|62605. Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:29 pm
Does Boris Yeltsin have drip-dry veins?
HE'S DRYING OUT
HE'S DRIED OUT
Maybe he does, and maybe he doesn't.
In 1996, Boris Yeltsin's life was saved by US surgeon Michael DeBakey, who performed quintuple heart bypass surgery on the then Russian President, after which Yeltsin called him "a magician of the heart". DeBakey is famous (amongst many other things) for inventing the dacron graft, an artificial vein made of the material better known to us in Britain as terylene or crimplene, traditionally advertised as 'drip-dry' or 'non-iron'. DeBakey created the dacron graft in 1953, using his wife's sewing machine. Whether he rigged up Boris with one of these johnnies is not known.
DeBakey’s other claim to fame is that he invented the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H) used during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was born to Lebanese Christian immigrants in 1908, the same year as Bette Davis and Valentine Dyall. By the time he went to high school he had read the entire set of Encyclopaedia Britannica. He has published more than 1,300 articles and books on medical subjects (including several best sellers) and served as advisor to almost every US President in the last 50 years. In the early 1960s, President Johnson offered him the job of Secretary of State for Health, Education and Welfare, but he declined. He has performed more than 60,000 cardiovascular operations. DeBakey has twice saved the life of Jerry Lewis – once from an ulcer in 1978 and once with double bypass heart surgery in 1982. In 1939, he was one of the first people to identify the link between smoking and lung cancer. On May 28th 1965 he was the front cover of Time Magazine. In 1964, he performed the first heart-bypass operation. In 1966, he was the first to successfully transplant a partially artificial heart. In 1969, he received the highest civilian honour the US can bestow – the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. He is an honorary member of the Royal Society, His motto is “Strive for nothing less than excellence”.
Dacron grafts are usually tubular and come in either woven or knitted form. The woven sort has smaller pores and doesn’t leak as much blood. Dacron is chemically inert so is easily tolerated by the body.
DuPont no longer sells Dacron for medical uses – the company has been sued too often.
Dacron is the US name for the synthetic fabric known in the UK as Terylene or Crimplene. In Germany, it's called Trevira.
The material was a British invention, developed and patented as Terylene by John Rex Whinfield (1901-66) and JT Dickinson working for ICI in 1941. DuPont purchased the US rights in 1945. By 1953, DuPont chemical engineers had worked out how to do it themselves and patented their ‘Fiber V’ under the new name Dacron.
Today, Dacron is used to make both sails and rigging for sailing boats. It is sun proof, UV resistant and long-lasting and its extremely high melting point makes it viable even in the hottest conditions. Its other advantage is the silky feel of the fibre. However, it is expensive and available only in white.
Other uses for Dacron include: plastic bottles, wallpaper, nappies, aquarium nets, bras for the fuller figure, bow strings for archery, mountaineering ropes, fishing line, gliders, inflatables for land, air and sea, soft tops for convertibles such as Porsche and Alfa Romeo, tyres, upholstery and Barbie dolls.
Virtually all magnetic recording tape is based on Dacron.
A racehorse called Crimplene won the Irish 1,000 Guineas in 2000 and went on to win the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, the Vodafone Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the German 1,000 Guineas.
A movie called Crimplene (1996) directed by Michelle Salamon concerns two Crimplene cushions on a sofa whose comfortable oblivion is interrupted by a Crimplene angel who reveals a world of possiblities.
TERRIBLE SIXTIES ADS OF MEN IN POLYESTER SHIRTS
Dacron is formally known as polyethylene terephthalate, or polyester, or PET for short. The chemical formula for dacron (or crimplene or terylene) is O2CC6H4CO2C2H4.