Science has given us many miracles and of course, a boat load of shameful blunders too! Today, science is once again on the crossroads because of the ReAnima Project. The very idea that brain dead people may live again gives us both hope and chills at the same time. Hope because we may get back our loved ones who lie out there in vegetative state at the mercy of prayers. Chills because scientists need to experiment on helpless test subjects without their approval (of course they cannot give approval), which may be ethically wrong and from religious point of view – it is plain wrong!
The mastermind company behind all this is Bioquark Inc. Based in Philadelphia USA, the company deals with life sciences and is known for developing combinatorial biologics (of course proprietary) that help to repair and regenerate human tissues and organs. Guess what? Now they are aiming for reanimating the brain under the project named – ReAnima Project!
Of course, to get rid of legal complications they needed government approval, which they have actually acquired. Now that they have the necessary permission, they will be conducting experiments on human vegetable with dead brains. The logic they are holding is that nothing can possibly go wrong because the brains of the test subjects are already dead!
Interestingly, the ReAnima Project received approval not only from US government but also from India. Institutional Review Board both of India’s and America’s National Institutes of Health approved the ReAnima Project.
So, How Is the Reanima Project Going to Work?
This is how it will work:
- Bioquark is searching for 20 test subjects. The requirement is that these subjects must be brain dead caused by some kind of traumatic brain injury.
- Also, these test subjects need to be on some kind of life support.
Just to clarify, a brain dead person is not really totally dead. He or she will have absolutely no stem functions of the brain. This means they will have no consciousness and they will not be able to breathe without any kind of aid. However, he or she can actually breath with external medical assistance. Also, the person body is in more or less functional state and can function normally if some machines are used for aid.
Once Bioquark finds patients, full permission for conducting experiments on them has to come from their families. If the families agree, the company will start with the experiments. As per Bioquark CEO, Dr. Ira Pastor, the ReAnima Project is a bold step towards and attempt universal reversal of death. In words of Dr. Pastor:
To undertake such a complex initiative, we are combining biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system, in patients with other severe disorders of consciousness.
Once the test subjects and permissions from their respective families are received, the Phase I of the experiments will begin.
Phase I has been named as “First In Human Neuro-Regeneration and Neuro-Reanimation”.
In this first step or in the phase I, peptides and stem cells will be injected inside the spinal cords of the patients using a pump. Theory states that stem cells will be capable of capturing information from brain stem and regenerating into actual brain cells. To aid the process of regeneration, Bioquark will make use of lasers and several stimulation techniques on the nerves of the patients.
Interestingly though, the Phase I will not be conducted in USA. Rather, the destination for this step is India. The hospital where this step will be carried out is known as Anupam Hospital, located in Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur.
Now, what’s Phase II of ReAnima Project? We don’t know! Currently, everyone is far more excited about Phase I.
ReAnima Project: Problems and Debates
The whole thing kind of sounds like science fiction movie. Anyway, for the test subjects, logically nothing matters. They are all brain dead and have no consciousness. If the ReAnima Project works, they will gain everything but if it fails, they will have nothing to lose.
However, many experts in this field actually hold the view that Bioquark will fail because they believe that brain cells cannot be regenerated and neither can they become a fully functional brain that revive a brain dead person.
The truth is that we are looking straight into the realms of science fiction and Bioquark is sailing into uncharted waters. No one knows what will happen. Even if reanimation works, what will be the end result? Will it be the same person or will Bioquark simply produce something we don’t want? Will the Indian and US governments take responsibilities if something terrible really happens?
Bioquark founder Dr. Sergei Paylian however decides to take a positive view and says:
Through our study, we will gain unique insights into the state of human brain death, which will have important connections to future therapeutic development for other severe disorders of consciousness, such as coma, and the vegetative and minimally conscious states, as well as a range of degenerative CNS conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
One thing we should say – those of us who know what Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases are, we are really afraid of them. We know that fear is good for business as far as multinational corporations are concerned. Will Bioquark eventually exploit this fear and come up with extremely expensive drugs that may or may not be effective? Will we fall for such traps even though the basic ground work that leads to the development of such drugs is questionable and unethical? What do you all think? Let us know through the comments.