Keeping Brains Alive After Death

The first time I read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” I was too young to appreciate it. Later, I learned that Shelley was a science writer at heart and was inspired by the latest science (electricity) and medical (animal muscle contractions) research of her time (The Science that Made Frankenstein). I would like to think that this recent article (Brain Tissue Has Been Kept Alive and Functioning For Almost a Month) would have inspired Shelley too.

According to the article, researchers in Japan were able to keep a mouse brain tissue alive and functioning for almost a month using a device that keeps the tissue moist without drowning it in a liquid.

I find this idea fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

The researchers want to use this method for drug development and organ growth but I want to take this idea a step further.

What if we could keep human brain tissue alive and functioning after death?

This could lead to stories about:

Harvesting thoughts and ideas buried in great minds?


Uncovering a secret hidden inside someone’s thoughts that was never revealed while they were alive?


What if you could still communicate with a loved one through their functioning brain? What would you say?


Could neuroscientists build the “perfect” brain?

Who wants to talk more about how you can use this idea in your current or next story?

[Credit: flickr/affen ajlfe]

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