Reference News NetworkAugust 6th report According to a report on the website of the New York Times on August 3, scientists have successfully revived cells in dead pig organs.
The pigs had been dead in the lab for an hour, the report said: they had no blood circulation, their hearts were still, and their brain waves were a straight line. Then, a group of scientists at Yale University used a device similar to an artificial heart-lung machine to inject a special solution into dead pigs.
What happened next added questions to the scientifically defined line between life and death, the report noted. Although the pigs were considered unconscious in any sense, the cells that appeared to be dead were brought back to life. As the OrganEx solution circulates through the veins and arteries, their hearts begin to beat. Cells in organs such as their hearts, livers, kidneys and brains started working again, and their bodies never became as rigid as a typical dead pig.
Data map; Medical Laboratory (Xinhua News Agency/Gini Photo Agency)
The researchers reportedly used extracorporeal membrane oxygenation equipment on other pigs that died within an hour, injecting blood into the pigs. Their bodies became rigid, their organs swelled and damaged, their blood vessels burst, and purple spots appeared on their backs.
The research team published their findings in the British journal Nature on Wednesday.
The researchers say their goal is to one day increase the supply of transplantable organs by helping doctors to harvest usable organs long after death. They say there is also hope that the technology could be used to prevent damage to the heart and brain after a severe heart attack or stroke.
But the findings are just the first step, says Yale University bioethicist Stephen Latham, who worked closely with the research team. He stressed that the technology is “far from being applied to humans.”
The research team, led by Dr. Nenad Sherstein, professor of neuroscience, comparative medicine, genetics and psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, was astounded by the technology’s ability to revive cells.
Some scientists who were not involved in the study were also reportedly surprised. “It’s incredible, it’s shocking,” said Nita Farahani, a Duke University professor who studies the ethical, legal and social implications of emerging technologies.
Farahani said the study also raised questions about the definition of death. “We think of death as a fact, a state of being. Are there reversible forms of death? Or not?”
Brendan Parent, head of transplant ethics and policy research at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said in a phone interview that the technology involves “tough questions about life and death.”
“According to the accepted definition of death in medicine and the law, these pigs are dead,” Parent said. But he added: “A key question is: what function and what kind of function will change the situation?”Return to Sohu, see more
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