Experiments in the Revival of Organisms
|Experiments in the Revival of Organisms|
Screenshot from the film
Experiments in the Revival of Organisms is a 1940 motion picture which documents Soviet research into the resuscitation of clinically dead organisms. It is available from the Prelinger Archives, and it is in the public domain. The British scientist J. B. S. Haldane appears in the film's introduction. The operations are credited to Doctor Sergei Brukhonenko and Boris Levinskovsky
Contents of the film
The film depicts and discusses, without going into much technical detail, a series of medical experiments. First, a heart (canine, as with all in this film) is shown being isolated from a body, with four tubes connected.
It then shows a lung in a tray, operated by bellows, oxygenating blood.
Following the lung scene we are shown the operation of a primitive heart-lung machine, the autojektor (or autojector), composed of a pair of diaphragm linear pumps and what appears to be an oxygen bubble chamber. We then see it is supplying a canine head with oxygenated blood. The head is shown to respond to external stimuli, but the film does not show the arterial and venous connections to the head.
Finally, a dog is brought to clinical death (depicted mostly via a graphical plot of lung and heart activity) by draining all blood from it, left for ten minutes, then connected to the heart-lung machine described earlier. After several minutes, the heart fibrillates, then restarts a normal rhythm. Respiration likewise resumes, the machine is removed and the dog is shown to continue living a healthy life.
Since its Prelinger Archives release, the film has provoked a lot of controversy, a large part being over whether or not the film is real. For example, at one point, the dog turns his head, which would be impossible if the head was cut where the video claims it was.
Brukhonenko developed a new version of the autojektor (for use on humans) in the same year; it can be seen today on display at the Museum of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Scientific Center of Cardiovascular Surgery in Russia. Brukhonenko was posthumously awarded the prestigious Lenin Prize.
References in popular culture
- In 2009, the band The Paper Chase used portions of the film in their video "What Should We Do with Your Body? (The Lightning)".
- A portion of the plot of James Rollins' novel Bloodline is based on this experiment.
- The 1945 novel That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis makes reference to the experiments.
- Polish poet Wisława Szymborska references the experiment in her poem The Experiment circa 1967.
- Metallica's video for their song All Nightmare Long is partially based on the video, and shows Russian scientists reanimating a dead cat.
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- Steppuhn O, Zeiss H, Brukhonenko S. Biochemische Untersuchungen über “Bayer 205.”. Arch Schiffs und Tropen Hygiene. 1923;27:206–210
- Steppuhn O, Zeiss H, Brukhonenko S. Biochemical study of the trypanocidal drug “Bayer 205.”. Trudi Nauchnogo Khimiko-Pharm Inst. 1923;3:49–52
- Brukhonenko S, Steppuhn O. Experimentelles zur anwendung von “Germanin” (Bayer 205) bei bluttransfusionen. Munchener Medizinische Wochenschrift. 1927;74:1316–1317
- Brukhonenko SS, Tchetchuline S. Experiences avec la tete isolee du chien. J Physiol Path Gen. 1929;27:31–45
- Brukhonenko SS, Tchechulin SI. Experiments on isolation of dog’s head. Trudi Nauchnogo Khimiko-Pharm Inst. 1928;20:7–43
- Brukhonenko SS. Artificial circulation of the whole body of a dog with arrested heart. Trudi Nauchnogo Khimiko-Pharm Inst. 1928;20:44–72
- Perez F. La survivance du systeme nerveux central dans des conditions artificielles. La Presse Medicale. 1929;37:183
- Shaw GB. Shaw will sich kopfen lassen, wenn …. Berliner Tageblatt. 1929;130:1
- Puchkov NB. Further studying of the anabiosis of the warm-blooded animals. Biol Zhurnal. 1933;2:206–213
- Alexi-Meskishvili VV, Potapov EV, Beyer EAK, Hetzer R. Nikolai Terebinski (a pioneer of the open valve operation). Ann Thorac Surg. 1998;66:1440–1443
- Terebinski N. Experimental stenosis of the atrioventricular valves of the heart and their repair. Khirurgia. 1938;12:36–43
- Brukhonenko SS. Artificial circulation. Moscow: Nauka; 1964
- Richardson RG. In: Scalpel and heart. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons; 1979; p. 223
- "Sergej Sergejewitsch Brychonenko". Archived from the original on 2007-01-21. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- "Museum of Cardiovascular Surgery". Archived from the original on 2006-02-08. Retrieved 2006-03-06.
- ЛАБОРАТОРИЯ ЭКСПЕРИМЕНТАЛЬНОЙ ПАТОЛОГИИ at the Wayback Machine (archived January 29, 2007). sklifos.ru (in Russian)
- ""What Should We Do With Your Body? (The Lightning)" video". YouTube.
- ""Wisława Szymborska III (The Experiment)" Poem".
- Experiments in the Revival of Organisms at the Internet Movie Database
- Experiments in the Revival of Organisms is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Time Magazine reports on the film's premiere
- The Autojektor on display at the Scientific Center of Cardiovascular Surgery (in Russian) (link defunct as of January 8, 2008)
- A medical paper on Brukhonenko's work (in Russian, requires PubMed access)
- Brukhonenko excerpt from "The Golden Book of Russia. The Year 2000"