from the urls-we-dig-up dept
In 1907, a physician named Duncan MacDougall tried to quantify the moment of death for 6 people -- making a wild conclusion that a human soul weighs 21 grams. Today, we have a few more advanced ways to study near death experiences, but we haven't quite conquered the field of resuscitation science or vanquished death itself. Here are just a few fascinating -- but somewhat morbid -- links.
- A cardiologist predicts that we'll be able to revive the clinically dead up to 24 hours after they stop breathing. Obviously, resuscitation techniques are getting better, but they will only work on patients with certain conditions -- and vital organs like the brain would have to be cooled down to preserve its functions. [url]
- Lab rats might have near-death experiences, according to researchers who implanted electrodes into rat brains and observed a spike of brain activity after the rodents were killed. We'll probably never know if they see a bright light at the end of a tunnel or their entire lives flash before their eyes, but it's interesting to see the same kind of brain activity in other mammals near death. [url]
- Researchers have discovered a "cascade of death" in dying roundworms that originates in its intestines and follows a necrosis pathway for about 1.5 hours before the organism completely expires. Scientists have actually known for years that Caenorhabditis elegans emits an eerily blue glow in its last throes of death, but only recently have researchers determined the molecular cause of this "death fluorescence" and tried methods to delay the onset of death in this worm species. Unfortunately, it's not possible (yet) to create immortal worms, but we've learned for certain that there's more than one way to kill a nematode. [url]