The human understanding of death depends on how it is conceptualized. The idea is interpreted differently and its definition is often subject to numerous scientific techniques. It has also been challenging to develop a single, comprehensive definition because of the development of life-sustaining medicine and the different legal and medical definitions of death that exist. Death can be defined as the permanent and irreversible cessation of life-sustaining biological activities. Legal definitions of death occasionally include brain death. Normally, soon after an organism dies, its remains start to degrade. All living things eventually experience death, which is an inescapable and universal process. However, medical treatments have successfully kept people alive for years after their brains stopped functioning.
Death could be reversed
A neurobiologist at Yale investigates genes that regulate the connections and growth of neurons in the growing brain. He requests tissue slices from different brain banks all over the world to conduct his investigations. About nine years ago, a specimen from London was late for the flight. It arrived later than expected, and cell death was assumed. This is because cells die after several minutes due to oxygen deprivation. The opposite was noticed sometimes. Many times, someone would leave a brain specimen out in the open before moving it for experiments. It was discovered that living cells could still be isolated from these specimens. The overdue brain was therefore dissected when it arrived from London, and a fragment of it was placed in a petri dish with cellular nutrients to promote growth, and it grew. In order to confirm that the results were not an accident, the scientist asked his team members to cut apart a second brain, and it still grew.
The scientist thought it was innovative to revive the whole brain. They created BrainEx, a perfusion system that comprises heaters, assorted pumps, and filters to circulate custom-made blood substitutes. The team explained how BrainEx restored important characteristics in pig brains taken from a slaughterhouse. Neurons were firing, arteries were working, and immune cells were racing along four hours after the pigs had passed away. Going forward, the team developed a whole-body version of BrainEx, known as OrganEx. This came with a number of difficulties as the team started the scale-up. They had blood clotting and immune reactions to deal with. OrganEx acts fundamentally in a manner similar to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, generally known as life support. It has an oxygenator to simulate lung function and a pump to simulate cardiac activity. To produce real-time measurements of metabolites, electrolytes, gases, and pressures, OrganEx also incorporates a blood-filtration unit in addition to other tubes, pumps, and sensors. Then there is cow-derived hemoglobin that carries oxygen, priming solutions to correct electrolyte and pH imbalances, and various drugs, including anti-inflammatories and neuroprotective agents.
OrganEx was tested on pigs, and changes were noticed; heart monitors began to light up. Meanwhile, ECMO testing was also happening concurrently on control pigs, and nothing changed. Compared to samples from pigs receiving ECMO, the form and structure of the cells in OrganEx samples appeared substantially better. After OrganEx treatment, additional testing revealed that some cellular repair genes had their activity restored. Without the use of evident lifesaving techniques, such as chest compressions, the electrical activity of the hearts had resumed on its own.
Using OrganEx in place of ECMO to intervene following a cardiac arrest could increase survival rates because it doesn’t result in the reperfusion harm that ECMO can. People now wonder if death itself could be reversible. Nothing lasts forever, maybe not even death.