It is a miracle of mad science. A rabbit brain was cryonically frozen and preserved along with the memory bank intact.
Suspended animation after death was supposed to be the stuff of sci-fi legends. But it has come a step closer to reality with a new experiment in cryonics.
A rabbit brain was cryonically frozen and the memories may still be intact inside it. To think that in the future, a human brain may be transferred to a robot or the body reanimated after a long time in a frozen state is mind-boggling indeed.
The day may come when the process will be repeated in a human being. But for now a couple of scientists at MIT have managed to freeze a rabbit’s brain without doing any damage to it on any level.
Up until now, this cryonic freezing led to dehydration and an inter-meshing of the neuronal connections. Basically, a very fast form of chemical fixation was employed.
And aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation resolved the issue very amicably. The blood which is the life fluid was blanched from the brain and a deadly liquid was used as a replacement medium.
This procedure halted metabolic decay in its tracks and fixated the proteins right there and then. It was an ideal case of suspended animation. The brain was stopped from any shrinkage in its size.
The end result was a whole rabbit brain that was in the same state while it functioned in the rabbit’s body. Later on the brain was defreezed and the chemical removed from its neurons.
An electron microscope was used to observe whether any damage had been done. There were none of the signs of any harm having been done whatsoever. It looked to be perfect. It was an amazing scene that shows that science can open doors where previously none existed at all.
The experiment and its results were published in the journal Cryobiology. The researchers also got a prize for their efforts. Neuroscience has taken a giant leap thanks to this exploration into brain science.
The LTM and STM (long term memory and short term memory) banks will most likely be as they were in the rabbit’s brain. This cryonic preservation is almost a form of time travel.
The brain is an extremely complex organ. It contains 86 billion neurons in case of human beings. Freezing and defreezing it is a delicate and extremely micromanaged process.
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The fact that it is a reality today may prod scientists to cryonically freeze more complex organisms’ brains in the future. And the day is not far off when humans will come under the scientific microscope too.