses. 

"If anybody saw anything, please help us find whoever did this to him," Gutierrez told KABC. "He didn't deserve this. My daughter didn't deserve this."

Custodian accused of taking students’ money during National Walkout Day

A custodian at a South Carolina high school has been charged with taking money from school students as they participated in this week’s National Walkout Day.

Police in Richland County said that Aisha Evans took a total of $180 from the backpacks of three students as they took part in their school’s protest, WLTX reported

>> Read more trending news 

Evans worked as a contract custodian at Richland Northeast High School.

School officials investigated the theft claims and said that Evans was responsible, WLTX reported.

She’s been fired from her job and is not allowed on school property. 

Evans has been charged with three counts of petit larceny, WLTX reported.

Related video:

Dog mistakenly sent on United plane to Japan reunites with family in Kansas

A dog that was accidentally sent to Japan instead of Kansas City, Missouri, on a United Airlines flight is back home.

The Wichita Eagle reported that Irgo the German shepherd returned to his family on a private charter plane on Thursday. It was a 12-hour flight.

>> Read more trending news 

On Tuesday, Kara and Joseph Swindle and their family were moving from Oregon to Kansas and took a United flight to Kansas City. Irgo, their 10-year-old German shepherd, was supposed to be at the airline’s cargo area, but he was not there.

The family told KCTV that it was met with a Great Dane dog instead of Irgo. The Great Dane was supposed to be in Japan, but Irgo was sent instead.

Related: United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City

Kara Swindle said United Airlines told her it didn’t know how the mistake happened. The airline paid for the family to stay at an airport near the hotel Tuesday.

“An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations,” a spokesperson for United said in a statement. “We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened.”

Related: ‘She took him out and he was dead:’ Owners of dog that died in United overhead bin speak out

Joseph Swindle told The Wichita Eagle that United Airlines flew Irgo on a private plane to Eisenhower National Airport. 

The mix-up is the latest incident involving an animal on a United Airlines flight. On Monday, a dog died when a United flight attendant insisted the dog be placed in an overhead bin

Photo sent to wrong family helps child with cancer

Maybe it was fate that caused a text to be sent to the wrong family. Maybe it was a coincidence. Whatever it was, a mistakenly sent photo has helped the family of a little boy with leukemia and could help others with cancer.

>> Read more trending news 

A girl named Sydney was trying on a gown and sent a photo of herself in it to Tony Wood by mistake. Wood’s a dad of six and instead of either ignoring the message or sending a bland “wrong number,” he and five of his children sent the girl a thumbs up, telling her to go with the gown, WZTV reported.

The photos and messages went viral and got the attention of hundreds of thousands of people.

Two people were missing: Wood’s wife and their son Kaizler.

Kaizler has leukemia, and Wood’s wife was at the hospital with him, WZTV reported.

Once strangers found out why the family was missing two members, they jumped into action and started donating to the Woods’ GoFundMe page set up to help pay for Kaizler’s treatments, WZTV reported.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The goal had been set at $10,000, but thanks to the viral story, they surpassed it and have raised more than $52,000.

The Wood family is now using its newfound viral fame, and the kindness of others, to help another family in the area in a similar situation.

The Woods put the word out about Finn Shafran, who has a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. He has had his bladder removed and still has an 85 percent chance of relapse without chemotherapy. The Shafran family is raising money for his treatments with a goal set of $25,000. As of Friday afternoon, it was less than $1,500 short of that goal. 

Rescued dog had cocaine, THC in system

A dog found barely moving on the street outside of a known drug house had cocaine and THC in her system, according to animal rescue officials. 

>> Read more trending news

Animal control officers said neighborhood kids had given drugs to the dog, named Peanut, and the 1-year-old old puppy needed medical attention, according to Faithful Friends Animal Society

Tests determined that she had been exposed to marijuana and cocaine. 

“She made it through the night and showed signs of significant improvements the following morning,” the animal rescue group wrote on Facebook. “Her tremors have not gone away completely, but she's now able to stand, walk, eat, and drink.”

Peanut was given to Faithful Friends, where she was renamed Suzi, and is being given constant care as her condition improves. 

“We will make sure to give her lots of love and will post new photos and updates once she settles in,” the group wrote.

Nearly 120-year-old shipwreck discovered in Lake Erie

In 1899, a terrible nor’easter whipped Lake Erie, tossing the Margaret Olwill, a steam barge carrying 900 tons of limestone, until it capsized and sunk.

>> Read more trending news

Nine people on board died, including the captain, his wife and their son. Seven survivors clung to wreckage until they were rescued, according to the Great Lakes Vessels Online Index.

“She was probably not overloaded,” the Marine Review wrote July 6, 1899. “Her load of stone was shifted to one side by the great power of the waves dashing over her. She went over, the stone shifted with her, and she never came back.”

The Cleveland Underwater Explorers dive team discovered the wreckage last July, and after documenting it, officials with the National Museum of the Great Lakes announced the find Thursday, according to Rock the Lake.

The ship was built in 1887, rebuilt in 1890 as a propeller vessel and again in 1893 as a steambarge, according to Rock the Lake

Divers found some of the deck house framing posts, the ship’s 14-foot stem, steel windlass and two anchor chains, according to Rock the Lake

Museum officials also said two other ships, which have not been identified, were found, according to Rock the Lake. Divers use underwater technology like sidescan sonar, as well as historical research, to identify wreckage.

“Often, it can take years from the initial discovery of a potential underwater target to confirmation that the target in question is a shipwreck, to identifying a particular shipwreck as a specific named boat that was lost,” a museum spokesperson told Rock the Lake

There are an estimated 2,000 shipwrecks in Lake Erie. About 375 of them have been discovered.

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