Researchers at the North Carolina State University has developed a machine that can keep a heart beating outside the body. The potential medical benefit is huge, though for whatever reason I kept on thinking about Dr. Frankenstein:
"Researchers can obtain pig hearts from a pork processing facility and use the system to test their prototypes or practice new surgical procedures," says Andrew Richards, a Ph. D. student in mechanical engineering at NC State who designed the heart machine.
The computer-controlled machine, which operates using pressurized saline solution, also allows researchers to film the interior workings of the pumping heart - enabling them to ascertain exactly which surgical technologies and techniques perform best for repairing heart valves.
Oh, there's a video all right: