Info on a human "experiment" performed in Nanking. WARNING: Disturbing content.

…once again, I’ll put up a big, honkin’ WARNING.

I’m going to be asking a question about a medical “experiment” performed by Japanese “doctors” during the Rape of Nanking.

If this type of subject disturbs you, read no further. Just…don’t. Go read Cafe Society, go walk the dog, hug your children, do ANYTHING but read what’s to follow.

I’m not kidding. I’ll swear to any deity you can name, I’m not kidding.
And so…

(last warning)

…I seem to recall reading in the newspaper—I think it was an article about the book “The Rape of Nanking,” when it was first published—of a particularly horrific medical experiment performed by Unit-731 in Nanking. Basically, Chinese women were taken prisoner, raped until they were pregnant, and then infected with various biological agents. Then, a transparent “window” was surgically implanted in the abdomen, so the effects of the infection on the developing fetus could be directly observed.

:eek: :Holy 'f’ing F:

Now, what I’m asking is, are my memories of that article accurate—was such an “experiment” actually performed, as described?

Does medsci even have that sort of window?

I can’t imagine that any artificial “window” would not have been rejected by the subject’s body… the resulting immune response would almost certainly have killed her before any of the agents she was exposed to could.

Sounds like something they might have tried. They certainly did every other unspeakable thing:

Not to mention that the problem is more complex than just replacing a section of skin with something transparent; the abdominal wall is muscular, then there’s the womb itself - I’m going to say that such an intrustive and traumatic process would almost certainly cause a miscarriage (if not death of the adult subject).

I have a vague recollection of having seen a cow in a country fair with some plastic window which allowed the public to see into the stomach . . . or something. All I remember is seeing a cow with a piece of plastic and you really couldn’t see much of anything behind it. It is a very vague recollecting from my childhood and I have no ide what the purpose of that was.

Sounds like something they might have tried.

However, the “I wouldn’t be surprised if…” argument is not actual evidence.

A plastic window in a cow’s stomach (called a fistula, if my memory serves) are quite commonly used in bovine research. I’ve seen an entire herd with them installed.

I don’t recall reading about that in Hal Gold’s Unit 731: Testimony. But if I recall correctly, they’re standard procedure was to simply infect a large number of people, then every few days pick out a new victim to strap down, dissect (unanesthetized) and examine. If these experiments were done on pregnant women to examine the fetuses, they probably would have used the same method.

If you think that’s sickening, just wait til you hear what happened after the war to the guys who ran the epidemiology and vivisection departments.

They returned to Japan and went on to found Green Cross, which became one of Japan’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and lived out the rest of their lives as millionaire corporate leaders who were never punished for their actions.

OT, and without a cite I also remember reading that during the same period the Japanese performed complete human blood transfusions with horse and pigs blood.

not nice.

Now that’s a womb with a view. <ducks>

Any college or university with a large agriculture or animal husbandry program (alma mater Virginia Tech comes to mind) will likely have such research going on. Not only can you observe the digestion process in the cow’s stomach(s), the window is typically constructed such that it can be opened and contents removed for analysis and, I suppose, additives can be, well, added. While I have not seen one, it’s likely a similar fistula could be implanted into the bovine uterus. Similar techniques on smaller animals such as sheep, goats and pigs seem logical although IANAF.

Since the stomach is also a muscular organ, by extension, I see no fundamental reason why a similar procedure could not also be performed on a human female’s uterus. Doctors?

Given the serious nature of the OP, I shouldn’t be amused. But I am.

Yeah, just like an earlobe or a nostril would reject a piece of metal . . .

So much for fighting ignorance. :rolleyes:

Are you implying that bodies don’t often reject piercings? Or that a tiny puncture mark is no different from a large viewing window? Maybe I’m misunderstanding your post…

Not too different to the Nazi concentration camp “doctors” who went on to head up the fragments of IGF (Bayer, Roche etc.)…

crap, that should be Hoechst (now merged with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer and known as Aventis), not Roche.

I’ve resisted posting this hoping I could find a good reference, but I’ve been unable to. I remember reading of an incident many years ago (I think from Australia) where a man suffered a serious abdominal injury and, although he recovered, he ended up with an opening into his stomach (more or less like the cows mentioned above). The doctor involved did many experiments on digestion, taking things in and out of his stomach. Eventually the patient got tired of being a lab experiment and disappeared, but I think it is quite possible to put openings in many parts of the body if you don’t worry about medical ethics (or normal human feelings).

You know, the interesting part to me – which never occurred to me until just now, is that traditional Shinto/Zen Buddhist beliefs reject many kinds of vivisection used in the West. I don’t know the exact current situation (I’ve read some interesting Japanese transplant-related research recently), but just 10 years ago, almost no transplants were done in Japan, due to religious tradition. Even today, most Japanese in need of transplants went overseas, because surgeons who might be willing to do transplants had little experience compared to comparable teams overseas.

Perhaps this simply reflects a temporary social aberration (it’s not uncommon to dehumanize the enemy in time of war), but when I think of the disdain with which even leatherworking and other ‘dead animal’ occupations are treated in many Buddhist sects, I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t just deliberate rampant viciousness (also not unheard of in time of war) If you read the pages from the soldiers journals which were printed on the front page of the Asahi Shinbun and … the other large daily newspaper, whose name eludes me at the moment… you begin to realize that just about every Japanese civilian was perfectly well aware of the details of the atrocities.

I’m not anti-Japanese. I just think this is instructive about the true range of ‘human nature’, which we often tend to idealize for our own comfort.

While it’s not “rejection” in the commonly thought of sense (as in organ or tissue transplantation), there are all sorts of things that can happen whenever you place a foreign object in the body. Infection, inflammation, corrosion, coagulation cascades, an immune response . . . it’s a big deal in the biomaterials field. Unfortunately, my biomaterials book is in my cube at work (and I can’t access the boards from work :frowning: ). It does have some nifty micrographs of sections of tissue with an adjacent implant. I specifically remember breast implant stuff: when the immune response gets activated, all sorts of nasty chemicals (such as free radicals) can attack the foreign surface and start to break it apart. Once you have little particles, inflammation gets worse.

This doesn’t happen with ear and nose rings because A)they are primarily cartilaginous structures, with very little blood contact at B)the metals used in piercings have been designed to limit such reactions.

I very much doubt this sort of thing has occured. I’ve seen cows with fistulas in the stomach, but the cover is usually an opaque plastic. And while the stomach is somewhat muscular, the uterus–especially in a pregnant woman, is many more times so. Considering that a foreign object in the uterus (an IUD) will inhibit pregnancy, I would think that such a window would cause a miscarriage. But IANAEvil Scientist.