Scientists Create Zombie Dogs
June 27, 2005 8:04 PM   Subscribe

Zombie Dogs U.S. scientists have succeeded in reviving dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.
posted by stevis (36 comments total)
Just in time for a 2008 Bush/Zombie Reagan ticket. Although this time it'll have to be Jeb.
posted by blakewest at 8:25 PM on June 27, 2005

Now there's a name for a band ...
posted by bwg at 8:27 PM on June 27, 2005

the soviets would be proud
posted by derangedlarid at 8:34 PM on June 27, 2005

this is one of those things you can do, but probably shouldn't, i think.
posted by amberglow at 8:35 PM on June 27, 2005

Well, that explains Dick Cheney.
posted by petrilli at 8:36 PM on June 27, 2005

your dog wants brains
posted by MrLint at 8:36 PM on June 27, 2005

No comments on the implications of this technology, just immediate attempts to connect this to politics? Maybe some people have one track minds...
posted by blue shadows at 8:50 PM on June 27, 2005

Although the article mentions in passing the ramifications of this in terms of long periods of hibernation, it doesn't actually say whether the salt solution makes hibernation possible. Would such a process prevent the usual problems associated with body inactivity, such as decay?

Overall, this is just really bizarre. It almost seems like taking the batteries out of something electronic.
posted by invitapriore at 9:03 PM on June 27, 2005

... Maybe some people have one track minds...
But at least they're not one track zombie minds!

Didn't the Nazis do experiments like these?
posted by amberglow at 9:03 PM on June 27, 2005

BGravy trainsssss . . .
posted by yhbc at 9:04 PM on June 27, 2005

having watched that soviet film, I was truly shocked by it.
In the end, I figured it as fake, something submitted to Stalin (who probably didn't wish to hear of failure in the field's progress.)

this, however, is news.
posted by Busithoth at 9:06 PM on June 27, 2005

Don't they already basically freeze you for open heart surgery?
posted by Jon-o at 9:09 PM on June 27, 2005

I saw that article yesterday whilst perusing the news and what struck me was the schlock! horror! stance that the paper seems to have taken to a pretty radical medical breakthrough.

( is owned by the same folks who own the Daily Telegraph, which is kind of almost a tabloid here in Sydney, so it's not surprising at the treatment of the subject that this article presents, compared to broadsheets like the Sydney Morning Herald)

Picture of a dog baring its fangs. Plus the usual Hollywood nomenclature to describe the amazing resuscitation of the animals from clinical death.

To mangle a good line from one of my favourite movies..

In medical science, we don't say the Z word...

Lazarus? no no... Zombies!! With all their brain eating affiliations.

It's been tested for quite a while that keeping someone/something living cold when injured, rather than warm increases their chance of surviving as it reduces the rate of cell death. A good example is two different wars in the last century, Vietnam and the Falklands. In Vietnam, GIs with severe wounds, (missing limbs, evisceration and the like) would regularly die whilst being airlifted to medical facilities. Whereas in the Falklands, a lot of the troops who sustained the same injuries and had to wait for hours until the end of the particular skirmish to be airlifted did not die as much as their Vietnam counterparts. It seems the freezing cold saved a lot of wounded soldiers in the Falklands conflict, while in Vietnam the heat and humidity killed them.

A lot of ERTs now keep heart attack patients cold rather than warm when transporting them to the hospital. So you're better keeping a loved one suffering a heart attack in ice rather than a blanket, as strange as it sounds.

The blood replacement solution is the breakthrough I'm gathering? The solution that they've replaced the blood probably acts as a medium which defrosts better than blood, which when frozen and melted, expands, separates and damages fine capillary vessels.

So yes... with enough research, suspended animation, is just around the corner. Amongst other things. Of course battlefield science is the first application of such lifesaving activities... which will always be its own irony.

I find this breakthrough amazing, yet the article annoys the hell out me.
posted by JGreyNemo at 9:14 PM on June 27, 2005

The word boffin is sort of a zombie dog of a word. These 6 letters, which should not, by God, should not be joined, have been stitched together into a foul union and placed in a sentence right alongside the God fearing words we've known all our lives, and it sits there, festering a foul pus into those sentiments, whether or not it as 100% oxygen, whether or not the voltage has been applied, it should not, it does not connote meaning in any sort of normal, rational sense. It can only speak to the sinister workings of the minds of foreigners, the base emotions which are unspeakable in our fair land, but which reign unchecked in darker places, places which shield secrets from the light of knowledge, and what right do these people have, these dark, tea-befouled Britons, what right do they have to use these tokens of a sick, and here I mean the sickness of a plague infested bile, an open sore of a highly communicable disease, borne by rats, no that sore which is being eaten by such plague bearing rats, what right do they have to bring such words--if I may use the term so lightly--to bring such "words" into our goode speach?
posted by nervousfritz at 9:23 PM on June 27, 2005

Warning: punctilious nitpicking follows.
  • No specific scientists' names given in the article; just "US scientists."
  • Plans to test on humans to be realized "within a year," they say. I see; will they get volunteers in "Flatliners" fashion, or will they just randomly pick a couple of beds in the ICU?
  • "Tests show they are perfectly normal, with no brain damage." No brain damage, as in none at all, they say? What "tests" are these?
  • "I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology," said one US battlefield doctor. "One US doctor?" No name? Surely something as important as this warrants commentary from more than just a random faceless medical interviewee.
  • And finally, no news about it on the Safar Center's own official website.
Sorry, but no cold saline solution for these veins just yet, please.
posted by brownpau at 9:25 PM on June 27, 2005

Jon-o: "Don't they already basically freeze you for open heart surgery?"

