Redefining DeathPartial Revival of Pig Brains Raises Ethical and Existential Questions
Can brain cells be revived after death? Conventional wisdom says cells die quickly when deprived of oxygen, but researchers recently sparked cellular activity in brains of pigs killed hours earlier, raising new questions about our definitions of death.
The End Comes as a Wave
Starved of oxygen, neurons lose their proper electrical charge when we die and a wave of electrochemical energy spreads through the brain. Researchers in Berlin and Cincinnati have, for the first time, recorded such brain tsunamis in dying patients, and also in patients with survivable brain damage, such as brain hemorrhages, suggesting that doctors look for this pattern and act quickly when they see it to save endangered neurons.