Thanks to a historic achievement of researchers from Yale University, what we know about death might now be challenged. They were surprisingly able to restore cell functions such as blood circulation an hour after death. Thus, cells were able to function hours after death.
The scientists were able to achieve the goal just in the case of pigs and by using the OrganEx system, according to CNN. The system is able to allow oxygen to recirculate through the dead body and thus preserve cells and some organs. Cells need oxygen in order to function, while organs are made of cells.
However, there’s no use getting too excited just yet. Here’s what coauthor Stephen Latham said, the director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, as CNN quotes:
We couldn’t say that this study showed that any of the organs of this pig were … ready for transplant into another animals, we don’t know that they’re all functioning, what we’re looking at is at the cellular and metabolic levels,
And we’re nowhere near being able to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, we’ve restored life not only to this pig, but to any of the individual organs.’ We can’t say that yet. It’s still very much too early.
However, it’s important to keep in mind what Dr. Sam Parnia has to say, as CNN also quotes:
This is a truly remarkable and incredibly significant study. It demonstrates that after death, cells in mammalian organs (including humans) such as the brain do not die for many hours. This is well into the post-mortem period.
Scientists are optimistic that with more research on the subject, humans would benefit from the technique as well while receiving transplants of organs that were preserved better than usual.
Who knows, maybe humanity will even learn to bypass death for good someday.
The new achievement was published in Nature.