The border between life and death

November 26, 2011 12:13

Trying to solve a purely ethical problem, Dutch researchers from the University of Nijmegen unexpectedly stumbled on the truth, they said, the line between life and death — a violent brain signal that all the parameters have already been killed.

The scientists implanted electrodes into the heads of laboratory rats, and then cut them, while observing the activity of the brain. For reasons of clarity executions were carried out without anesthesia.

So weird experiment was conducted by researchers at the request of the university ethics committee, whose members wanted to know whether such a humane method of killing animals.

At the same time, apparently, the scientists wanted to find out how true were the eyewitness accounts of the French Revolution (when prinarodno thousands of people were executed), to assert that the guillotined heads for a while even blinked and tried to move his lips. In particular, in his diary the famous Alexandre Dumas, who was present at the execution of the French nobility, citing the executioner, with whom he was able to meet. "All the butchers know very well — he said — that the head after the cut-off for another half hour live: they are so izgryzayut bottom of the basket into which we throw them that this basket has changed at least once a month …"

During the experiment, Dutch scientists from seventeen experimental rats before killing nine were in full consciousness, eight — under the influence of sedatives. Encephalogram different at first, after the separation of the head is exactly the same — all brain activity began to subside equally sharply, falling by half in 4 seconds. In other words, the severed head of the guillotine could easily live for a few seconds.

Anton Konen, who led the study, said that the experiment showed this method of humane killing, because in laboratory animals, it does not suffer.

However, scientists have noticed on the EEG is still something far more interesting. After 30 seconds of decapitated rats took a sedative, and 50 seconds for the remaining nine brain suddenly began to show increased electrical activity, which lasted about 10 seconds.

Until the end of last outbreak of nature is not clear. Kohnen believes that this is a manifestation of the collapse of neural elektropotentsialov. As you know, the outer membrane of the neurons of the brain at rest is under a negative voltage of about 70 mV, necessary for the interaction with the cells. When the blood flows out of this potential disappears and the cells begin to return a positive calcium ions, causing the latter, a ten, "a wave of death."

This wave, Kohnen said, is the very border, beyond which you can not in any way to restore the neuron.

MIRACULOUS ADVENTURES OF MIKE

However, it should be noted that the life of some animals after the "guillotine" heat not only cut off the head, but also in the body. Most probably a good example — cocks and hens, which, having lost their heads, sometimes for a few minutes, if not hours, most often juggling miracles!

Scientists have only recently been able to explain this phenomenon. But, before proceeding to his explanation, I would like to bring the amazing story Wondrous Mike, also known as the Headless Chicken Mike, hatched from eggs in April 1945 in the American town of Fruita.

The owner Lloyd Olsen gave the chicken to live together with the head of five and a half months, and then, at the behest of his wife Clara gathered cook chicken soup, chopped it.

However decapitated bird showed a desire for life, that he immediately rushed out of the yard to the street, as they say, was as follows. However, on the following morning, Mike Olsen found sleeping in a chicken coop on a perch with his "head" under the wing!

Rightly decided that once the chicken survived, let her live and on, the owner came up with a way to feed and water it. Pipette Mike served in the hole in the body of barley porridge and milk, although he himself was trying to rake up paws own food.

Days passed, and a fantastic chicken and thought dead. As his fame spread throughout the area, many farmers in the usual suspect fraud. Then Mike Olsen put in the basket and drove over 250 miles to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Skeptical scientists were shocked and tried to answer all the questions about Mike's amazing ability to live without a head. It was determined that an ax missed the jugular vein, and the blood clot prevented Mike to die from blood loss. Although most of his head was missing, but most of his brain stem and one ear remained with him.

Since most reflexes chicken, as it believed the brain stem controls, university specialists verdict that Mike really was able to stay alive after decapitation.

Mike lived for 18 months and during that time, Olsen was with him the national tour of all the states of America. Curious in New York, Atlantic City, Los Angeles and San Diego were paying 25 cents to see a headless wonder.

Mike earned early in his "career" $ 4,500 a month, and in the end — $ 10,000! His appearance caused a sensation on TV — all over America, a wave of cutting off heads of chickens, but none of unwitting followers Headless Mike has not been able to live more than a few hours after decapitation. Mike himself a half years touring recovered two pounds!

Fame and fortune Headless Wonder Chicken has improved since the publication in magazines Life and Time Magazine. Registered was a kind of "record" in the Guinness Book.

Once back from the regular tours, Lloyd Olsen stayed at a hotel in Phoenix. During feeding Mike began to choke. Lloyd was not able to quickly find the right tools to clean bird "spout", and Mike died of suffocation. However, the farmer hid his death two years and traveled the country for just the numerous photographs and tales of headless cock.

Mike still remains a cult figure in his native city Fruita. Beginning in May 1999, his death is marked by special day Mike. The program — concerts, car shows, and most importantly, the five-kilometer race, which is called "Run like headless chicken."

Mystery of the Third Brain

So what is the secret of survival was Mike? According to scientists — in the existence of a third of the brain! It turns out that apart from the spinal cord and brain, people, animals and birds have a small cluster of nerve tissue on the inside of the esophagus and stomach. This kind of brain can store and accumulate the necessary information for the body to influence the emotions and feeling.

Professor Research Center in New York, Michael Gershon has recently informed the public that "abdominal brain" has more than 100 million neurons — this is even more than in the spinal cord.

It is the "abdominal brain", as claimed investigators commands the hormone in an emergency, push the body either to fight or to flee.

So, head living being needed, by and large, only to see it is, but think it is possible and stomach?

A wrong, at first glance, the issue of medical scientists are willing to give even more incredible response. During the past ten years in one of the laboratories of the University of Texas experimenters can get headless mice, while the second — at the University of Bath (England) — headless "tadpole."

According to the edition of Time, scientists from Texas sought to find the gene that is responsible for forming the heads of the mouse embryo. They found him and learned how to "turn off". However, according to the magazine, from a practical point of view, headless "creations" experimenters could potentially be of interest in only one aspect.

"Almost certainly it will be possible to produce the human body without the front of the brain — says Princeton biologist Lee Silver. — Such human body without the slightest hint of the presence of mind will not be considered persons, and therefore will be completely legal to keep them "alive" as a source of organs. "

The next step is likely to be the technology of cloning, with which you can create a copy of the headless men who, from a formal point of view will be considered non-living, and not become a formal kind of "stock" human "parts."

On the way to achieve this result, while there are some purely technical obstacles: you have yet to learn how to suppress the corresponding "parent" gene in humans, because the headless mouse — this is only the first step.

Professor Lewis Wolpert production of "headless men" distasteful, but because of the shortage of donor organs, this aversion is not reason enough to give up work to save lives. For his part, Professor Silver not only sees "nothing wrong with philosophical or rationalistic point of view" in the production of these "people" for organs, but even going to convince the skeptics.

Creating a "normal" clone, a person gets their genetic replica, which continues to live independently after the death of the "original", while remaining separate and, in fact, another "person." Against this act and most of the critics of cloning.

But if the person has the only clone of his body, without a head, and, by and large, without a soul, which can inspire a person only God, "original" gets a box set of spare parts and replacing worn, can live almost forever, and it is hard to argue …

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