Scientists "resurrected" a pig, how far are humans from resurrecting the dead?

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On August 3, 2022, the team of neurobiologist Nenad Sestan of Yale University School of Medicine in the United States published the "Sow Resurrection" experiment and its results in "Nature", which attracted widespread attention and discussion. This overturns the long-held belief that brain death is irreversible.



In this experiment, after one hour of ischemia and hypoxia, the pigs were injected with a "revival agent", which was mainly composed of a mixture of pig blood, artificial hemoglobin, nutrients needed by cells and other compounds. Over the next six hours, the researchers found that some cells in the pig's heart, liver, kidneys and brain began to restore function and activity, and the pig's circulatory system also gradually recovered. Although the pig's heart has not fully resumed beating, electrophysiological activity can be scanned. In every vital organ, cells are restarting parts of their metabolism. During the whole process, people were also surprised to observe that its head and neck began to have involuntary muscle movements.



The system used for the experiment this time is a system called OrganEx. In OrganEx perfusion solution, the ratio of hemoglobin to blood is 1:1, so that cells can receive oxygen most efficiently. In addition, antioxidants and other drugs in the perfusion solution can be used to inhibit and alleviate cell damage. Compared with targeting a single organ, the brain, the improved version is more compatible with various organs throughout the body. Cell functions were better repaired in all major organs of pigs in the OrganEx group. Cell proliferation also occurred in pig kidney cells.

This discovery solves a major problem in the field of organ transplantation - the preservation efficiency of transplanted organs, opening the door to the future of organ transplantation. This research could increase the number of organs available for transplant in the future. Recently, the "China Organ Transplant Development Report (2020)" (hereinafter referred to as the "Report") was released. From 2015 to 2020, China ranked second in the world in terms of organ donation and transplant numbers. The "Report" points out that although the number and donation rate of organ donations in China have increased compared with before, it still faces a shortage of donors like other countries in the world and cannot meet the huge demand of domestic patients.



Experts point out that if OrganEx is used clinically in the future, it will take longer for human cells to reach the point of "irrecovery", and the point at which an individual is declared dead will also change, which means that with the continuous advancement of medicine, The definition of death will continue to adjust.

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