For humans, death might be the most uncanny topic to talk about. Even thinking about it is irritated for some people.
Researchers worldwide are conducting scientific studies on death and promising promising results, such as when researchers recaptured brainwaves during an individual''s death and found a link to high cognition activities.
After discovering death, a team of scientists from the United States may have found a way to revive the glimmer of activity in human eyes. According to a study published on Tuesday (May 11, 2022) the team has managed to revive the connections between light-sensing neurons in organ donor eyes.
Overcoming oxygen deprivation
After their deaths, the research team measured the activity of retinal cells in both mice and humans. Initial experiments demonstrated that oxygen deprivation is the key factor that causes photoreceptors'' dismal communication with other retinal cells.
Anna Hanneken, an associate professor at Scripps Research, obtained organ donor eyes in less than 20 minutes after death. On the other hand, Frans Vinberg, an assistant professor at the John A. Moran Eye Center, developed a transportation system that boosted the retina and measured its electrical activity.
The team used these devices to produce a specific electrical signal in living eyes, also known as the b wave in thepostmortem retinas. After being deactivated by light, the postmortem retinas emitted certain b-waves.
"We were able to recover photoreceptor cells in the human macula, which is the component of the retina responsible for our central vision and our ability to see fine detail and color," said Fatima Abbas, a biomedical researcher.
Questioning the irreversible nature of death
Resurrecting photoreceptors also opens the door to future transplantations that might aid restore vision for those with eye disease. However, transplanted cells and patches of a donor retina would need to be flawlessly integrated into existing retinal circuits. This is already a difficult issue on which scientists are working.
The first example of donated eyes responds to light. It raises concerns about death''s irreversibility, partly due to the permanent loss of neural activity.
We investigate the mechanism of neuronal death and neuronal revival by recognizing light-evoked responses in human macular photoreceptors after death and recognizing modifiable factors. Our approach will include transforming strategies in the human central nervous system, raising questions about neuronal cell death.