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Scientists resurrect dead pig cells and organs

A new technique can revive the cells and organs of pigs an hour after death, offering hope for future human organ donations
A new technique could revive cells and organs one hour after pig death, bringing future benefits Hope for human organ donation.

Scientists announced Wednesday that they had restored blood flow and cell function in pigs that died an hour ago, a breakthrough that experts say could mean we need to update the definition of death itself.

This discovery offers hope for a range of future medical uses in humans, the most immediate being that it could help organs lengthen longevity, potentially saving the lives of thousands of people around the world who need transplants.

However, it could also spark debate over the ethics of organ transplants such a procedure – especially where some are ostensibly dead A pig spooked scientists after a sudden head movement during an experiment.

In 2019, the team in the United States managed to restore cell function in the brains of pigs hours after they were decapitated, shocking the scientific community.

For published in Nature, the team is trying to extend the technology to the entire body.

They induced a heart attack in anesthetized pigs, thereby preventing blood flow through the body.

This deprives the body of oxygen cells – without oxygen, mammalian cells die.

Then the pig died for an hour.

‘Can stop cell death’

Then the scientists used a pig’s own blood , as well as a synthetic form of hemoglobin — the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells — and drugs that protect cells and prevent blood clots.

During the next six hours of the experiment, blood began to circulate again and many cells began to function, including the heart, Vital organs such as liver and kidneys.

“These cells start functioning after hours when they shouldn’t – this tells us that the cells’ The demise can be stopped,” Nenad Sestan, the study’s senior researcher and Yale researcher, told reporters.

Co-lead author, David Andrijevice, also from Yal, told AFP that the team wanted the new technology called OrganEx. Technology “can be used to salvage organs”.

OrganEx could also enable new forms of surgery, says Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University possible because it “creates more medical leeway without circulation”.

This technique may also be used to resuscitate people. However, this could increase the risk of sending patients back to being unable to live without life support — trapped on so-called “bridges to nowhere,” says bioethicist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine A link comment by Brendan Parent in Nature.

Can it be treated?

NYU Grossman The Sam Pania School of Medicine called it “a truly remarkable and incredibly significant study.”

It shows that death is not black and white, he said, but rather a “curable and reversible hours after occurrence” biological process”.

Benjamin Curtis, a philosopher specializing in ethics at Nottingham Trent University, UK, says that a definition of death may require Update as it depends on the notion of irreversibility.

“This study shows that many of what we think are reversible are not actually irreversible, so according to current medical By definition, a person may not actually die until hours after bodily functions cease,” he told AFP.

“Indeed, if we consider the current definition valid, there may be bodies now lying in morgues not ‘dead’

Yale University ethicist and study co-author Stephen Latham said that during the experiment, almost all The OrganEx pig made strong movements in the head and neck.

“This pair of people in the room It was very surprising,” he told reporters.

He emphasized that while it was not known what caused the movement, no electrical activity was ever recorded in the pig’s brain activity, suggesting that they never regained consciousness after death.

There is a “small burst” of brain activity when the EEG machine measures exercise, which Latham says may be Caused by head movement affecting the recording.

But Curtis says the movement is a “major problem” because recent neuroscience research has shown that “even if the brain cannot be measured electrical activity in the conscious, conscious experience can also continue.”

He added: “So this technique may actually have caused suffering in the pigs tested, and if the Its use in humans also causes human suffering,” he added, calling for more research.

More information: Nenad Sestan, Cellular Recovery After Prolonged Warm Ischemia Whole Body, Nature

(2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05016-1.

© 2022 AFP Citation
: Scientists recover cells and organs in dead pigs (August 7, 2022), retrieved 2022 August 22, 2022 via

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