Mere hours after the pigs were killed in the slaughterhouse; the brains of these dead pigs were partially revived by the scientists. The team at Yale University mentioned that the brains did not regain the type of original organized electric activities associated with awareness and consciousness. However, this experiment described on Wednesday in a journal named Nature which showed that a small amount of the cellular function with this experiment was restored or preserved.
The implications of this study staggered the ethicists while they try to understand the way this research needs to move forward. Ethicists also tried to contemplate how everything fits with the recent understanding of things that separate the dead and the living. Nita Farahany, the student studying ethics for emerging technologies at the Duke Law School stated that the research and its findings were landmarks. She mentioned that her initial reaction came as a shock. Given the fact that the discovery is particularly groundbreaking, it can also fundamentally change several things in terms of the existing neuroscience beliefs. This also covers an irreversible loss of the brain function post oxygen deprivation in the brain.
Our brain is very sensitive to any lack of oxygen content and tends to shut down rapidly. However, for long researchers have known the fact that the viable cells inside the brain can easily be removed from the post-mortem brains mere hours post-death, mentioned Nenad Sestan, the neuroscientist who works at the Yale School of Medicine located in New Haven, Conn.
Such cells are studied by the scientists in the petridish in a lab. However, the problem is the fact that once it is done, the scientists tend to lose the 3D structure of the brain which can change what we know about the brain in general. Sestan along with some colleagues tried to understand if they can study cells inside the brain while leaving the same intact inside the organ. Doing this means that somehow you can supply them with nutrients, oxygen, and several other chemicals that protect the cell.
To understand how the brain cells work, the scientists spent the last 6 years developing techniques to test their methods over 300 pig brains which were obtained from the local center for pork processing. Stefano Daniele, a team member, stated that this was actually a project shot-in-the-dark. The team has no such preconceived notions if this might work or not.