Friday, March 24, 2006

Patently Silly

Found a link for a website called Patently Silly that features submissions to the U.S. Patent Office that are, well, stupid.

Though not featured on the website, one of my favorite patents is Chet Fleming's Device for perfusing an animal head.

This invention relates to a device, referred to herein as a 'cabinet,' which will provide physical and biochemical support for an animal's head which has been 'discorporated' or 'discorped' (i.e., severed from its body). This device can be used to supply a discorped head with oxygenated blood and nutrients, by means of tubes connected to arteries which pass through the neck. After circulating through the head, the deoxygenated blood returns to the cabinet by means of cannulae which are connected to veins that emerge from the neck. A series of processing components will remove carbon dioxide and replenish the oxygen level in the blood, and return the replenished blood to the discorped head via cannulae attached to arteries. If desired, waste products and other metabolites may be removed from the blood, and nutrients, therapeutic drugs, experimental drugs, and other substances may be added to the blood.

The cabinet will provide physical support for the head, by means of a collar around the neck, pins or other devices attached to one or more vertebrae, or similar mechanical means. If desired, the spine may be left attached to the discorped head.

The support provided to the discorped head will prolong various natural metabolic activities in the head after it has been severed from the body. This will allow various types of analyses to be performed on the head (including pharmaceutical, toxicological, hormonal, and neurological analysis) without being affected by various metabolites generated by digestive and other internal organs when such analyses are performed on intact animals.

The severed head preferably should retain all of the sensory organs, and the vocal cords if desired. Depending on the surgical procedures used to sever the head from the body and the type of blood processing and drugs used during and after the operation, the discorped head might experience a period of consciousness after it has been severed from the body.

The best part is that the patent consistantly says "animal" but the illustrations are of a human head.

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