Scientists revived vital functions in the brains of pigs hours after they died; a major breakthrough that could help treat victims of heart attacks and strokes.
When humans and large mammals die, the cells responsible of neutral function begin to degrade as result of the blood supply end. Reviving the cells is long considered to be impossible.
Scientists who took part in the study, published in the journal Nature, used a tissue support system that pumps a liquid designed to mimic blood through organs.
After rehydrated the dead pigs' brains for six hours, they found that the brains turned into "something a bit like yoghurt".
"I was tremendously surprised," Nenad Sestan, a researcher at Yale University and lead study author, told AFP.
"We were surprised how well the structure was preserved. We found that cell death is reduced, which is very exciting and promising,” he stressed.
"The main conceptual finding is this: cell death in the brain occurs across a longer time period than we previously thought," he added.
"That is a clinical sign that the brain is alive, and we never found it," said Sestan. "This is not a living brain, it is a cellularly active brain."