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World's first head transplant set for 2017

Posted on Monday, 14 September, 2015 | Comment icon 69 comments

There are severe doubts over the wisdom of attempting such a procedure. Image Credit: US Navy
The controversial surgical procedure is set to be attempted on a human patient in December 2017.
The key figure behind the experiment is Italian neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero who maintains that swapping the head of a donor with that of a living patient is now technically feasible.

The recipient of the new body will be 30-year-old Valery Spiridonov who suffers from a genetic muscle-wasting condition called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease.
"When I realized that I could participate in something really big and important, I had no doubt left in my mind and started to work in this direction," he said. "The only thing I feel is the sense of pleasant impatience, like I have been preparing for something important all my life."

Plans to attempt the procedure however have been met with fierce criticism from the medical community given the extremely high likelihood that it will either kill Spiridonov or render him completely unable to move at all.

"According to Canaveroís calculations, if everything goes to plan, two years is the time frame needed to verify all scientific calculations and plan the procedureís details," he said. "It isnít a race. No doubt, the surgery will be done once the doctor and the experts are 99 percent sure of its success."

Source: Discovery News | Comments (69)

Tags: Head Transplant, Sergio Canavero

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #60 Posted by Erowin on 14 September, 2015, 18:56
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 on 14 September, 2015, 18:57
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. on 14 September, 2015, 19:09
Wouldn't the "new" body be paralyzed? I wouldn't think that the spinal cord could be attached.
Comment icon #63 Posted by Ryu on 14 September, 2015, 20:34
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 on 14 September, 2015, 22:36
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 on 14 September, 2015, 22:38
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 on 15 September, 2015, 0:02
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 on 15 September, 2015, 9:32
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: the outcome has success and failure in turn.
Comment icon #68 Posted by Rlyeh on 15 September, 2015, 9:38
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 on 15 September, 2015, 17:49
I am just waiting to be duped again.

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