With Frankenweenie, acclaimed director Tim Burton finally brought a labor of love to the big screen in glorious 3D (and black and white). Centered on a tale of a reanimated Franken-dog, the film is grounded pretty heavily in science fiction. Or so we thought.
The folks at Movies.com caught up with Stram Center for Integrative Medicine Director Ronald Stram, M.D., who explained that Burton may not be as crazy as we all think.
In the dark kiddie flick, a young boy brings his dead dog Sparky back to life more than a day after his death with the help of electricity. According to Stram, the situation isn't entirely implausible—assuming the dearly departed pup is kept at very cool temperatures, of course:
"You know, it's not all that far-fetched. The term in the emergency department is, 'No one is dead until they're warm and dead.' So typically what it is, is when you start getting back their cardiac activity, the start of it is that their cardiac activity is very abnormal - it doesn't pump well. So you would shock them using electricity to get them in a sustained pattern rhythm. So yeah, that concept is Hollywoodized, but certainly that's a concept that could be used. You could use electricity - once you've warmed someone up - to get their body rhythm in the correct state that it would function normally...
There are reports of people that have been frozen or in a very low thermic state for two to three days, and you can then bring them back. Essentially what you do is you rewarm them at a very slow rewarming rate. In other words, you wouldn't have them in a frozen state because it would shock them - because they would still be in that low metabolic frozen state. Especially when you're looking at cryogenics, they're frozen at a temperature that's very low - it's 150 degrees below freezing. Rewarming them may take a day to two days. You'd want to do it in a way that doesn't cause harm to the body."
Hmm, sounds ... interesting.
Does anyone else think this line of study could be the first step toward the zombie apocalypse?