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ReAnima Project to try revitalizing nervous systems of brain-dead patients

The controversial undertaking has received approval from a national review board.

Madeline A. Lancaster

The ReAnima Project, a project that will attempt to regenerate parts of the nervous system for 20 brain-dead patients on life support, has just been approved by an Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health in the US, as well as in India, according to The Telegraph. Principal investigator Dr. Himanshu Bansal, along with biotech companies Revita Life Sciences and Bioquark, plan to test various therapies involving stem cell injections, and laser and nerve stimulation techniques.

The project might seem controversial to some, but all 20 of the first wave of subjects are technically no longer living. The functions of their bodies, however, remain intact. The bodies still circulate blood, heal, and could even deliver a baby. The issue is that higher-level brain functions can't currently be regenerated. That's the problem the ReAnima Project will attempt to surmount.

Bioquark -- the company sponsoring the research -- did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article mentioned only Bioquark's involvement in the ReAnima Project. The text has been updated to include all the parties participating in the research.