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Comments on 'Life Support' Using The Whole Animal
Interesting design concept brings out the idea of using animals to help human beings with their medical problems in a very visual way. (Read the complete story)

"Not quite pairing, but, there was a passage in Frank Herbert's Dune series. (can't recall wich book) Where the mentat Thufir, is captured by the Baron Harkonnen, and in order to survive he was paired with a cat. The process of course, killing the cat. There's another reference, but for the life of me, I can't think of it."
(Galeanthropist 7/8/2008 10:25:34 AM)
"This is gross. Interesting, but gross."
(Zac Hunter 7/8/2008 10:36:08 AM)
"Actually, there was an interesting case that was recently reported that is kind of similar. A physician has intentionally infected himself with hookworms to determine if there is any benefit, as has been reported. Apparently, some people who are infected with hookworm rarely suffered from autoimmune-related illnesses. The physician theorizes "The allergic response evolved to help expel parasites, and we think the worms have found a way of switching off the immune system in order to survive,” Dr. David Pritchard said. “That’s why infected people have fewer allergic symptoms.”"
(Bill Christensen 7/8/2008 11:22:48 AM)
"Reminds me of the whole "kill the familiar, kill the witch" thing. Wasn't there some of that in "Golden Compass"?"
(Blue Monkey 7/8/2008 4:17:54 PM)
"In an episode of "House" in its first season, I think it was "Sports Medicine". House used a pig to filter a mans blood of heavy metals to save the mans life."
(Hugshug 7/8/2008 4:31:05 PM)
"What about E.T. and Elliot?"
( 7/9/2008 6:20:08 AM)
"Do non-"cute little animal" types count? There've been plenty of stories involving symbiots, of varying degrees of helpfulness and familiarity. The one that springs most quickly to mind is the one from David Weber's book: The Apocalypse Troll. Tho that symbiot looked like a slime mold, if it was separated from its host, it offered a fairly large amount of help to the host. (rapid healing/"Wolverine" like regeneration, effective near-immortality, enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, etc...) And in the MMORPG Anarchy Online, you can implant symbiots to provide stat/skill bonuses. (you can implant cybernetics, also, but the symbiots can be more useful, if you can get good ones) And the Geneforge games are even more closely fitting to this. They "create" creatures to do stuff that they need done, custom grown to fit whatever the task is. (need some general purpose tools? grow them. Need a dart gun? grow it.) And the Yuuzhan Vong in the Star Wars novels do this also. Tho they show the "evil" side of doing it."
(Ashley 7/9/2008 8:24:32 AM)
"Hugshug - this seems to be based on real science. There have been cases in which perfusion through an pig's liver can help stabilize patients with liver failure. Here's an article on Treatment of Hepatic Failure with ex Vivo Pig-Liver Perfusion. "ex Vivo" meaning that the organ is harvested from the pig, but at least it's possible."
(Bill Christensen 7/9/2008 10:22:25 AM)
"Ashley - I was thinking about symbionts as well. Human beings have vast numbers of bacteria living in the gut that live with us and help us digest our food, of course. Sfnal symbionts are close to what I was looking for."
(Bill Christensen 7/9/2008 10:28:21 AM)
"The babelfish from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy."
(Jon Watkins 7/10/2008 6:17:07 AM)
"Jon - that's a pretty good example. As I recall, the babelfish feeds on brainwave energy provided by the host."
(Bill Christensen 7/10/2008 7:01:36 AM)
"Startrek Deep Space Nine symbiots? Stargate badguys Gaould (in Jaffa hosts)? Starship Troopers neo dogs? His dark materials Deamons? Vampires? All close, but not quite the same. "
(Bajab 7/10/2008 8:44:00 PM)
"Now that I check again, I must admit that, while they use custom built creatures for all sorts of things, I wasn't able to find any case of one actually being "connected" to a person in the Geneforge games. They're basically just used as fantasy replacements for more conventional magic/tech devices and artifacts."
(Ashley 7/11/2008 6:35:23 PM)

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