Controversial Italian Surgeon Will Conduct World’s First Human Head Transplant Within Next Few Months

Posted: May 1 2017, 12:08pm CDT | by , Updated: May 1 2017, 12:13pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Controversial Italian Surgeon will Conduct World’s First Human Head Transplant within Next Few Months
Courtesy of Ooam

Surgeon just transplanted a second head to a rat. The next target is human

Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero has just transplanted a second head to a rat. Now, the controversial scientist is planning for the world’s first transplantation of a human head.

Canavero made headlines around two years ago with the claim that he would attach a person’s head onto someone else’s body and the procedure will be done within the next three years. A Russian man Valery Spiridonov was also selected as a volunteer for the risky procedure. The 32 year-old Russian was suffering from a chronic disease that causes muscles to waste away and leads to disability.

The bold claim from Canavero caught the attention of the scientific community but most experts agreed that such a procedure would never be successful in the current scenario.

Now, Canavero has conducted an experiment alongside another surgeon Xiaoping Ren and revealed the details of how they have given a mouse a second head. The two-headed rat, however, survived for only 36 hours. Similar experiment was also conducted on a dog but its details have not been provided yet. Despite the low survival rate of the rat, Dr Canavero claims that it is a crucial step forward towards head transplants on humans.

In the most recent interview with German magazine Ooom, Canavero reveals that he is aiming to conduct a human head transplant within the next 10 months. The procedure will be performed in China and it will not involve Russian Valery Spiridonov but a Chinese citizen. According to the neurosurgeon, the procedure will not only fundamentally change medicine but also the lives of millions of people in wheelchairs.

“It creates a new situation that will certainly not be easy, but think about what that means. There are practically no immune reactions or rejections. We could attempt to reawaken cryogenically frozen brains,” Canavero told Ooom. “What may be problematic, however, is that no aspect of your original external body remains the same. Your head is no longer there; your brain is transplanted into an entirely different skull.”

Canavero has already started to assemble a team of surgeons for this procedure. The idea is that they will freeze a body at minus 196 degrees Celsius and submerge it in liquid nitrogen. When the first human head will be transplanted to another person no later than 2018, the team will attempt to revive the first frozen head. For the initial process, Canavero has contacted an American company that specializes in deep freezing and storing bodies after death.

Canavero claims that world’s first head transplant poses far fewer surgical and medical obstacles than previously assumed.

The exact schedule for the head transplant procedure will reportedly be revealed at a press conference in China in next two months.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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