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Science & Technology

Head transplants possible 'within two years'

February 27, 2015 | Comment icon 69 comments



Would you agree to a head transplant to save your life ? Image Credit: US Navy
A leading surgeon believes it will soon be possible to perform a real-life head transplant on a human.
It might sound like something out of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero, who has long promoted the idea that transplanting the head of one person on to the body of another is a viable concept, believes that medical science will have caught up with the premise within as little as two years.

The highly complex procedure, he argues, could extend the life of patients with advanced forms of cancer or with extensive muscular or nervous system degeneration.
Canavero detailed the entire procedure, which would involve placing the patient in to a coma for several weeks so that they don't move during the healing process, in a recent medical paper.

The recipient of the new body would already be able to move and feel their face when they awoke and would expect to be able to regain their mobility within the space of twelve months.

"If society doesn't want it, I won't do it," he said. "But if people don't want it, in the US or Europe, that doesn't mean it won't be done somewhere else. I'm trying to go about this the right way, but before going to the moon, you want to make sure people will follow you."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (69)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #60 Posted by Erowin 7 years ago
That of the new bodies DNA........think about that one. is your blood still yours or is it now all new and how will that effect the head area you kept with a different DNA? Boyaaah, **** just got deep. I do wonder if they would drain the donor body of blood and add all your own blood, or find someone with the same blood type and you would just use their blood? The different DNA thing wouldn't be too weird, because it happen naturally. Some people are chimeras and cannibalized a sibling in the womb. They come out normal looking and whole, but different areas of the body have different DNA. A wo... [More]
Comment icon #61 Posted by Nzo 7 years ago
Even if it does not work, it should reveal some extremely important knowledge. At the very least it can lead to people having their heads removed from their bodies and placed in suspended animation. Imagine having your body removed and having your brain which is contently alive and well hooked up to a virtual reality world. It might be as close as we get to immortality with the technology we have today. Imagine saving minds and brains like Stephen Hawking and placing that mind in a quantum computer virtual reality? At least until a suitable body can be found and the head placed back on it. I t... [More]
Comment icon #62 Posted by J. K. 7 years ago
Wouldn't the "new" body be paralyzed? I wouldn't think that the spinal cord could be attached.
Comment icon #63 Posted by Ryu 7 years ago
I don't understand, they did this with a monkey back in the 70's why is this new now ? I think someone addressed that particular issue; the head was indeed transplanted but no nerves were connected. A pump was used to keep the blood going. However I see some other issues, since we all have blood types, I can see a potential disaster if the cells ans such are attuned to one type of "blood" environment then subjected to another. Unless the transplants can only be done with those of compatible blood types there are going to be complications. Also the brain, with all its plasticity, is still going... [More]
Comment icon #64 Posted by DieChecker 7 years ago
Wouldn't the "new" body be paralyzed? I wouldn't think that the spinal cord could be attached. That would really suck. They do have those cybernetic limbs now that react to stimulus, such as jaw muscle twitches. I think if I was going to be a head transplant victim, I'd want to be put into something like a dalek, with the organs and such protected inside an armored shell, and at least some mobility.
Comment icon #65 Posted by DieChecker 7 years ago
What happens if they put a guys head onto a lady? What do you call a person getting a body transplant? Trans-body?
Comment icon #66 Posted by Harte 7 years ago
Why does science try to prolong life? I mean in 100 years the life expectancy will be doubled or even nonexistent and the human population will sky rocket , eventually leaving our already crippled planet sucked dry of all it's natural resources and animal life. What? He gets a new body, right? So put him to work. Harte
Comment icon #67 Posted by Timonthy 7 years ago
I'm all for this, at least he has a say in it. Read an article maybe a year ago which said this would happen in 2015. He's a brave guy, sure he wants to improve his life, but he is putting his life completely in the hands of the people performing the operation with no guaranteed outcome. Balls! In reference to animal head transplants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_transplant the outcome has success and failure in turn.
Comment icon #68 Posted by Rlyeh 7 years ago
Why does science try to prolong life? I mean in 100 years the life expectancy will be doubled or even nonexistent and the human population will sky rocket , eventually leaving our already crippled planet sucked dry of all it's natural resources and animal life. You could kill yourself if you prefer.
Comment icon #69 Posted by regeneratia 7 years ago
I am just waiting to be duped again.


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