Scientists kept pig brains alive outside body for 36 hours
Yale scientists claim they've developed a way to keep animal brains alive outside the body for up to 36 hours.
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT — Keeping the mind alive outside the body may not just be science fiction anymore.
According to MIT Technology Review, Yale neuroscientist Nenad Sestan claims he's pioneered a way to keep animal brains alive for 36 hours after detaching them from the body.
After obtaining more than a hundred pigs' brains from a slaughterhouse, he and his team restored circulation within four hours.
To do so, they used a system called BrainEx, which warms artificial blood to body temperature and pumps it right into the brain.
Despite detecting no electrical activity, and finding brain waves similar to that of a person in a coma, the individual brain cells were surprisingly healthy and capable of normal activity. So not quite conscious, but still very much alive.
Theoretically, the researchers say the technique could work on other species, like primates or even humans.
But before that even happens, scientists will need to talk long and hard about ethics, since this is a road that can get weird and problematic very quickly.
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