Thursday 18 April 2019 1:00 AM UTC
CALIFORNIA April 18: US scientists have partially revived pig brains four hours after the animals were slaughtered.
The findings could fuel debate about the barrier between life and death, and provide a new way of researching diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The study showed the death of brain cells could be halted and that some connections in the brain were restored.
However, there were no signals from the brain that would indicate awareness or consciousness.
The surprise findings challenge the idea that the brain goes into irreversible decline within minutes of the blood supply being cut off.
The study, published in the journal Nature, showed a reduction in brain cell death, the restoration of blood vessels and some brain activity.
The researchers found working synapses – the connections between brain cells that allow them to communicate.
The brains also showed a normal response to medication and used up the same amount of oxygen as a normal brain.
This was all 10 hours after the pigs were decapitated.
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