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February 15, 2006

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» giving good head from tribe.net: blog.wfmu.org
http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2006/02/a_brief_history.html [Read More]

» 1940 Soviet film about resuscitating dead dogs from Boing Boing
Over at my favorite new blog, the Athanasius Kircher Society, there's a link to a 1940 "disturbing" Soviet film about bringing dead dogs back to life. Link Update: Ken Freedman of the fabulous WFMU blog wrote a terrific magazine-length article about th... [Read More]

» Wanna be a Reanimatologist when you grow up? from tribe.net: blog.wfmu.org
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Comments

bartelby

Spelling errors on a website for a company that claims to be able to transplant brains do not inspire the confidence one would hope for.

vanjulio

Oh yes Ling Ling! That is one of the best ones from that book... What was it called? National Lampoon's Big Book of True Facts?

One of my close friends in high school let me borrow this for a long time. Wow I'd nearly forgotten how funny it was!

bartelby

Also if you wanted to do more research in scientific journals of the Soviet era you could contact Eastview. I am pretty sure they are Eastview.com on the web. I call them every now and again for articles where I work. They are quite nice being in Minnesota and all. Best place for North Korean article requests.

kotya

"The isolated head even reacts to light and to sound"

Complete bullshit. In order for a head to move in this way it must be connected to a body. E.g. for your finger to play a note on the piano it depends on completely connected systems. Our little doggie would not be able to manage motion other than up or down jaws and up or down eyes in this video if it were real.

kotya

Before the pile on - I'm referring to eyelids; the most external system.

cody

there's mention of these experiments in the great book 'stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers' by mary roach.

Dale Hazelton

Cool film, sort of a marriage of "Metropolis" and "Our Mister Sun".......I find it highly suspect that doggy can be back to normal "and even grow" in a few days. Aren't cellular decay and rigor mortis and all those good things that accompany the stench of death irreversable? So what was the point of all this anyway, to develop artificial organs (good) or to create an army of Russian soldiers you could never really kill (bad)?

I remember a movie I saw when I was a kid...this scientist kills the gentle townfolk and has a bank of limbs on a wall in his lab for reanimation later. In the big end scene they come back to life, but grab him and choke him to death. Bad karma, really. I wish I could remember the name of the movie. It made quite an impression on a 10 year old.

housepig

when I was working at the US Patent Office, my favorite patent was #4,666,425, "Device for Perfusing an Animal or Human Head" - you can read the abstract here, but to look at the images, you might need some funky plugins.

Station Manager Ken

"Complete bullshit. In order for a head to move in this way it must be connected to a body."

I spoke to a professor of veterinary medicine about that, and he said that it would be possible for the dog head to move the way it's shown in the film, if enough of the neck and shoulder muscles were still connected to the head. Admittedly, in the film, it's impossible to see what's going on - exactly how much of the head/neck/shoulder was removed.

-ken

Clayton Counts

In 1997, I had the good fortune of conducting an extensive interview with Robert White. It should be noted that this man has contributed a great deal to the field of neurophysiology. In fact, his research is the primary basis of the modern surgical practice of cooling the brain insitu. It simply gives the surgeons a greater deal of time to work with the brain. Moreover, Dr. White was, in spite of all disbelief, quite able to chart responses off the visual cortex using microelectrode arrays affixed to the fovea centralis; that is, the central point at which the optic nerve meets the retina. I have read a good number of his more than three hundred technical papers, many of which have been published in esteemed medical journals. But what impressed me most about Dr. White was his desire to do good for humankind. Aside from being an ethics adviser to the Pope, he was also a Knight of the Vatican, and he testified at Senate subcommittee hearings on partial birth abortion. But most astoundingly, the work he was doing in the area of brain transplants (or, as he refers to them, "full body transplants") has an extraordinarily practical side which is rarely spoken of; that of extending the lives of persons. His assessment (one which I tend to agree with) is that a donor body could mean the difference between life and death for a person whose own body is diseased. He was quick to note that, not so long ago, there was a consensus among scientists that heart transplants shouldn't be done. Indeed, most scientists believed that they couldn't. But it is a dangerous trend, I believe, to mischaracterize Dr. White and pioneers like him as modern day Frankensteins; this is how he has been portrayed in countless articles and on television, yet he has contributed immeasurably to the art of medical investigation. At a dinner party recently, a second year medical student told me that brain transplants were impossible. He said, "it can't be done, and it never will." Needless to say, I'd heard that one before.

louis sherman

There is nothing special about this film, it just shows the early experiments in health care that is practiced every day in most countries. This can save your life for a few moments while they take care of you, or it can keep you alive as a vegetable for years. Common stuff, really common, but they don't cut off your head.

paul

> As one might expect from a country that lost 6 million people to the Nazi's during World War Two

27 million.

