Revital Cohen designed the Life Support project to show how animals could be transformed into alternative, low-cost medical assistant devices and a part of a more holistic health care strategy to include medical animals in treatment:
Cohen outlines a plan to use greyhounds that are retired from racing as a ventilation aid for humans with respiratory problems. The dog would replace a mechanical ventilator by running at an object it is trained to chase using the pressure of its vacillating chest to pump air into the patient’s lungs – a non-invasive method of providing aid.
Interestingly, Cohen also prototyped a method for sheep to act as a natural dialysis machine for humans. To start, a lab will take the bone marrow tissue of the selected patient and the major histocompatibility complex, and plant the patients DNA bundle in a test tube sheep. For the rest of that animal’s life, it can serve safely as the blood-cleaner.