Dog ‘Spunky’ After It’s Frozen in Test

From Times Wire Services

Scientists who froze a frisky beagle for 20 minutes and then thawed him out to perfect health say the task signals significant progress in cryonics research, with potential spinoffs in bloodless surgery, cancer treatment and even suspended animation of humans.

Dr. Paul Segall, an associate professor of physiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and his fellow researchers are to report the results of their work this week at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Washington.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. April 4, 1987 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday April 4, 1987 Home Edition Part 1 Page 3 Column 1 Metro Desk 2 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
In a March 31 article based on Times wire service reports, it was incorrectly reported that a UC Berkeley associate professor had frozen a beagle for 20 minutes and then thawed it out to be in perfect health. In fact, the researcher, Dr. Paul Segall, is a visiting scholar at Berkeley and had done the dog experiment while at UC Davis.

Segall said similar freezing experiments have been conducted on hamsters and dogs, but the other dogs have suffered debilitating side effects. But not Miles, the beagle, which is named for a character in the Woody Allen movie “Sleeper,” about a man who is revived after being frozen for 200 years.


Lives in Good Health

“After nine months, the dog is happy, spunky and shows no signs of poor health,” Segall said.

In June, Miles was given anesthetics, cooled in a crushed-ice bath, set up with monitoring devices and surgically prepared for cardiopulmonary bypass. His temperature was lowered to 20 degrees centigrade (68 degrees Fahrenheit) and his circulating blood was replaced with a blood substitute developed during research with hamsters. The substitute contained a common salt solution with drugs, starch and sugar to prevent clotting and leakage and to regulate the dog’s biochemistry.

Then his body temperature was lowered to 3 degrees centigrade (about 38 degrees Fahrenheit) and his circulation was arrested and the life-support pumps turned off for about 20 minutes.

After that, circulation was restarted. Miles was warmed up and the blood substitute was replaced with his own blood, which had been refrigerated during the procedure.

“Miles is very happy and perfectly healthy,” Segall said.

He said he plans additional research, including on monkeys, and to extend the freezing time to three hours or more.