While stories of resurrecting dead people generally belong to the realm of religion and fiction, today’s rapid advancement in the field of science could prove that whatever you can think of can be achieved.
Bioquark is a biotech company based in the US that was given ethical permission to start research on 20 brain-dead patients. The aim of the research is for the team to attempt to stimulate and regrow neurons, and literally, resurrect the patients.
This new and yet untested technique is likely to cause mixed reactions and a lot of controversies.
The scientists intend to implant stem cells in the patients’ brains while treating their spinal cords with chemicals and nerve stimulation techniques, both of which have been used to bring people out of comas.
With this, they hope that they can reboot the brain and jump-start neural activity – the result being dead patients coming back to life.
Dr. Calixto Machado, a well-known neurological researcher and member of the American Academy of Neurology, is also involved in the study as a panel expert.
The success of this procedure is uncertain, although as Bioquark’s CEO, Ira Pastor, says, “a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus of this first study.”
As he explains, this complex procedure involves “a combination of biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system.”
The ‘participants’ in this research are 20 medically-certified brain-dead patients whose bodies have been kept from decomposing by life-support machines. The team will administer therapy and monitor the patients for several months in hope of tracing signs of neurological reactivation.
The main focus of the team will be the upper spinal cord, responsible for a person’s heartbeat and breathing.
The difference between bringing patients back from a coma and ‘resurrecting’ brain-dead patients is that the nerves of those in a coma are still alive and can respond to electrical currents.
For the research team to achieve ‘resurrection,’ they will need to stimulate regeneration of the neurons, which is far more complex. This is why they will be using stem cells, which, being in the most primitive state, can differentiate in any cell in the body.
As Futurama’s Professor Farnsworth would say, “Move over, God. Prepare for rebirth!”
Source: The Telegraph