Part-Revived Pig Brains Raise Slew of Ethical Quandaries

April 17, 2019

(Scientific American) – The remarkable study, published in this week’s Nature, offers the promise of an animal or even human whole-brain model in which many cellular functions are intact. At present, cells from animal and human brains can be sustained in culture for weeks, but only so much can be gleaned from isolated cells. Tissue slices can provide snapshots of local structural organization, yet they are woefully inadequate for questions about function and global connectivity, because much of the 3D structure is lost during tissue preparation. The work also raises a host of ethical issues.