Head transplants and reviving the dead both sound like science fiction, but did you know that scientists actually attempted these experiments on dogs in the past?
Soviet scientist Vladimir Demikhov is considered a pioneer for his work involving organ transplants during the 1940s and 1950s. While nobody can deny that he greatly contributed to the future advances in these medical procedures, his experiments were also quite disturbing.
He created dicephalic, or two-headed dogs by transplanting the head and upper body of one onto the other, but they never survived for long. He attempted this more than 20 times.
Demikhov isn't the only person to use dogs in his research, though.
In 1940, the Russian film "Experiments in the Revival of Organisms" was released. It documented Soviet research into the resuscitation of organisms that were clinically dead, including reanimating a dog's severed head. Nobody knows for sure whether it is real or not (and many hope that it isn't), but what it depicts has definitely been attempted by other doctors.
You might find the contents of this video disturbing.video-player-present
In the 1800s, physiologist and neurologist Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard attempted a similar experiment to the one depicted in the film. He severed a dog's head and drained all of its blood before replacing it with new oxygenated blood. He reported that the head showed signs of life for a few minutes, including voluntary muscular movements in the face and eyes.
French phsyician Paul Loye became interested in this experiment around the same time, so he built a guillotine and decapitated hundreds of dogs and other animals to study how long their movements lasted afterwards.
In 1887, Jean Baptiste Vincent Laborde made the first recorded attempt at reviving the heads of executed criminals by connecting the carotid artery of the human head to the carotid artery of a dog. He claimed that the facial muscles contracted and that he was able to partially restore brain function.