We shall soon go for head and body transplants: Italian neuroscientist believes
Just when we thought the day was out of tech news in came this one, well an Italian neuroscientist
believes he’s figured out how to do a full human head transplant or body transplant. Sound like some kind of horror movie thing but seems it is all true. In a recent paper, Dr. Sergio Canavero of the University of Turin explicates how the procedure would work, describing how a “clean cut” with an “ultra-sharp blade” could leave the two severed spinal cords in the condition to be re-attached.
The neuroscientist is basing his procedure on Dr. Robert White’s shocking 1970 transplant of the head of
one rhesus monkey onto the body of another, pictured below. In his paper, published in the open access journal Surgical Neurology International, Canavero outlines a plan to cool the subjects’ head and spine to 18ºC, use “clean cuts” to sever the two spinal cords, then drain the blood from the transplanted head before fusing the two spinal cords together with an inorganic polymer “glue.” He cites supporting research in dogs and guinea pigs showing that the reattachment ought to be possible.
We still have to admit that this all sounds incredibly far-fetched, but Canavero thinks it’s a “feasible enterprise,” and given the immense complexity of surgical procedures like full face transplants like the one done recently in Poland, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we see something like this in
the real world. With stringent cultures allover the world, there would obviously be enormous ethical implications involved in a full-body transplant, but Canavero insists that the procedure is a worthwhile subject for further research.