Question: How long can a brain go without oxygen and still be able to process to a certain degree and what are the conditions for a brain to survive because in movies they jus show jars filled with liquid.

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  1. I love Futurama, but heads in jars is not something that can happen yet!
    The brain needs to be connected to the rest of the body because it needs blood pumped from the heart to provide oxygen, sugar for energy and other goodies.
    The cells of the brain start to die within minutes after oxygen supply stops-the brain actually uses up 20% of the oxygen and 25% of the energy of the entire body, so it is a very hungry little organ!


  2. I agree with Kristyn, both on the Futurama and the rest of the answer 🙂

    The reason they show brains in liquid is because we can actually keep brain slices alive for a bit in medium; which is just a liquid with oxygen, sugar and aminoacids the brain needs. We can’t just pop it in there, it needs a pump to make sure the medium gets refreshed and waste products removed.

    I keep brain cells in the same sort of medium in a flask, but those are just cells, not a real interconnected brain.