20190429_(Translation Practice) Pig Brain Cells Rebooted

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Apr 29, 2019 19:03 translation TC-to-EN
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Researchers recently revealed that the brain of a pig slaughtered can still be partially rebooted through circulating a type of oxygen-rich fluid in the organ to reactivate some of the brain cells.

Scientists emphasized that the brain in the experiment didn't show evidence of consciousness as different parts of the brain has no signs of interactive communication, which didn't shake the fundamental definition of death to us. "It doesn't mean it is a brain alive, but it is surely an active brain from the perspective of cells," said Prof Nenad Sestan from Yale University, who led the research.

Some studies have shown that brain cells might not always die after the blood stops circulating. According to American researchers' study in the Journal of Nature, they explain how they further conducted an examination to test the phenomenon with 32 pig brains left after them being slaughtered. Four hours after the death, the arteries were connected to a complex system called BrainEx, which injecting artificial blood with oxygen to the organ. The fluid, containing much nutrients and other materials, was able to stop cells from dying and continue to circulate in the brain for six hours.

At that time, research team found that the fluid circulating successfully went through the veins in the brain, including capillaries, and the veins could also dilate in response to certain types of medicines. In addition, the brain as a whole consumed oxygen and glucose and released carbon dioxide to the fluid, working at the pace as a normal brain does.

The cells then began to function at an extent, for example, being able to release immune chemicals when stimulated. Researchers also found that neurons could still function normally after BrainEX was cleared and some brain parts were removed.

The research team said that while BrainEX was circulating, they were also monitoring the brain for any activity that might indicate a hint of consciousness. "That monitoring didn’t show any kind of organized global electrical activity," said Dr Stephen Latham, a bioethicist and co-author of the study.

But he also said that the team was prepared for signs of consciousness. If they showed up, the researchers will lower the temperature of the brain, and use anesthesia to stop that kind of activities," said Latham. He also mentioned that there haven't been any Ethical Committees responsible for this type of scenario yet and that it is unknown whether the technology can really revive consciousness.

According to the research team, it is the technology that could provide a new method for brain study and might aid development and examination of new therapies, treat stroke and other illnesses due to death of cells caused by congestion of blood flow in the brain.