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Bringing Back the Brain Dead with ReAnima

written by Antony "Tony_the_Brit" C. May 6, 2016
ReAnima

Though it seems like the premise for a bad movie, using stem cells to bring the brain dead back to life could be a real thing. Please bear in mind I said could be I’m still not certain whether or not this is an elaborate hoax. Let me explain what’s going on, and then I’ll tell you why I think this might be a very well designed prank, or maybe even a clever marketing ploy for an upcoming movie.

A biotech firm called Bioquark was been granted ethical approval to conduct studies on brain dead subjects, to see if they can reanimate the dead brain. As far as I can tell, this will involve regrowing the subjects own brain tissue. I assume then that these new brain cells would be blank and retain none of the lost memories. If it works, it’s likely there’d still be some re-education necessary. This is all very exciting, especially if they can use it to repair lethal brain damage before the subject becomes brain dead. You can read more about this at the ReAnima website.

Quick clarification. A brain dead subject is kept alive using life support, but the brain has ceased to function. They’re not digging up fresh corpses.

“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.”

This is all just a little bit creepy isn’t it? So much so that even writing about it gives me the heebie-jeebies. The website is undeniably cool, but somehow reminds me of Resident Evil or Jurassic Park. It represents the subject in a positive, upbeat manner about advances in death reversal and reanimation. Most of the project details are ominously password protected. Even the name ‘ReAnima’ seems creepy. They seem to be doing a great job of encouraging visitors to their site to think of zombies and Frankenstein’s monster. Is this deliberate? A way to mentally prepare us for the worst if this goes horribly wrong? Like I said before, it seems like the tension building scenes of an action-horror movie, laden with obvious foreshadowing.

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I hope I’m wrong, that I’m just being squeamish, and it’s not just a marketing ploy for some disaster movie. If this is real, and works, this will be a ground breaking achievement. I hope falling for hoaxes doesn’t become a habit of mine.