Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Scientist: Dead but a brain wave lingers on

The human brain. The most intricate and complex structure known to the man. It has been studied for many decades in an attempt to satisfy our inner curiosity. Why do we, humans, have the ability to rationalize thought? Why not other species around this globe? That is only of the hundreds of secrets that our mind contains. A wise man once said: Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. That man was none other than the great Albert Einstein. It seems he had a way with words as well as equations. 

It seems that decapitation is not a instantaneous way to die. It does cause the lowest amount of suffering in rats though I still think that being guillotined still hurt quite a bit. Apparently after a decapitation is performed the brain is still active for up to 30 seconds. And the victim is still conscious at the time. If that isn't scary or painful then I don't know what is. After these thirty seconds the brain experiences a 'wave of death' as the scientist demonstrate on an electroencephalogram (EEG). The same is true for rats and for humans being cut from life support.  

EEG reading from a human brain
What is the most amazing thing during this wave of death is that the brain actually transmits an electrical impulse in order to restart the heart. Although it ultimately fails this is proof that there is some small correlation between the pumping of heart and the brain. Normally as the heart is myogenic no action should be undertaken by the brain. Another incredulous thing is that we know now that the heart can be restarted after more than 4 minutes without any brain damage. Its quite astounding how many of these discoveries can be made in such a short time. Couldn't find the appropriate article in the New Scientist site. 


Anonymous said...

get a life....