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Home > News > Instant Expert: Death

October 10th, 2007

Instant Expert: Death

Abstract:
The growing ability to compensate for loss of the brain's regulation over the body means doctors can maintain some brain-dead bodies indefinitely. We have also discovered more about the brain's self-repair mechanisms and are rapidly developing new ways to repair damaged brains. It may soon be possible to engineer new neural tissue from patients' cells and transplant it into damaged areas. Progress in nanotechnology and the miniaturisation of computing will also eventually allow brain damage to be repaired with implantable machines.

All these advances make defining brain death increasingly difficult - and our ability to rebuild destroyed brains may eventually force us to develop a brand new definition of death, based not on brain activity but on personal identity: would you be the same person if your entire brain, including all your memories and personality, were destroyed and then grown anew?

Source:
newscientist.com

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