Hi!

I would like to know if the famous russian dog head experiment of Demikhov was real or not. Ive just seen the video of a living decapitated dog and it was moving its head up from table when tha hammer banged. How is it possible without a body?
Besides I read comments below the vid, and sb said that the brain can not exist without glucose, so that video is absolutley fake.

Do you agree with that? Im a bit secptical about that video.

Andy

Demikhov's experiments were real. It's important to keep im mind that he wasn't keeping a dog head alive with machines, he was attaching the head of one dog to the body of another.

Animals that have undergone these experiments have a number of problems and usually don't live more than a few days. First of all the spinal cord is severed and as yet we don't have any way to reattach nerves. That means that the animals were completely paralyzed from the head down.

Also the immune system of the body tended to reject the head.

Similar experiments were done in the U.S. with monkeys in the 1960s. In case you get any ideas, it's doubtful that a mondern IRB would approve of the protocol for follow up experiments.

I haven't seen the video you're talking about, but it sounds like a clever hoax.

I can't find the video but agree it must be a hoax - no way can severed head move or respond to sound! The wiki page also gives more information
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_transplant

I agree that these experiment would not be allowed by any modern ethics panel or review board.

I'm no expert on any of this, but I did a little hunting around.

The experiment that involved keeping a severed dog head alive was purportedly performed by a Soviet-era surgeon and inventor called Sergey Sergeyevich Bryukhonenko (1890-1960), not by Demikhov. Supposedly a machine called an autojektor, which Wikipedia describes as a "primitive heart-lung machine", was used to circulate oxygenated blood through the head.

The film of this exploit, narrated amazingly enough by the great English biologist J.B.S. Haldane (who was quite sympathetic to communism and the Soviet Union), was made in 1940 and is called Experiments in the Revival of Organisms. It's supposedly available here:

http://www.archive.org/details/Experime1940

Unfortunately, the link seems to be blocked in China, where I'm based. The authenticity of the film is indeed controversial, but I don't see why it would be impossible in principle to keep a detached head alive by maintaining a circulation of blood suitably enriched with oxygen and nutrients. Whether the autojektor was up to the job is another matter.

Again according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiment … _Organisms), the film also contains footage of another feat that to me sounds a lot less likely than the severed head bit:

Finally, a dog is brought to clinical death (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.

Then again, I'm not a physiologist. Perhaps one of my colleagues would care to comment.