Pigs lay dead in the laboratory for an hour. There was no blood circulating in the pig’s body, the heart was still, and the brain waves were flat. A group of Yale scientists then pumped a custom solution into the body of a dead pig with a device similar to a heart-lung machine. From the report: What happened next adds to the next question. What science considers to be the wall between life and death. Pigs were not considered conscious in any way, but their seemingly dead cells were revived. The heart started beating as the solution the scientists called OrganEx circulated through the veins and arteries. The cells of organs including the heart, liver, kidneys and brain were functioning again, and the animals never stiffened like the typical dead pig. Other pigs that died within an hour were treated with ECMO, a machine that supplies blood to the body. They stiffened, their organs swelled and damaged, their blood vessels collapsed, and bloody purple spots formed on their backs. reported by the group Results Wednesday Nature. The researchers say their goal is to increase the supply of human organs for transplantation by allowing doctors to one day obtain organs that can survive death. And they say they hope their technology will also be used to prevent serious damage to the heart after a fatal heart attack or serious damage to the brain after a stroke.
A ‘reversible’ form of death? Scientists revive cells from dead pig organs.
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