The dead. What to do with the dead? It is an urgent question nowadays. You see there are so many of them. If you think about it, they really seem a wasted resource. Particularly as we expect everyone to pull their weight nowadays in our new no holds barred Capitalist society.
The dead. Always laying about and doing nothing.
So how, may you ask, can the dead do anything? Surely they have already ‘outlived’ any of their usefulness…
Well no. Forward thinkers have begun to ponder on their use. Forward thinkers are acting on their thoughts and beginning to put the dead to some use.
Case in point:
Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014 Jan 15;5(1)
Valente S, Alviano F, Ciavarella C, Buzzi M, Ricci F, Tazzari PL, Pagliaro P, Pasquinelli G.
INTRODUCTION: Regenerative medicine challenges researchers to find non-controversial, safe and abundant stem cell sources. In this context, harvesting from asystolic donors could represent an innovative and unlimited reservoir of different stem cells. In this study, cadaveric vascular tissues were established as an alternative source of human cadaver mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (hC-MSCs). We reported the successful cell isolation from post mortem arterial segments stored in a tissue-banking facility for at least 5 years. METHODS: After thawing, hC-MSCs were isolated with a high efficiency (12 x 106) and characterized with flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, molecular and ultrastructural approaches. RESULTS: In early passages, hC-MSCs were clonogenic, highly proliferative and expressed mesenchymal (CD44, CD73, CD90, CD105, HLA-G), stemness (Stro-1, Oct-4, Notch-1), pericyte (CD146, PDGFR-beta, NG2) and neuronal (Nestin) markers; hematopoietic and vascular markers were negative. These cells had colony and spheroid-forming abilities, multipotency for their potential to differentiate in multiple mesengenic lineages and immunosuppressive activity to counteract proliferation of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated blood mononuclear cells. CONCLUSIONS: The efficient procurement of stem cells from cadaveric sources, as post mortem vascular tissues, demonstrates that such cells can survive to prolonged ischemic insult, anoxia, freezing and dehydration injuries thus paving the way for a scientific revolution where cadaver stromal/stem cells could effectively treat patients demanding cell therapies.
Can you see what these crazy Italians are doing? They are harvesting cells from the dead and making new tissues from them! New blood, new kidneys, new life! They have made the dead productive again. Cadavers, stored as long as 5 years, can still do their bit for the economy!
Previously I dismissed the Life Sciences as a backwater of superstition and irrationality. But even a genius such as I can get it wrong once in a while. And if I can make a quid or two from it who am I to refuse the rewards of their research?
If you wanted any example of the inexhaustible reservoir of business opportunities unfettered capitalism can bring then you can go no further than this!
Don’t burn them! That is just wasting productivity.
And here at the Xenox Institute we stand by, ready and able to pioneer this new technology of the Productive Dead. We are now constructing a large storage facility where we can place these layabouts and get them back working again. And the best thing about it?
We don't have to pay them a cent!
Gentlemen, I think I have defied the laws of economics and created Productivity Infinity!
The grave. No, there is no release from the treadmill here. Your boss is calling you.
Now some of the more delicate of you may be shocked and think that we are 'exploiting' the dead. Well to you I say this. Please give the dead some respect, some honour. Surely if they felt exploited they would tell us.