Every day your heart beats a 100,000 times
and your blood travels 12,000 miles.
Egyptians believed it wasn’t blood that travelled
they believed that the heart and other organs had wills of their own
and could move around independently inside the body.
In the Fourth Century BC, Aristotle
– who by all accounts look like a cross between a hipster and Rory McGrath –
众所周知 他长得像嬉皮士版的Rory McGrath
said the heart was the seat of intelligence, motion and sensation
and that it was a hot, dry organ.
Other organs, he thought,
like the brain and liver merely existed to keep the heart cool.
Around 275BC, a guy called Erasistratus
almost figured out the principle of circulation
but thought that the heart pump air
containing the animal spirits around the body.
Before you write him off as a dunce
it’s worth noting that after death the
heart and arteries don’t contain blood
as it pools in the veins
so this theory held up for about 500 years until Galen
– shown here having just walked into a plate glass window –
started prodding about in hearts.
He said, [bad Greek accent]
“The heart is, as it were,the hearthstone and source of the innate heat
by which the animal is governed.”
I wish they weren’t all Greeks
I can only really do German and French accents.
Galen felt the heart was secondary to the liver in importance,
Galen认为 在重要程度上 心脏是次于肝脏的
since it didn’t produce any humour.
The heart continued to be studied in Europe and Islam,
where in the 1200s, Ibn-al-Nafiz correctly traced pulmonary circulation
but he wasn’t very popular at parties and no one paid any attention.
So it wouldn’t be until 1628,
when English physicist William Harvey wrote On the Circulation of Blood,
that we would know that
the heart’s one role is the transmission of the blood
and its propulsion by means of the arteries to the extremities everywhere.
He once restarted an arrested pigeon’s heart by flicking it
Very scientific, isn’t it? Flick it.
He realised that blood had to be circulated
when he calculated the volume of blood being pumped by the heart.
The irony being that he could have learned from any butcher that
cutting antery would leave an animal
completely exsanguinated in a matter of minutes.
Amazingly, the effect of electricity on the heart
was being researched as early as the 1770s.
A British phycisian called Squires
stimulating the heart of a young girl with electricity in 1774
and a Danish physicist called Abildgaard
reanimating a chicken after trying electric shocks on various bits of it.
Don’t play with your food.
In 1797, Alexander von Humboldt
1797年 Alexander von Humboldt
found a dead bird in his garden and brought it back to life
by placing electrodes in its beak and rectum.
He then tried the experiment on himself, with less favourable results…
During the French Revolution
Bichat and Nysten used electricity
to restart the hearts of some of the many beheaded bodies cluttering up the place.
Astonishingly, pacemakers were being trialled as early as the late 1920s
developed independently in Australia and America.
In 1957, a dog with an artificial heart survives…
for 90 whole minutes.
In 1963 the first patent for an artificial heart
is granted to a man called Paul Winchell, a ventriloquist –
now there’s a novelty act
Winchell’s work is aided by Dr Henry Heimlich –
yes, that Heimlich!
Four years later, a South African called Louis Washkansky,
4年后 一位名叫Louis Washkansky的南非人
he survived for 18 days after the world’s first successful heart transplant.
Only in the 1980s did the procedure become more successful and widespread
直到1980年代 这一手术才更成功 更广泛
and now 300 are carried out in the UK every year.
Did you know that if you take a single heart cell
and put it in a petri dish
it would have a pulse
and if you took one from another heart
it would have a different pulse
but if you then push them together
so that they were touching
That’s kind of beautiful, isn’t it?