Sunday, 14 February 2016

Cryogenically frozen rabbit brain restored in near perfect condition

FEBRUARY 12, 2016

by Chuck Bednar

Talk about hare-raising science: a team of researchers led by MIT alumnus Robert McIntyre have managed to cryogenically freeze brain and recover a rabbit's brain without causing any significant damage to neurons and synapses.

According to the Daily Mail, McIntyre and his colleagues reported that the brain is in “near-perfect” condition, and their research indicates that “long term structural preservation of an intact brain is achievable” and could eventually be performed on a human brain.

The research team, who published their findings in the journal Cryobiology, used a new technique called aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation (ASC), which uses an organic compound known as glutaraldehyde (typically a sterilizing agent) to stabilize the brain circuitry, then using the vitrification process to preserve tissues by cooling them to extreme temperatures.

By draining the blood from the creature’s head and replacing it with the glutaraldehyde, they were able to hold proteins in place, holding off metabolic decay and preventing the brain from shrinking. When stored at temperatures of -135 degrees Celsius, the brain could theoretically be preserved for hundreds of years, according to Popular Science.

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