From Ana Bolena to the zombie pigs, our understanding of the human brain has progressed very little


ANnne Boleyn, I remember learning at school, I was talking for several moments after its execution. Mary Queen of Scots lasted longer, her lips moving for a quarter of an hour. Miserable, believe me, I always thought. But now the Yale scientists brought some function back into the pig's brain four hours after they were also beheaded.

What can be done about this apparent lack of definition of the line between life and death? Because while the Yale experiment did not restore any "higher function", like perception or self-awareness, to dead pigs, it has been shown that depriving mammalian oxygen brains does not cause such a catastrophic cell death as previously imagined. In other words, if you turn on the …


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