Scientists at Yale were able to revive the brains of dead pigs yesterday.
Here’s what happened
The Yale University team got the brains from slaughtered pigs and left them dead for 4 hours. The researchers then hook the brains up to a system they developed called BrainEx for 6 hours and were able to revive them.
Were they feeling things?
The scientists added a process to make sure individual cells do not interact with each other. So no, the revived brains were cellularly active (meaning they took up oxygen and spit out CO2) but still unconscious.
Why did they even do this in the first place?
The Yale team needed to find a way to have a 360 look at brains to fully understand how they function. Obviously, you can’t do that when the brains are still inside, so they decided to take them out.
So what does it all mean?
To be honest, hard for us to say. Even Hank Greely, the Stanford ethics and law professor who reviewed the findings said his first reaction was “holy shit”.
The immediate concerns relate to animal cruelty – do the revived brains count as live animals? how should scientists conduct research on them?
Down the line, it will have implications on how we treat human brains. Let us give you a perfect list of questions to think about when you’re high.
If reviving human brains is possible, what would it mean to the people who lost parts of brain functions from strokes?
Hundreds of people already have chosen to get their brains taken out and preserved when they die in hopes of new technologies like this coming up. Will their brains be revived and put into new bodies? Will that be a good thing?
One thing is for sure now. The descent down the slippery slope has officially begun.