Pig organs were revived an hour after death using new technology

As the study in the journal Nature explains, a remarkable new system has been put in place to restore the function of certain organs in pigs up to an hour after death.

All this is obviously not intended to create zombie pigmen but to help medicine. This could indeed allow more organ transplants.

Rest assured, no transplantation of pig organs into humans planned, the researchers first did tests on pigs before perhaps adapting this technology.
A few minutes after the heart stops beating, the body sets up a process in which each cell dies one after another. They are destroyed by the lack of oxygen, which is usually transported by the heart. These destructions are irreversible.

But the scientists of the study managed to prevent cell death thanks to a system: OrganEx.

All Images / Pixabay

This technology works like the heart and lung system. It therefore replaces the heart and the lungs by irrigating the organs with oxygen thanks to the blood. While this machine is working, surgeons can harvest organs from pigs up to an hour after they die.

Somehow, this system persuades the cells to stay alive. Zvonimir Vrselja, lead author of the study from the Department of Neuroscience at Yale University, says that with “an intervention, we were able to prove that it was possible to persuade cells not to die”.

He added “even under a microscope, it is difficult to differentiate a normal organ from an organ that has been processed by our system.”

What about ethics?

The researchers claim that no electrical signal is detected in the pigs’ brains at the time of the intervention. But the question of ethics is still important when it comes to being alive.

Could this technology be applied to humans?

These experiments are still only preliminary, but eventually this could be applied to humans. Indeed, it could become possible to salvage human organs after a heart attack or drowning. Finally… the work is still long until then!

Dr Stephen Latham, co-author of the study, said “I think we are still quite a long way from full body human application.” He also explained that for this method to repair certain bonds, researchers would have to “do a lot more work.”

Dr Latham also cleared up the issue of full body resuscitation and said the subject “is a lot less exciting than the press would have you believe”…indeed they are for transplantation but not for reviving dead bodies !

What would this method allow?

Faced with requests for organs, nearly 24,000 people are waiting for a transplant. Between 500 and 600 patients die each year because they have not been able to benefit from a transplant, according to the France Transplant association.

In addition, in France, it takes an average of 5 years to receive an organ. Technology could reduce this number of years and thus save lives. Even if since January 1, 2017, by default, we are all organ donors.

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