'Life Support' Using The Whole Animal

Revital Cohen's Life Support is a design project that is intended to make complex issues more visible and therefore easier to understand and discuss.

Her project centers around the idea of using living animals to help people live. Rather than hook people up to machines, people could be connected to animals that were specially designed genetically or trained to help. This is also a different idea from the notion that animals could be used to grow "spare parts."

Consider the following scenario in which a genetically altered sheep is used in the place of a dialysis machine. Blood is slowly dripped into the blood stream of the fully compatible sheep; the sheep's fully functioning organs remove toxins, performing the function of a dialysis machine.


(Revital Cohen's Life Support project)

There are already instances in which sheep have been provided with human cells at a fetal stage of development; pig/human hybrids are also under development (see the recent article Human-Pig Hybrids Approved In UK).

Perhaps readers can think of science-fictional examples of this idea; instances in which a person and an animal are paired are right on the tip of my tongue, but I can't quite pull it out.

Via Life Support - Could animals be transformed into medical devices?.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/8/2008)

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