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US scientists have partially revived pig brains four hours after the animals were slaughtered. The findings could fuel debate about the barrier between life and death, and provide a new way of researching diseases like Alzheimer's. The study showed the death of brain cells could be halted and even restored some connections in the brain. However, there were no signals from the brain that would indicate awareness or consciousness. The surprise findings challenge the idea that the brain goes into irreversible decline within minutes of the blood supply being cut off. HOW WAS IT DONE? Thirty-two pig brains were collected from an abattoir. Four hours later the organs were connected to a system made by the team at Yale University. Full story

17 April