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A neuroscientist argues that head transplantation is possible

A neuroscientist argues that head transplantation is possible

March 23, 2024

The head transplant (or body, depending on how you look at it) is a surgical procedure that has given rise to several films and television series, such as the classic Frankenstein or the Matt Groening series Futurama.

However, the famous publication Surgical Neurology International has informed a few days ago of the research carried out by Dr. Sergio Canavero at the University of Turin, which concludes that the head transplant is medically possible , and details the procedure by which it could be achieved.

Head transplant: science fiction or reality?

Dr. Canavero is based on a controversial investigation that took place in the year 1970 . One year after the arrival of the man to the Moon, Dr. Robert Whites managed to transplant the head of a rhesus monkey into the body of another specimen, as well as into dogs and rabbits where they were also successful, demonstrating that the reinsertion of the head in a body it is not impracticable.

Canavero says that it is necessary for this procedure to cool the animal's head and spine at 18ºC, and to make "clean cuts" using a super sharp-edged scalpel, with the aim of separate the two spinal cords and subsequently draining the blood from the head of the transplanted subject before joining the two spinal cords by means of an inorganic polymer, which functions as an adhesive.

In the experimentation, Canavero also affirms that it can be especially complicated to assure a correct integration of all the nervous fibers, but points out that a few correct connections would be sufficient to obtain a certain degree of voluntary control of the movements. The stimulation by electrical micro-discharges of the spinal cord (SCS) would also help to improve the plasticity of the nerve cells, which would result in a progressive takeover of the brain to be able to control and dominate its new body.

Canavero emphasizes that this procedure requires to be studied in depth in future, since they could give hope to people suffering from illnesses and severe illnesses.

It may be absurd to think about the possibility of transplanting a head, but the truth is that a review of the science of medicine in recent times attests that some procedures that seemed like science fiction, such as the face transplant, are today a reality. It may only be a matter of time before medical technology allows the first head transplant .

  • Source: The Verge

Scientists Want to Transplant a Human Head, Here's Why That's a Bad Idea (March 2024).

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