Researchers Report On Dog's Suspended Animation
Mar. 31, 1987
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) _ A beagle shows no sign of ill effects after being experimentally chilled to near the freezing point, with his heart stopped and a heart-lung machine turned off for 20 minutes, a researcher says.
Other dogs have suffered debilitating side effects after such experiments, but not Miles, named for a character in Woody Allen's film ''Sleeper'' who is revived after being frozen for 200 years, said Dr. Paul Segall, an associate professor of physiology at the University of California at Berkeley.
''Miles is very happy and perfectly healthy,'' said Segall, who took the dog into his home after the experiment last June.
Segall says the technique, funded by private groups advocating the highly controversial idea of human life extension through suspended animation, has potential for cancer treatment or bloodless surgery.
Segall and his fellow researchers are reporting the results of their work on Miles at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Washington, D.C, this week.
In the experiment that lasted about 90 minutes, Miles was given anesthetics, cooled in a crushed ice bath and surgically prepared for cardiopulmonary bypass.
His temperature was lowered to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and his blood was replaced with a blood substitute, made up of a common salt solution with drugs, starch and sugar to prevent clotting and regulate its chemistry.
The dog's temperature was lowered to 37 degrees and the life-support pumps were turned off for about 20 minutes. Then circulation was restarted, Miles was warmed up and the blood substitute was replaced with his own blood.
Additional research is planned on monkeys and Segall hopes to extend the freezing time to three hours or more.
''We think that will give us more time, so if the surgeon needs five or six hours to get a tumor out, they'll have it,'' he said in a recent interview.
He said the technique also might allow cancer-ridden parts of the body to be profused with powerful medication or might have application for storage of donated organs for transplantation.
The project was supported by four private groups interested in life extension: the American Cryonics Society of San Francisco, Life Extension Foundation of Hollywood, Fla., Trans Time cryonics company of Oakland, Calif., and The Foundation for the Enhancement & Extension of Life of Houston.