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Scientists restore some cellular functions in dead pig brains

Dead pig brains regained some cellular functionality using a new system that bathed them in a synthetic cocktail of nutrients and preservative chemicals, The Atlantic reports. In pig brains that had been dead for 4 hours, researchers restored the ability of individual neurons to take up sugars and oxygen and even to send electrical signals, they report this week in Nature. But those isolated firing neurons did not coalesce into the symphony of brainwide electrical activity found in living, sentient animals. The system, called BrainEx, cannot resurrect the dead. But it can slow the normally fast deterioration of the brain’s complex structures after death, which could pave the way for improved studies of its anatomy.

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