Pig Brains and Butterfly Goo

The strange science of life, death, and consciousness

Butterflies and Pig Brains: collage by Brandy Schillace. Photo credits: butterfly by Alfred Schrock, vintage brain by Rawpixel; piglets by Kameron Kincade; swallowtail caterpillar by Stravos Markopoulos.

Thirty-two dead pigs woke up in a lab without their bodies — or, rather, their brain cells did.

The experiment happened in 2019, at the early stages of the pandemic. Researchers went round to a food processing plant and asked to have the discarded heads of slaughtered pigs. Four hours later, they…



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