Warning: The following article contains images and video that may be considered NSFW.
Today, in veterinary schools across the nation, it is an important yet unfortunate necessity for veterinarians in training to use real dogs for procedures called “terminal surgeries.” As you can imagine, these procedures, which allow veterinarians to practice how to perform life-saving operations on real dogs, always end with the dogs being put down. But this doesn’t need to be the case.
Enter SynDaver: the synthetic cadaver company — which first debuted on Shark Tank — that wants to crowdfund $24 million dollars in order to assemble a small army of synthetic cadaver dogs (replicanines?) to replace real dogs in terminal surgeries.
SynDaver’s new effort, recently reported on by News 13, aims to curb terminal surgery-related dog deaths by allowing veterinarians to use hyper-realistic synthetic dog cadavers, complete with “water, fibers, and salts [that] mimic the properties of living organisms… [as well as] nearly every bodily structure and anatomical component that is found in a living dog.”
The synth pups’ IndieGoGo campaign page notes that the project is a collaboration between SynDaver and the University of Florida, and that they want to make 1,000 copies of the prototype, which is seen in the video and image gallery below.
With 1,000 copies, SynDaver says that they’ll be able to give 20 models to 49 universities (presumably with 20 back-ups), which would “put an end to this practice [of conducting terminal surgeries].” And if the price sounds high, SynDaver does note that each model takes “several hundred man-hours to build.”
As of right now, SynDaver only has a drop in the bucket (about $3,000 as of this moment), but there are still two months left in the campaign, and it is a flexible goal — meaning SynDaver will still receive the money donated even if they don’t reach $24 million. Although it may be worth the investment anyway, especially if you live by the golden rule and think that Elon Musk is on to something when he says that humans could potentially become pets for AI one day.
What do you think about SynDaver’s efforts to end terminal surgeries? Are they on the right track? Should we apologize for giving you nightmares of skinless synthetic dogs that are still smiling for some reason? Let us know in the comments below!
Images: SynDaver Labs