The United States – A biotech company has been given the green light to carry out a groundbreaking project. The controversial project is to see whether it is possible to bring the dead back to life, for the first time through a scientific process.
The project dubbed ReAnima Project is an initiative between the United States and India. An Institutional Review Board at the American National Institutes of Health has officially approved it.
The first stage, named ‘First In Human Neuro-Regeneration & Neuro-Reanimation’ will be a non-randomized, single group ‘proof of concept’ and will take place at Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand India.
In religious and spiritual mythologies, it is very common for people to claim that they have the power to bring the dead back to life through supernatural process. However, in the natural world, this is highly contested. This scientific process of reversing death, therefore, marks an important step towards the understanding of the mystery surrounding death.
The biotech company playing the lead role in the project, Bioquark Incorporated has been granted the ethical permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically brain dead resulting from a traumatic brain injury.
Researchers of the company will then test to see whether parts of their central nervous system can be brought back to life. Bioquark claims to focus on the development of novel biologics that have the ability to alter the regulatory state of human tissues and organs; their goal is to cure a range of chronic diseases, as well as effecting complex regeneration.
Brain stem death is when a person no longer has any brain stem functions, and has permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe. Therefore, a person is confirmed as being dead when the brain stem function is permanently lost.
Although brain dead humans are technically no longer alive, studies have shown that their bodies can often still circulate blood, digest food, excrete waste, balance hormones, grow, sexually mature, heal wounds, spike a fever, and gestate and deliver a baby.
Recent studies have also suggested that some electrical activity and blood flow continues after brain cell death, but that it is not enough to allow for the whole body to function.
According to how the researchers will carry out their difficult mission, they will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the dead brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques that have been shown to bring patients out of comas.
The peptides will be administered into the spinal cord daily via a pump, with the stem cells given bi-weekly, over the course of a 6 week period.
The trial participants will have been certified dead and only kept alive through life support. They will be monitored for several months using brain imaging equipment to look for signs of regeneration, particularly in the upper spinal cord. The upper spinal cord is the lowest region of the brain stem, which controls independent breathing and heartbeat.
The researchers said they believe strongly that the brain stem cells may be able to erase their history and re-start life again, based on their surrounding tissue, a process seen in the animal kingdom in creatures like salamanders, who can re-grow entire limbs.
Telegraph quoted the Chief Executive Officer of Bioquark, Dr Ira Pastor as saying “This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime. We just received approval for our first 20 subjects and we hope to start recruiting patients immediately from this first site – we are working with the hospital now to identify families where there may be a religious or medical barrier to organ donation. To undertake such a complex initiative, we are combining biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system, in patients with other severe disorders of consciousness. We hope to see results within the first two to three months.”
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