They had to let a dog "breathe" underwater!
A grueling clip (I advise you not to watch if you're easily distressed) and disturbing images of what appears to be Russian scientists' new “liquid breathing technology” uses a dog for demonstration.
What they did?
They dunked Nikolas, a poor dachshund, into a container filled with some liquid that is full of oxygen. This forced the dog to "breathe" the liquid as a substitute for normal air.
TASS, the state-owned news agency, reports that the researchers even successfully allowed the dog to breathe for 30 long minutes in a 500 meters (1,640 feet) deep liquid “without any health consequences”. One dog even made it as deep as over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet)!
And with the video spreading across social media comes a lot of criticisms from animal rights activists and political commentators. "This is, of course, progress and a breakthrough, but I feel sorry for the dog," Dmitry Smirnov, a prominent Russian journalist, commented.
Moreover, the science behind this is actually still unclear. Previous similar research utilized liquid perfluorocarbon dissolved with high amounts of oxygen to be filled in the lungs. And while this showed to be a perfect breathing medium alternative, it is not known what the long-term result would be on the lungs. Not to mention the emotional distress the experiment would create to the animal.
Nonetheless, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin defended the research, stressing that this is for the general good as we're talking about the betterment of science and even saving lives. What's more? He adopted one of the dachshunds that took part in a recent experiment!
"All these experiments are justified if we manage to save dozens of thousands – or maybe hundreds of thousands of human lives,” said Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin, according to TASS.
"That’s important not only for submarine crews but also for the infants who are born preterm and should be placed back into an environment resembling the one in the mother’s womb," Rogozin said. "Or take the people who have sustained serious burns.
"The researchers working for the Fund for Experimental Research hold these dogs in high esteem. In essence, these are our co-workers."
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