WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Challenging previous speculations that brain cells immediately die once blood flow stops, scientists from Yale launched into an experiment where they succeeded in bringing cellular activity back in the brain cells of dead pigs.
- With the use of a special device that caused a chemical solution to flow into the pig’s brain, cellular activity was reactivated after six hours.
- However, it didn’t mean that the pig was brought to life, only that the brains were just active without any relation to awareness.
Yale scientists successfully revived cellular activity in the brains of dead pigs that have been slaughtered hours earlier, defying previous assumptions that brain cells permanently die off once blood flow stops.
When the brain cells were resuscitated, the researchers said the pigs have been dead for four hours. Using a special device, the scientists circulated a “blood-like chemical solution” through the pig’s brain. Six hours later, cellular activity was retained.
The research though doesn’t imply that the pigs were actually “living”; in the sense that they demonstrated electrical activity related to consciousness, according to Dr. Nenad Sestan, the study’s senior researcher.
Rather, it only meant that their brains were “cellularly active”. This means that there was no major electrical activity that signals awareness was shown in the brains.
In addition, Sestan said the findings of the experiment can have acute implications for disorders that cause brain cells to die such as stroke therapies and others. Co-researcher and director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics Stephen Latham agreed, saying that the same process may be used to preserve harvested organs for donations.
However, ethical concerns were also raised. The study leaves a “gaping gray zone, with almost no guidance of how to proceed ethically,” said bioethicist Nita Farahany, who has pushed for ethics guidelines for similar experiments in the future.
Most of the study was funded through the National Institutes of Health.
Source: Fox News