(from CNN) This is fascinating. Mark Roth, a Seattle biologist, uses poison gas to “suspend” rats and then bring them back to life. The technique could one day have applications for emergency room trauma care.
[)(]From CNN article:
“The rat sniffs the air a few times, and within a minute, his naturally twitchy movements are almost still. On a monitor that shows his rate of breathing, the lines look like a steep mountain slope, going down.
“At first glance, that looks bad. We need oxygen to live. If you don’t get it for several minutes — for example, if you suffer cardiac arrest or a bad gunshot wound — you die. But something else is going on inside this rat. He isn’t dead, isn’t dying. The reason why, some people think, is the future of emergency medicine.
“You see, Roth thinks he’s figured out the puzzle. “While it’s true we need oxygen to live, it’s also a toxin,” he explains. Scientists are starting to understand that death isn’t caused by oxygen deprivation itself, but by a chain of damaging chemical reactions that are triggered by sharply dropping oxygen levels.
“The thing is, those reactions require the presence of some oxygen. Hydrogen sulfide takes the place of oxygen, preventing those reactions from taking place. No chain reaction, no cell death. The patient lives.”
When he introduces fresh breathable air, the mouse ‘comes back to life’ and scurries around like nuttin’ happened. Fascinating.