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Science & Technology

'Head transplant' surgeons claim progress

By T.K. Randall
March 31, 2019 · Comment icon 20 comments



Is it really possible to transfer a head from one body to another ? Image Credit: PD - Mikael Haggstrom
Two controversial surgeons aiming to transplant a human head have reported spinal surgery success in animals.
Xiaoping Ren from China and Sergio Canavero from Italy have published a new study in which they have reported successfully repairing 'irreversible' spinal-cord injuries in dogs and monkeys.

If true, the work represents a significant step towards their ultimate goal of transplanting the head of a live human patient from one body to another - something that has never been done before.

According to the report, the two surgeons were able to 'fully transect' the spinal cords of the animals to the point where they were even able to walk again following the surgery.

Xiaoping and Canavero have described the breakthrough as 'unprecedented'.
That said however, it should come as no surprise that their work has been met with a significant degree of skepticism from the medical community.

As things stand, it is unclear whether or not they have actually succeeded in treating dogs and monkeys to the extent claimed, nor that such a procedure could ever work in humans.

Their goal of carrying out a head transplant is even more questionable - both morally and practically.

Suffice to say, it is not a procedure anyone is likely to want to go through with.

"I would not wish this on anyone," said Dr Hunt Batjer of the American Association for Neurological Surgeons. "I would not allow anyone to do it to me as there are a lot of things worse than death."

Source: USA Today | Comments (20)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by Impedancer 4 years ago
Haha yes then hunt them down†brings a whole nother meaning to giving head..†
Comment icon #12 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
I can "claim progress" on my time machine. I don't want to know how they came upon dogs and monkeys with irreversible spinal injuries...† †
Comment icon #13 Posted by Kenemet 4 years ago
I'm calling hoax. In order to be able to successfully transplant a head, you have to be able to regrow nerves.† We're not to that stage yet.†
Comment icon #14 Posted by Carnoferox 4 years ago
Most of these too-good-to-be-true Chinese science stories are hoaxes, so I also see no reason to trust this one.
Comment icon #15 Posted by TripGun 4 years ago
Too complex, come back 1000 year
Comment icon #16 Posted by esoteric_toad 4 years ago
Since we cannot restore nerve endings in the spine to restore those that are paralyzed it is beyond obvious this is a ridiculous BS claim. These 'doctors' keep the story going though, every few months another claim and every few months these stupid "news" sites pick it up. I guess it is a good way to keep your name out there.
Comment icon #17 Posted by EBE Hybrid 4 years ago
My own time machine is getting there. It's powered by beer, usually 10 beers will propel you 6 hours into the future. Unfortunately I can't always predict where I will materialize and the effects of temporal displacement are headache and nausea!
Comment icon #18 Posted by danydandan 4 years ago
You guys might not be able to restore nerve endings, but I can.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Golden Duck 4 years ago
Der Łbermorgen†is nigh
Comment icon #20 Posted by tmcom 4 years ago
It is common practice when you want to pump and dump a Penny stock, or push up the price on a junk stock.


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