Scientists Reanimate Dead Pig Cells, Reported as a Breakthrough For Medical Science and a Moral Issue For Others

Joel Eisenberg

In 2019, scientists kept pig brains alive for hours after body death. In 2022, dead pig cells have now been reanimated.

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PigsPascal Debrunner, Unsplash

Author’s Note

This article is based on accredited medical, science, and media reports. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I will share knowledge but will offer no personal opinion on this matter herein.

All listed theories and facts shared within this article are fully-attributed to said outlets, including TechExplorist.com, NBCNews.com, and Yale School of Medicine.

Introduction

Since the days of Mary Shelley and her breakthrough novel “Frankenstein,” and H.P. Lovecraft with his “Herbert West–Reanimator,” from which the successful 1985 film “Re-Animator” was based, the return to life of previously dead cells has long been the stuff of science fiction.

However, recent developments resulting from pig experimentation have not only proven the prescience of those works, but are leading the general public to question just how far doctors and scientists should go with these new advancements.

While science continues its experimentation to determine if these advances can one day work on human beings, the religious public largely condemns the morality of man playing God.

Let us explore further.

Reanimation, 2022

The experimentation with pigs yielded its first major result in 2019. According to TechExplorist.com, in its piece titled “Pig Brains Kept Alive Outside Body For Hours After Death,” Yale researchers hooked the pigs’ organs to a system that pumped a blood substitute.

As excerpted from the article: In a challenge to the idea that brain death is final, researchers have revived the disembodied brains of pigs four hours after the animals were slaughtered. Although the experiments stopped short of restoring consciousness, they raise questions about the ethics of the approach — and, more fundamentally, about the nature of death itself. The current legal and medical definitions of death guide protocols for resuscitating people and for transplanting organs.

The ethical questions were asked by members of the public, but gradually subsided until this week. An August 3 article from NBCNews.com, “Scientists Reanimate Dead Cells in Pigs, a Potential Breakthrough For Organ Transplants,” shared what became headline news for many major media outlets.

From the article: When the heart stops beating, blood flow is cut off from the body in a process called ischemia and a cascade of biochemical effects begins. Oxygen and nutrients are cut off from tissues. Cells begin to die. It’s a path toward death that causes damage that scientists have considered irreversible. The new research challenges that idea. “The demise of cells can be halted,” Dr. Nenad Sestan, a professor of neuroscience at the  Yale School of Medicine and an author of the new research, said during a news conference. “We restored some functions of cells across multiple organs that should have been dead.” 

Scientists appear to agree we are many years away from such experimentation on humans, though it is likely to occur in the far future.

Conclusion

Moral issues for many tend to abound with such experiments, most frequently the perspective of man meddling in the affairs of a deity.

Science, however, will continue to advance per its purview.

The further goes such experimentation, though, the expectation of active protests increase. Which entity is correct in this matter for now will likely remain a question without an answer until similar experiments are undertaken on humans.

Science fact, it seems, has evolved from science fiction.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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