A Whole New Brain
So I recently read this book about someone who had a brain transplant. Obviously, it was fiction. But it got me thinking about an actual brain transplant. Is there anyway that it could be possible? If so, what would be person wake up to? Would it be their mind in a different body? In the book that was what happened. The girl woke up with her mind, but in a different body. With all the modern miracles in medicine these days, it would be interesting to see just how far off a brain transplant might be.
As I was researching I found some pretty cool stuff. For example, an amputee actually got a double arm transplant. AKA he got two totally new arms sewn onto his body.
Can you imagine waking up and having a dead person's arms on your body????? Insane!!!! Merk added, "These are my arms, and I'm not giving them away again." The operation took place at the Munich University Clinic and lasted over 15 hours. They needed a total of 40 surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and support staff to carry out the operation. As for Merk losing his arms, that happened when he was injured in a combine harvester accident. Merk can already perform simple tasks such as turning lights on and off and can even open doors. Thankfully the doctors say there is no sign of his body rejecting the arms so far. Merk ultimately hopes to be able to dress himself and eat, eventually maybe even ride a motorcycle.
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Although I didn't find any evidence of a brain transplant in the future, I stumbled upon some really cool stem cell research information. Many people seem against stem cell research. Maybe I just don't know enough about it, but I think it is just plain COOL! I mean cloning is a bit weird sure, but human and animal organisms are just so interesting and complex, who wouldn't want to play with them a bit? Anyway, this article just jumped right out at me. It was about a certain cell in a mouse brain that helped a paralyzed rat walk again. Crazy right??
In the new study, scientists took cells known as neural precursor cells, a type of stem cell that has started turning into a central nervous system cell, from mouse brains. The cells were injected into rats that could no longer walk after their spines were crushed, and gave them immune-suppressing drugs to prevent rejection. The cells migrated to the spinal cord, merged into the injured tissue and developed into cells that produced myelin, the insulating layer around nerve fibres that transmits signals to the brain. Many patients with spinal cord damage have intact nerve fibres at the point of injury but no myelin, causing paralysis. While the rats did not return to normal, they "recovered significant walking ability" and "had better coordination of their joints", said neurosurgeon Dr Michael Fehlings.
AdelaideNow... Mice stem cells help paralysed lab rats to walk
The way I see it, people just keep getting more curious. The more curious we get, the smarter we become and the cooler the discoveries get. I know that the world is moving towards more 'right brained thinking'. Honestly though, could you figure this stem cell stuff out if you were thinking empathetically? I don't think so. Long live the left brained thinkers!