A thousand U.S. scientists in Manhattan last week saw dead animals
brought back to life. It was the first public U.S. showing of a film
picturing an experiment by Soviet biologists. They drained the blood
from a dog. Fifteen minutes after its heart had stopped beating, they
pumped the blood back into its lifeless body with a machine called an
autojector, serving as artificial heart and lungs. Soon the dog
stirred, began to breathe; its heart began to beat. In twelve hours it
was on its feet, wagging its tail, barking, fully recovered.
This picture was shown to a Congress of American-Soviet Friendship. The
film explained the work of a group of Russian scientists under Dr.
Serge Bryukhonenko at the U.S.S.R. Institute of Experimental Physiology
and Therapy at Moscow. The scientific audience thought this work might
move many supposed biological impossibilities into the realm of the
The autojector, a relatively simple machine, has a vessel (the "lung")
in which blood is supplied with oxygen, a pump that circulates the
oxygenated blood through the arteries, another pump that takes blood
from the veins back to the "lung" for more oxygen. Two other dogs on
whom the experiment was performed in 1939 are still alive and healthy.
The autojector can also keep a dog's heart beating outside its body,
has kept a decapitated dog's head alive for
hours—the head cocked its ears at a noise and licked its chops when
citric acid was smeared on them. But the machine is incapable of
reviving a whole dog more than about 15 minutes after its blood is
drained—body cells then begin to disintegrate.
Laboratory Faith. Eminent U.S. scientists who have visited Russia gave
last week's Congress a well-documented report on Soviet scientific
In Russia schoolchildren are constantly confronted with posters
proclaiming that science will solve the world's ills. Popular science
magazines are widely read. Red science is a vast, centrally directed
enterprise, with the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences at the top and
hundreds of institutes working on assigned problems. No scientific
frontier is neglected. Red scientists are well paid, get special
vacation privileges, are rewarded with prizes up to 200,000 rubles for
outstanding work, rank with writers in prestige.
Practical Works. Among the great recent works of Soviet science are the
explorations of some 1,200 geologists. Yale's Geologist Carl O. Dunbar
reported that they have uncovered vast stores of metals, minerals and
oil, keeping the Soviet war machine well supplied despite the temporary
loss of resources to the Nazi invader. Since 1939 they have tripled
known coal reserves.
In chemistry the Russians have pioneered in the preparation and use of
blood plasma, in synthetic rubber, photochemistry, explosives, helium,
winter lubricants for tanks and planes. Dr. Wendell M. Stanley, famed
virus investigator of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research,
told of a new Russian antiserum that has given the best results yet in
preventing influenza. Soviet scientists have found ways to extract
iodine cheaply from the foul waters of oilfields, sugar from
watermelons, vitamin C from pine-tree needles for hungry Leningrad.
Important contributions have been made to molecular physics, optics,
Outstanding, however, and ranking with that of the U.S., is the Soviet
work in botany and agriculture. Among many new crops are green, red and
black cotton. The Russians have found a method of planting winter wheat
(in unplowed stubble) that enables it to withstand Siberian
temperatures of 40 below zero. By crossing Merino ewes with wild mountain
rams, they have bred a hybrid mountain sheep that bears fine fleece
wool. Through their pioneering Institute of Artificial Insemination,
Russian biologists have produced 50,000,000 farm animals from
Because U.S. and U.S.S.R. soils, climate, crops, livestock and even
landscapes are much alike, scientists of both countries have been eager
to exchange information. Last week at the Congress, Dr. Charles E.
Kellogg, U.S. Soil Survey chief, declared: "The Russian and
American peoples have a splendid record of mutual aid . . . since the
American Revolution. . . . The future promises even more."