Mental Floss

Healthy as a horse, but without a pulse

Mangesh Hattikudur

The Tech Review has a great article that I don't fully understand, about a new type of artificial heart that doesn't beat. While there are some good artificial hearts on the market, the article states that they're big, and unwieldy, and you need a large chest cavity to be able to use one (in essence, they're inappropriate for women). The new continuous flow model, which is considerably smaller, also has much fewer parts, making mechanical wear and tear far less of an issue. Designed by "Bud" Frazier, a prominent heart surgeon and innovator of cardiac devices at the Texas Heart Institute, the continuous flow devices have already been tested on cows.

"You put this in cattle and they stand up and moo and eat and wonder why everyone is looking at them so weird," says William Cohn, a collaborator on the research and director of minimally invasive surgical technology at the Texas Heart Institute.