It's aliiiive. Kinda.

Machine Keeps Animal Hearts Beating for Research
Testing new cardiac techniques and devices on live animals requires proper oversight, regulation, and considerable expense. To overcome this, researchers at North Carolina State University developed a machine, specifically intended for study of mitral valve repair, that can pump a pig's heart straight from the slaughterhouse. "Researchers can obtain pig hearts from a pork processing facility and use the system to test their prototypes or practice new surgical procedures," says Andrew Richards, a Ph. D. student in mechanical engineering at NC State who designed the heart machine.

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2 Responses:

  1. dr_memory says:

    n.b. the new (and awesome) part here is that they can restart and keep beating a heart that was removed in, ah, less than surgically controlled circumstances.

    Keeping a heart beating when you've got a team of surgeons connecting it valve-by-value to the perfusion apparatus as you remove it from the test animal is a 20+ year old trick. (Back in the late 80s / early 90s, I worked for a guy who did it on a weekly basis.)

  2. fengi says:

    Y'know Bill Cosby did a whole 15 minute routine about the Rod Serling radio play which started this way. It was funny until I heard that radio play and was young enough for it to freak me out the same way.

    So my reaction to this is DO NOT WANT.