Pig Brains: Mans Key to Immortality
Pork, the other white meat. You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. Never wrestle with pigs, you'll both get dirty and the pig likes it. Our toes are named for them, those who squeal all the way home.
Pigs take a lot of verbal abuse from us, the kings of all air-breathing land roving species. Though hardly one of us will turn down a nice bacon sandwich, or eat around the ham served with our eggs and truth be told I'll take a nice honey glazed ham for Thanksgiving or Christmas any time over turkey.
Maybe we pick on pigs so much because we're so fond of them and surprisingly in many anatomical ways they're a lot like us.
Now, pigs brains are being kept alive while detached from their bodies, in what scientists say one day could mean immortality for us mere mortals. The extremely controversial experiments led by Yale scientist Dr. Nenad Sestan resulted in the removal of the heads of about 150 pigs, who then had their brains resuscitated while detached from their bodies.
Though the longest living pig brain lasted a mere 36 hours the good doctor insists they could be kept alive indefinitely and he claims he could even take steps to restore their 'awareness' if he wanted to. Who knew pigs were aware? Do they know when we look lovingly at them we only see lunch wrapped in a muddy blanket?
You think bizarre experimentations like this are taking place at night in some gothic castle in Eastern Europe's lower Baltic States with thunder and lightning crackling all around? No, it's closer to home, this is Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale. Dr. Sestan published his report last week in MIT's Technology Review to see it click here.
This is controversial science with a lot of unanswered questions. Is it even a good thing to be immortal? What are we looking at, our brains in rows of jars on shelves connected by tubes to some kind of computer servers? What if I don't like the brain next to me? How can I approach a cute lady brain across the room? Should we change the definition of death?
What if your brain got the urge to scratch or pick your nose, how would that urge be alleviated without a finger or even a hand, plus you won't even have a nose.
Maybe your rent increases while your brain is living on the shelf, could you somehow get a second part-time job to keep up? How do you keep your brain-jar clean? When your great-grandchildren come to visit, what are they visiting a photo of you on a screen with your disembodied voice singing nursery rhymes to them? What would it cost to keep your brain alive, does it come with options? Will it cost extra for undercoating, delivery and dealer prep?
Certainly, we all want to live long and productive lives but as far as I'm concerned being able to get around on legs, go outside on a spring day and smell the freshly mown grass, and scratch when and where I want to, are important aspects of traditional life. I'm not sold on immortality as of now.
But I do wonder what the researchers are doing with the used up pig brains after the experiments, pickling, frying or sauteing in a nice sauce?