Some brain functions of a DEAT pig were reinstated a few hours after its removal from the animal.
Scientists were able to restore some of the circulation and cell activity in the brain four hours after the pig's death, challenging long-standing assumptions about the timing and the supposedly irreversible nature of brain death.
The pig's brain was transferred from a meat packing plant to a laboratory where a special chemical solution called BrainEx technology was distributed.
During this process, many basic cellular functions, supposed to stop and never return after death, have been restored.
Professor Nenad Sestan, lead author of the research, said: "The intact brain of a large mammal retains a capacity for restoring circulation and certain molecular and cellular activities that had been underestimated several hours after stopping. circulatory".
However, the researchers pointed out that the brain did not emit any signals close to brain function or consciousness.
This is why the brain can only be described as a brain with "cell activity" and not a living brain.
Brain cells begin to die when oxygen to the brain is cut off for a long time and this process has long been considered irreversible.
The new discoveries could help scientists study the brain much more thoroughly. They believe that their work could be used to help stroke patients or allow testing for new therapies for the brain.
What happens to your body when you die?
These are the processes that the human body goes through when it is no longer alive …
- Immediately after death, all the muscles of the human body relax in a state called primary flaccidity, which can lead to open eyelids, dilated pupils and flaccid limbs
- When the heart stops beating for a few minutes, the blood begins to leak smaller veins from the skin and the body may look paler.
- The body temperature also begins to decrease slowly, starting with two degrees the first hour and one degree less after.
- Livor mortis occurs when blood flows to parts of the body closest to the ground and creates bruises, sometimes called the "post mortem spot".
- About three hours after death, the rigor mortis sits and all the muscles of the body stiffen in the position where they are located.
The research was largely funded by the BRAIN initiative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Andrea Beckel-Mitchener, head of functional neurogenomics at the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health, said: "This line of research suggests hope for improved understanding and treatment of brain disorders and could lead to brand new way to study the human brain post-mortem. "
Scientists have said that they still do not know if their technique could be applied to a dead human brain because the chemical solution used for pork does not contain the necessary human components, such as blood cells.
They also stressed that any future human experimentation would be done according to strict ethical guidelines and that the restoration of consciousness after death was not the original goal of the project.
Despite this, scientists had tools for anesthesia and temperature reduction while they were performing the experiment, in case consciousness would be restored to them, and they had to prevent in a way The subject's brain's ethics revived itself as it began to show signs of organized electrical activity.
Unsurprisingly, the experience has been drawn by animal rights advocates.
"The relaunch of brain activity in pigs raises serious ethical concerns, which is why so many bioethicists are alarmed by this hideous experience," said The Sun Julia Baines, PETA Science Policy Advisor .
"Pigs are intelligent, sensitive and emotionally sophisticated beings, neither in life nor in death should be separated or manipulated in Frankenstein experiments.
"To understand human disorders and diseases, the world's most forward-thinking scientists have developed and use animal-free methods that are actually relevant to human health and superior to the gross use of animals."
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You know that you are dead after death because your brain is still functioning.
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Do you think scientists should try to bring the brain back to life? Let us know in the comments …
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