MAY 23, 2018 07:22 AM PDT

Pig Brains Kept Alive in a Lab?


When the brain stops functioning, the body will eventually die, usually quite soon after. However, MIT's Technology Review reports that a team at Yale was able to take brains from pigs which were slaughtered for food and re-animate the organ. Some of the brains even had billions of cells still working and capable of regular cellular activity such as transmitting signals. The team at Yale described their findings at a March meeting of the National Institutes of Health which was called to discuss bioethical concerns given how much advancement there has been in the field of neuroscience.

The Yale researchers used bags of artificial blood, pumps, heaters and electrical signals to get the brains animated again, and while they were not conscious, the work is "mind-boggling." While Yale neuroscientist Nenad Sestan mentioned his work at the meeting, he had no further comment, telling Technology Review that his research has yet to be published and he was not aware his comments were going to be public. Keeping a brain alive depends on oxygen, and a system of pumps and micro-circulation can deliver oxygen to cells, but it's a long way to keeping a brain around long enough to transplant into a body. That is still the stuff of science fiction movies.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 16, 2019
NASA's Dawn Mission Taught Us Much About the Asteroid Vesta
In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at its destination, enabling planetary scientists with the American space agency to study a particularly capt...
NOV 16, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 16, 2019
Catastrophic Ancient Events Might Have Forever Changed Life-friendly Venus
There is plenty of evidence suggesting that Venus had a long history of being a habitable planet due to its abundance of water, plate tectonics, and amicab...
NOV 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 16, 2019
Here's What We Know So Far About Titan's Liquid Methane Oceans
Titan is perhaps one of the most captivating moons orbiting Saturn today; so much so that astronomers spent a lot of time studying it when the Cassini miss...
NOV 16, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 16, 2019
Protein Build-Up Places Heart at Risk
Amyloidosis is a disease caused by protein buildup in the body. These abnormal proteins, called amyloids, are produced in the bone marrow. Multiple types o...
NOV 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 16, 2019
What You Need to Know About NASA's Upcoming WFIRST Space Telescope
There are several space telescopes observing the cosmos at the very time of this writing, and there are plans to launch even more of them in the near futur...
NOV 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 16, 2019
What Makes Lions Such Incredible Predators?
Lions sport a reputation as one of nature’s fiercest beasts, but have you ever wondered what makes them such renowned predators? These large cats are...
Loading Comments...