It’s hard to resist a good zombie story, and after some recent debate on an Alas thread regarding the ethics of cloning, I thought perhaps a few of you might have fun discussing this intriguing new development.
It seems that in Pittsburgh’s Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research, technology has been created to bring scientifically dead dogs back to life after a three hour period of suspension. The technique involves draining the blood from the dogs veins, replacing it with an icy saline solution, and then three hours later replacing the blood they took and bringing them back to life with electro-shock to regain a heartbeat. According to them, the brain survives in normal condition, and without damage, though there is some damage to blood vessels and other tissues that can be corrected with surgery.
In a related article by the Washington Post, it seems that there might be zombie mice out there as well:
Scientists have induced a state close to suspended animation in a mammal for the first time, a long-sought achievement that could lead to a host of medical advances for people.
By exposing mice to hydrogen sulfide gas, the researchers managed to place the animals into a condition equivalent to hibernation, which could be quickly reversed without apparently harming the creatures simply by letting them breathe fresh air.
One US battlefield doctor was quoted as saying:
“The results are stunning. I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology,”
While I personally was left recalling the movie Flatliners and thinking about what this would mean for medical technology and the ability of extending life expectancy, my husband Matt feels only one real question remains:
“Upon waking do they crave human flesh and brains?”