Well yeah. That's why all people who have open-heart surgery are zombies.
posted by danb at 9:26 PM on June 27, 2005

I'm with brownpau on this one... I need a lot more information to believe this.
ie. Other articles with more information that aren't out to shock and scare the public.
posted by mikeweeney at 9:54 PM on June 27, 2005

Patience. If it's for real, there will be articles in medical journals, not just tabloids.

That said, I did just see Flatliners for the first time yesterday.
posted by warbaby at 10:02 PM on June 27, 2005

No more Mary Shelly for nervousfritz, lest he start throwing children in the pool.
posted by JGreyNemo at 10:27 PM on June 27, 2005

That article is horrible. What does a snarling wolf have to do with anything? If the procedure is real, it's a good thing. Three hours of reversible clinical death is three hours that can be used to fix vital organs.
posted by Nothing at 11:58 PM on June 27, 2005

I just got back from LAND OF THE DEAD. Zombies are sweet, but terrifying.
posted by ackeber at 12:56 AM on June 28, 2005

Here's the abstract.
posted by Gyan at 2:11 AM on June 28, 2005

They're not really zombies if you kill 'em and bring 'em back to life -- just reanimated.

To be a zombie, you've gotta want to eat braaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnssssssssssss.
posted by ph00dz at 5:02 AM on June 28, 2005

I don't mind the noting of the weirdness factor, because this kind of stuff is weird, and as science fiction becomes reality, we go through little periods of freak-out, which is okay. But I too am confused by the lack of actual information - I honestly could not tell if the article was a hoax since it seems like big enough news to be all over the place. We've been dreaming for ages of being able to reanimate the frozen dead - but the claim about all those cryonics labs is that they're basically scamming you, because some cell breakdown is even caused by freezing (e.g.,) and anyway, you can never reduce the heat all the way, plus, even once you unfreeze the body, it's still dead, still has to be brought back to life.

SO - I guess this is different because these dogs weren't dead when they were frozen, for one thing, and because they weren't externally frozen, but had their blood replaced with a freezing solution... but it is still pretty wild. I definitely want to know more about this.
posted by mdn at 5:30 AM on June 28, 2005

I am Rover, come back from the dead, come back to tell you all . . . Timmy's still in that well.
posted by yerfatma at 5:41 AM on June 28, 2005

Since no one's said it yet, I for one welcome our new zombie canine overlords.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:30 AM on June 28, 2005

mdn, item: what about Gyan's link above ? Looks legit.
posted by anonetal at 9:59 AM on June 28, 2005

Wade Davis' book, The Serpent and the Rainbow, talks about his work in Haiti "to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies", which seems, from what I understand, to be a term about the use of drugged human beings as puppets or slaves.

The reanimation of these dogs from death seems to be less about zombies, lol, than about an aspect of cryonics.
posted by nickyskye at 11:45 AM on June 28, 2005

this is one of those things you can do, but probably shouldn't, i think.
posted by amberglow

Why not? If the article is real, it's an awesome breakthrough. We could save people in remote locations who can't get to a hospital in that "golden hour."

But I'm skeptical - the article is really vague.
posted by agregoli at 11:56 AM on June 28, 2005

anonetal, yeah, the abstract seems legitimate... I'm just confused as to why there's not more of a fuss about it, then. Isn't this as big as dolly? Or are we just so used to big science fiction-ish breakthroughs (like that chip that allowed people to move things with their minds...) that it's not plastered on the front page anymore?
posted by mdn at 1:42 PM on June 28, 2005

Yea, this seems pretty big to me too, and the abstract is from *DECEMBER 2004*. Like how was this slid under the radar?
posted by nads at 1:50 PM on June 28, 2005

It's not actually a huge surprise - people who "die" in cold water have been successfully brought back lots of times, commonly enough that some EMTs say "You're not dead till you're WARM and dead."

For a really nice summary of why it's better to be cold and dead than warm and dead, see this comment from slashdot:
posted by selfmedicating at 5:00 PM on June 28, 2005

Sorry, I am linking-impaired today.

try again
posted by selfmedicating at 5:01 PM on June 28, 2005

agreg, It doesn't sound like it can really work--we have tons of tiny capillaries that would be damaged by this, i bet--and battlefields/mash units are not good places to stop, drain out the blood, and pour in this freezing stuff i don't think.

And it's intensely creepy.
posted by amberglow at 5:16 PM on June 28, 2005

well, "Franken-dogs" was one headline of a split NY Post cover, so I guess it's out there, but I still don't see it on CNN, NYT, A&LDaily, or the other main media sites I check... just seems odd to me.

agreg, It doesn't sound like it can really work--we have tons of tiny capillaries that would be damaged by this, i bet

but that's the whole point of this article: it did work, for three hours at least, without any perceivable damage. I'm sure they'll keep testing the limits, but three hours is significant.

And it's intensely creepy.

You know what was intensely creepy a century ago? blood transfusions. You know what was intensely creepy a matter of decades ago? organ donation. Things become normal once we get used to them.

This is a breakthrough which could save lives even at this stage (giving doctors three more hours), and if it could eventually allow for longer term freezing - it sure would be weird, but if you had a fatal disease you could hypothetically be put into suspended animation until a new med was developed... would all depend how long a body could last, but... it's definitely the first step toward a classic science fiction technology.
posted by mdn at 5:44 PM on June 28, 2005

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