Clinical death is the medical term for the cessation of blood circulation and breathing (formerly just “death,” the term was modified after the advent of advanced resuscitation techniques capable of restoring a heartbeat after cardiac arrest). Unlike many organs that can survive clinical death for hours without insult (limps=6 hours, skin/bone/tendon = 12 hours, etc.), the brain dies completely within three minutes of clinical death. It has therefore been the chief factor limiting recovery from clinical death–until now.
Enter Bioquark, Inc., a cutting edge biotech company seeking to transplant the regenerative capabilities of various members of the animal kingdom into humans. For instance, amphibians can regenerate many lost/damaged tissues from hearts and spinal cords to brains. Bioquark believes it can transplant these regenerative mechanisms into human tissue. Along those lines, it is seeking 20 clinically-dead people for a clinical trial for which it has recently received ethical approval in the U.S. and India. Although the company is not yet at the point that it expects to see the regeneration of brain tissue, it does believe that it can demonstrate some regeneration in the upper spinal chord, which regulates breathing and heartbeat.
Of course, if Bioquark is right, it will have tremendous implications not only for the clinically dead, but also for those living with traumatic brain injuries. We’ll keep you posted on this cutting-edge new outfit out of Pennsylvania and the results of its potentially earth-shaking clinical trial.