The beat goes on. but does it have to? Two groundbreaking doctors at the Texas Heart Institute don’t seem to think it needs to. The heart beats, and creates our pulse, because the tissue itself needs time to gather strength for the next downbeat, the next contraction, so for a fraction of a second no blood is moving, until it does again.

Scientists have been trying to copy the design of the human heart with pulsing replicas for quite a long time now. And none of them before Dr Billy Cohn, and Dr Bud Frazier installed a  pulse-less  turbine into Craig Lewis. Actually the doctors had done the same procedure in over 38 calves before moving on to people. but the heart is removed, and two  ventricular assist devices were put in its place. The devices aren’t new, but the use is.

The doctors contend and proved with Craig’s heart replacement that the body doesn’t need a pulse. In fact  Craig  was shown to have  flat-lined.  There is no heartbeat, no EKG readings… But he was alive and kicking.  Unfortunately  the disease which ruined his heart later that same month took his other organs, and he passed away. But the wall has been breached.

This is awesome and a bit odd all at the same time. But then again so is the idea of fixed wing flight. Think about all the funny old movies we have seen with planes that tried to fly by flapping their wings. We laugh now… but how else could you fly. Who says we need a pulse to live? This is neat stuff!

Heart With No Beat Offers Hope Of New Lease On Life : NPR.