The transneural burning scanner is a device that copies a capsuleer's brain information at the moment of pod breach. The device is necessarily quick acting and destroys the brain in the process of scanning. It is a vital part of the cloning process that renders capsuleers effectively immortal.
The earliest brain scan technology was developed in YC20 by researchers with Zainou Biotech under the direction of Todo Kirkinen. Kirkinen himself utilized the technology to transfer his mind into a machine, though the technology was relatively crude by today's standards. It was slow, had difficulty penetrating deeply into the brain's center, and caused some damage to the brain's tissues. Thus the technology was, at its inception, used mainly to record the memories of the terminally ill.
Later refinement to the technology sped up the process and increased its accuracy, but also greatly increased the damage done by the device. It left animal test subjects completely brain dead, destroying all but the body's autonomic functions. Therefore, its use was only approved for those who were in imminent danger of death.
However, there were many difficulties ensuring the proper function of the scanner outside of highly controlled environments. As they are quite bulky, they are not able to be worn and must instead be mounted near the user at all times. Scanners mounted on planetary vehicles often reacted to false stimuli and went off early, resulting in living but brain dead people, or went off too late, failing to capture the living brain patterns before death. As such, they saw their scope limited to certain hospitals and laboratories.
It wasn't until Ishukone Corporation bought out Zainou that the transneural burning scanner came into wider use. Developers at Ishukone recognized that the capsule was the perfect controlled environment for the scanner. There needed be only equipment to register a pod breach, as even the slightest breach in the pod's skin is a death sentence. The transneural burning scanner could then be calibrated to go off at the precise moment of pod breach, giving it just enough time to copy the brain's information before death.
The full marriage of the capsule with the transneural burning scanner, and subsequently cloning, was accomplished in YC105.
The transneural burning scanner utilizes a combination of magnetic resonance imaging and emission tomography to quickly acquire a detailed scan of the brain down to the quantum level. In order to have a complete and accurate map of the brain and retain the all memories and personality, the scan must record the position of every atom.
Because this process must be completed in a matter of seconds, the process is incredibly damaging to the brain's grey matter. It causes numerous lesions and cell death, reducing the brain to little more than a blob of biomass. Because of this, the transneural burning scanner is only utilized at the moment before death.
The information obtained from the transneural burning scanner is then transmitted to the cortex constructor, which uses the data to reconstruct the brain.