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Scientists spur some activity in brains of slaughtered pigs

By The News · 20 of April 2019 10:14:53
AP Photo,, No available, This combination of images provided by the Yale School of Medicine in April 2019 shows stained microscope photos of neurons, green; astrocytes, red, and cell nuclei, blue, from a pig brain left untreated for 10 hours after death, left, and another with a specially designed blood substitute pumped through it. By medical standards “this is not a living brain,” said Nenad Sestan of the Yale School of Medicine, one of the researchers reporting the results Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in the journal Nature. But the work revealed a surprising degree of resilience within a brain that has lost its supply of blood and oxygen, he said. (Stefano G. Daniele, Zvonimir Vrselja/Sestan Laboratory/Yale School of Medicine)

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists restored some activity within the brains of pigs that had been slaughtered hours before, raising hopes for some medical advances and questions about the definition of death.

The brains could not think or sense anything. By medical standards, they’d been dead for four hours by the time scientists began pumping a special artificial blood through them in their lab.

Yale University researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature that they were able to restore activity in some brain cells. Further work might lead to new therapies for stroke and other conditions, as well as a new tool for studying the brain.