Friday, August 1, 2008
Scientists at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research in Pittsburgh are bringing the dead back to life. Not quite like Dr. Herbert West of the Re-Animator movies, but not far from it.
First, the dog is drained of all its blood. Then a hypothermic oxygenated saline solution is introduced, which basically kills the animal. The dog stops breathing and there is no brain activity, which makes it clinically dead. About 3 hours later the dog's blood is reintroduced and an electric shock brings the critter back to life, usually without brain damage. The hopeful scientists say that the process should be able to be applied to humans within a year.
This research isn't just for fun. Applying this technique on soldiers in battle or gunshot and stab wound patients could prove to be a valuable life saving tool.
From what I've read, it appears this research started in Russia in the late 1930's. Dr. Serge Bryukhonenko at the U.S.S.R. Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy at Moscow, used a machine called an Autojector to re-animate several dead dogs. The Autojector is a combination artificial heart and iron lung. It sucks blood from the animal, oxygenates the blood in the "lung" portion then pumps it back into the body. Using this machine Dr. Bryukhonenko, was able to keep a dog's heart beating outside it's body. He even kept a dog's head alive for several hours. The head reacted to sound by cocking it's ears and even licking it's chops when citric acid was smeared on it's lips. Here's some video showing the experiments.
PETA is on board of course and have offered their full support.
Posted by Richard Cutman at 8:01 AM