In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death.
The work challenges some of the basic assumptions about the irreversible impact of death on brain function.
Previously, scientists thought that basic cellular functions ceased within seconds or minutes of the cessation of oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
For their study, the scientists obtained the recently deceased brain of a pig from a food production facility.
They then injected its brain with a “uniquely formulated solution” called BrainEx that they had developed with the goal of preserving brain tissue.
They discovered that neural cell integrity was preserved, while other neuronal, glial, and vascular cell functionality was restored.