Life Support by Revital Cohen

Life Support by Revital Cohen.


[…] By the age of five, or earlier, the greyhound retires from the racetracks. Instead of being euthanised (a fate thousands of retired greyhounds suffer each year), the dog is collected by the NHS and goes through complimentary training in order to become a respiratory assistance dog. When training is completed, the greyhound is adopted by a patient dependent on mechanical ventilation. […] The greyhound is fitted with a harness that converts its lung movement into mechanical ventilation. The treadmill, using a mechanical lure that employs the dog’s previous training, functions as the interface and on/off switch.



A patient suffering from kidney failure gives a blood sample to the lab, the scientists cut from the patients’ genome the regions that code for blood production (bone marrow tissues), and immune response (the major histocompatibility complex). They then extract the genome from the nucleus of a somatic cell taken from a sheep and substitute the corresponding regions of the sheep’s genome with the DNA cut from the patients’ genome. This recombinant DNA is then inserted into the nucleus of a pre-prepared sheep egg cell. Cell division in the egg is initiated and after a few divisions implanted into the receptive ewe.

The surrogate ewe gives birth to the transgenic lamb, which is given to the donor patient. During the day, the dialysis sheep is free to roam in the patient’s back garden, graze to cleanse its kidneys, and drink water containing salt minerals, calcium and glucose.

Found via the Royal College of Art.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: