This fairly graphic video shows early scientific experiments with keeping organs alive outside of the body. The Soviets went so far as to keep a decapitated dog’s head alive and it appears to be mostly functional. Remember that this is in the ’40s and animals were not viewed as they are today, at the time this was groundbreaking science. We have moved so far beyond these kind of experiments but these are what led to the advancements of today. If you want to skip ahead to the dog head it appears around 5:30.
(Video from youtube.com)
Here’s the whole thing if you’re interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbG9TJTD7Ug I am both impressed and incredibly saddened by this =/