Mary

My mother worked for Dr. White at the time and was present during that surgery. She was the one in charge of training the monkey to press the lever on the shock-elicited escape/avoidance apparatus.

Enrico Poli

Another good paper (by White) along the lines of the soviet movie is this one:

"Isolation of the Monkey Brain: In vitro Preparation and Maintenance"
(Science, 1961)

Abstract: Sustained viability of the primate brain, as a totally isolated organ preparation, was achieved by utilizing an extracorporeal (compatible donor) circulation...

You can get the abstract here:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/141/3585/1060

The guy who was assigned the patent metioned above has explained his goal ("it will give The Dis Corporation the right to stop or slow down discorporation research in America") in this Whole Earth Review's article:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1510/is_n59/ai_6484062/print

Bye :)

Doug

For those interested in the subject the scientist involved in the experiements published his doctoral thesis on the subject in 1943.

http://www.erc.edu/index.php/newsItem/en/nid=136/

Deepak Modak

Brain and head transplants may soon be possible

Hello,

Dr. Robert J. White, now retired, from Cleveland, Ohio has already performed countless successful head transfer experiments on monkeys [ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1263758.stm ], and has perfected methods by which the human brain can be isolated from its blood supply for an hour or so. With the recent breakthroughs in spinal cord research, brain transplants may now be possible.

http://www.clevescene.com/issues/1999-12-09/putre.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_transplant
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_transplant
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.bennun/interviews/drwhite.html

http://64.78.63.75/samples/05PYS0404PlotnikIntrotoPsych7ch3.pdf
(pg 64)

http://www.ebookmall.com/ebook/66923-ebook.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/reports/archive/science_nature/brain.shtml
http://linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org/9708/fn.9708.html
http://www2.lakelandcc.edu/nora/events/iuser/news/newsmore.asp?ID=917
http://www.universityneurosurgeons.org/residency/the_faculty.htm

brian

i have been under anasthesia and have frightening recollections of the experience. I can only imagine how frightened those dogs and monkies were (are) during this kind of experiment. It is no wonder that aliens haunt our dreams, performing experiments on us. We are as callous as they are.

Bob

Sorry skeptics, but this video is real. The research learned from such experiments led to the development of the first Heart/Lung machines, by John Gibbons, which are now used regularly for all types of cardiac and great vessel surgeries. I am a cardiovascular perfusionist and use these machines to do incredible things to the human body. Most striking is a procedure called circulatory arrest whereby we cool a patient's body to temperatures approaching 18 degrees celsius, induce a barbituate coma turning off the brain, arrest the heart with a potassium solution and lastly shut down the patient's circulation and exsanguinate (or remove the blood) from the body. The patient is effectively dead and hypothermically preserved. This state can last for suprisingly long periods of time before the technique is reversed and the patient is brought back to life. Check out Perfusion.Com for more information about the medical profession and science behind it.

scoot

I've been meaning to respond to this article since it first came out, and now I see that someone else has already mentioned Mary Roach's excellent, entertaining, and downright disturbing book, "Stiff," which has a whole chapter about decapitation and reanimation. She traces the origins of canine (and human) head-juggling to the French, as long ago as the 1790s (!), in the heydey of the guillotine, and gives a great many details all the way up to Robert White's experiments in the 1960s and beyond. She's also very funny in describing all this, and I, among many others, can highly recommend this book. Since I'm an overly sentimental dog-lover, I still haven't managed to watch all of the Prelinger video, but in the interest of science, I suppose I have to now...

Virginia

If you or anyone else is interested in 'weird medicine' such as transplanting dog heads and monkey brains and even human-based medical experiments, an excellent book to read would be Mary Roach's 'Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers"
Not only is it a really entertaining read for a nonfiction science book, it proves that yes, the Soviets DID reanimate dog heads, yes, American researchers DID graft a monkey's brain into anothe rmonkey's abdomen (she even INTERVEIWS one of the last living scientists involved with those experiments).
Totally weird but totally 100% true.

Ralph

I have in my possesion a LIFE magazine which I cant recall from which year but it is from the 40s and I have it in a box with about 30 other old Life magazines that someone gave to me. Anyway, the article regarding the Soviet experiment on the dog is there and when I read it I was really saddened at the thought of the poor dog´s fate. But it is true, that really did happen.

Pony

Humans are no better than the "moster" or "alien"-type figures that are portrayed in numerous movies that depict gross and gruesome experimentation on people. Stop portraying humanity as victims all the time when it is far from the case!!! Looking at all this frankenstein-type science makes me ashamed to be a "human" being.

Boni

I am writing a novel that deals with this subject and I have been searching for a way to contact Dr. Robert White... would you know how he can be reached?

Boni

I am writing a novel that deals with this subject and I have been searching for a way to contact Dr. Robert White... would you know how he can be reached?

yoyoyoy

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