How pig brains were 'brought back to life'


Scientists have ‘revived’ pig brains hours after slaughter in an experiment which raises questions about the barrier between life and death.

The researchers found that cell death could be halted, and connections in the brain could be restored, even after death.

The researchers said 32 pig brains collected from an abattoir showed no signs of consciousness.

A pig’s brain left untreated for 10 hours after death (left) compared to a ‘revived’ brain (right). Source: Yale University

The Yale team used pumps, heaters, and bags of artificial blood at body temperature to keep the brains alive.

Researchers found working synapses – connections between brain cells – and a normal response to drugs.

This all happened 10 hours after ‘death’ – although EEG scans of the brain showed no signs of consciousness.

Scientists collected 32 pig brains from an abattoir for the experiment. Source: Getty/file

“Cell death in the brain occurs across a longer time window that we previously thought,” Nenad Sestan, a professor of neuroscience at Yale University, said.

“What we are showing is the process of cell death is a gradual, stepwise process.

“And that some of those processes can be either postponed, preserved or even reversed.”

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