Scientists regenerate cells in dead pig organs

The pigs lay dead in the lab for an hour. There was no blood circulating in their bodies; Their hearts were still, their brain waves flat. Then a group Yale The scientists pumped a custom-made solution into the bodies of dead pigs with a device similar to a heart-lung machine. What happened next adds to the questions of what science considers the wall between life and death.
Although the pigs were not considered conscious in any way, their apparently dead cells regenerated. Their hearts began to beat as the solution, which the scientists called OrganEx, circulated through the veins and arteries. The cells of their organs, including the heart, liver, kidneys and brain, were functioning again, and the animals never stiffened like normal dead pigs.
Another pig, dead for an hour, was treated ECMO, a machine that pumps blood through their bodies. They became stiff, their limbs swollen and damaged, their blood vessels collapsed, and purple spots on their backs where blood pooled. The group reported its results on Wednesday Nature.
Researchers say their goal is to one day increase the supply of human organs for transplant by allowing doctors to obtain viable organs long after death. And, they say, they hope their technology will also be used to prevent serious heart damage after a devastating heart attack or major stroke after bra ins. But the findings are just the first step, said Stephen Latham, a bioethicist Yale University who worked closely with the group. The technology, he emphasized, “is very far from being used in humans.”
The work began a few years ago when the group did a similar experiment with brains from dead pigs from a slaughterhouse. Four hours after the pig died, the group injected a solution similar to OrganEx, which they called BrainEx, and found that brain cells that should have died could regenerate. This led him to ask if he could regenerate the whole body Dr. Zvonimir VerseljaAnother member of the Yale team.
The OrganX solution contains nutrients, anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs to prevent cell death, nerve blockers — substances that dampen the activity of neurons and prevent any chance of the pig regaining consciousness — and synthetic hemoglobin mixed with each animal’s own blood. Yale has applied for a patent on the technology.
Scientists said the next step is to see if the organs function properly and can be successfully transplanted. Sometime after that, the researchers hope to test whether the method can repair a damaged heart or brain.


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