Restored brain activity in 32 dead pigs

The experiment has breathed life into the brain of a pig in four hours after death. Scientists in the US restored blood flow and cellular activity in 32 pig heads obtained from a slaughterhouse. While there was no sign of awakening or consciousness, in 32 brain showed signs of cellular activity. Thus, the results of the research questioning long-standing assumptions about the finality of death and opens a new frontier in brain research.

According to scientists, the experiment requires an ethical review

When death of the brain?

Cell death of the brain is usually considered to be rapid and irreversible. After the cessation of oxygen supply and blood brain electrical activity and signs of consciousness disappear within a few seconds. Then there is the irreversible destruction of the brain. However, Professor Sestan and his team noticed that small samples of brain tissue showing signs of cellular activity, even if it is collected a few hours after death.

This is interesting: Why there is no death?

To continue the study, the experts drew attention to the whole, intact brain of pigs selected for food production. According to lead author of the study Professor Nenad Sestan from Yale University intact brain of a large mammal retains the previously underappreciated ability to restore circulation and certain molecular and cellular activity, a few hours after cessation of blood flow.

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Chemical blood

In an innovative experiment, a specially designed preservative of the so-called “chemical blood” circulating through the brain dead for four hours animals. The solution is heated to body temperature, is injected through blood vessels to the brain within six hours. During this time, scientists observed a decrease in cell death and restoring the functionality of certain nerve, blood vessels and supporting cells of nervous tissue — glial cells.

The image of pig brains

Glial cells are important brain “support cells” that hold neurons in place, supply them with nutrients and oxygen, provide insulation, and get rid of dead cells. The scientists also found that the revived activity of the cells even include some synaptic function — the transmission of signals between neurons. A study published in the journal Nature.

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According to study co-author Dr. Zvonimir of Ursula, experts have never seen an organized electrical activity associated with perception, awareness or consciousness. The study has been clinically determined that it is not a living brain, but the brain cell activity.

By the way, pigs clean animals

Scientists believe that in the future the lessons learned from their work will help doctors to find a way to rescue of brain function in patients who have had a stroke, or to check the effectiveness of procedures aimed at the recovery of cells after injuries. Scientists emphasize that any future studies involving human tissue or a possible revival of the global electrical activity in the dead brains of the animals will have to undergo rigorous ethical oversight. However, it remains unknown whether this technique can work with tissues of human brain. The fact that a chemical solution was not many components that are naturally contained in human blood, such as cells of the immune system.

Anyway, all the researchers who participated in the experiment agreed that the continuation of such studies is a serious ethical question.

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