‘Breakthrough’: Scientists partially revive pig organs

Science News

(NewsNation) — Researchers at Yale were able to restore blood circulation and some cellular function in pigs that were dead for an hour.

It’s a huge breakthrough with major consequences for the health care industry.

The research is still in a very early phase. However, one expert NewsNation spoke with says he believes it will jump-start a large amount of research on reanimating human tissue.

“This study, it’s still early, but is enormously promising. And I mean, almost to the extent of science fiction, it’s really, really an unbelievable scientific breakthrough,” health care attorney Harry Nelson said.

That breakthrough is now blurring the lines between life and death.

The researchers connected deceased pigs to a system called “organ-ex.” The system pumps a blood substitute throughout the animals’ bodies, slowing decomoposition and quickly restoring some organ function.

“This technology holds out the possibility of … really resuscitating organs, potentially … doing something less than a transplantation in some cases, and actually being able to restore life. It’s really quite amazing,” Nelson said.

While Nelson says help for humans is likely more than a decade away, it could reportedly help to extend the lives of people whose hearts have stopped beating or who have suffered a stroke.

It could also potentially increase the availability of organs to patients in need. 

Nelson believes this breakthrough will be the beginning of a large amount of research on reanimating human tissue. He added that the scientific community has been on the edges of questions regarding how to extend life for years.

“This is like a whole new avenue … by which we might … be, you know, changing the fight against all kinds of disease,” Nelson said.

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