Researchers in the US say they have succeeded in keeping brains of beheaded pigs alive outside the body for up to 36 hours by circulating oxygen-rich fluid through their organs.
While scientists led by Yale University are neuroscientists Nenad Sestan, saying the brains are not conscious, they say the performance could help researchers investigate how the brain works, and studies on experimental treatments for diseases of cancer help to dementia.
The Revelation, disclosed in The MIT Technology Review and based on comments made by Sestan at a meeting of the US National Institutes of Health in March, has received a mixed reaction in the scientific community.
Anna Devor, a neuroscientist at the University of California at San Diego, told the MIT Technology Review that the talent could help researchers investigate the connections between brain cells and build a "brain atlas".
However, others quickly emphasized that development would not mean that humans could expect to cheat death soon, and that it is not possible to transplant a brain into a new body.
"The animal brain is unaware of all this, I am very confident," Sestan reportedly told the NIH meeting. But he noted that there are plenty of ethical considerations: "Hypothetically, someone takes this technology, makes it better, and restores one's activity [brain] .This is the restoration of a human being." If that person has memories, I would completely go crazy . "
The team says they used more than 1
This is not the first time an animal's brain has been kept alive outside of the body: the feat was previously achieved in guinea pigs.