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Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum. Leonard Susskind. Bad Science. The Things that Nobody Knows. Rumours quickly circulated on American campuses that the communist scientists had succeeded in reanimating the dead. The ability to sustain an animal using a heart-lung machine allowed for a much more mechanistic view of life.
Metaphysical concepts for separating the living and the dead — such as the Catholic soul or the Vodou nanm — were threatened with obsolescence in the face of modern medicine. Keeping a head alive was one thing; raising the dead was quite another.
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Bryukhonenko was not the first Russian to dedicate himself to the problem. As early as February , Aleksei Aleksandrovich Kuliabko of the Physiological Laboratory of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg had restarted a rabbit heart that had stopped beating forty-four hours previous, and went on to repeat this procedure on animal hearts up to five days post-mortem. The next year he procured the heart of a three-month-old infant who had died from pneumonia two days earlier. In , he developed techniques for artificial circulation that could revive a severed fish head.
Between and , another Russian, Fyodor Andreyev, succeeded in resuscitating an electrocuted dog by injecting a combination of saline and adrenaline into the bloodstream and then applying an electric shock to the heart. Andreyev would later become director of the hospital where Bryukhonenko spent his postwar years, and no doubt encouraged the young doctor to explore their common interest in reanimation. It only remains to develop the technique for surgeons to apply practically. He enlisted the help of the experimental surgeon Sergeo I.
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Spasokukotey, who had helped to engineer the network of blood banks across the Soviet Union. Just three hours after the man had hung himself, the doctor slit open an artery and a vein and connected them to the autojektor. The machine steadily drew cold dead blood from the corpse and returned it warm and rich with oxygen. Then a faint sound joined them in the room: a heartbeat.
After that, Bryukhonenko left his experiments to the dogs. Buy Now, Pay Later. Already a Subscriber? Log In Here. Please sign in with Facebook or Google below:.
Russians who raised the dead
If you have an older Salon account, please enter your username and password below: sign in Forgot Password? Log Out. Russians who raised the dead In the years before World War II, Russian scientists attempted to revive fish and dog heads, and even a human being
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