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Human head transplant operation to be attempted as soon as 2017

06-13-2015, 02:01 PM #1
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Surgeon proposes human head transplant operation as soon as 2017

Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy is presenting his proposal to use brain-dead organ donors to test a head-transplant technique.

Quote:Is a human head transplant really possible?
Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy says it is, and he is presenting his proposal today, at the annual conference of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons in Annapolis, Maryland.

Canavero intends to use brain-dead organ donors to test the technique and says he could be ready to attempt the operation by 2017. Not surprisingly, there are a number of rather large hurdles he must clear before he will be close to even trying it.

Here's what you need to know:

Who would put themselves forward for such a crazy operation?
Canavero says he has volunteers. One of them, a Russian man called Valery Spiridonov, is reportedly going to appear with Canavero at the meeting today.

How does Canavero propose to fuse the spinal cords?
He intends to use a chemical called polyethylene glycol, which has been shown to prompt the growth of spinal cord nerves in animals. Whether this is enough to restore motor function between a severed head and a new body is a completely open question – and most experts we spoke to were highly sceptical it could be done.

Why are we calling this procedure a head transplant rather than a body transplant?
The head transplant moniker is partly a hangover from monkey and dog experiments of the last century. This was how the surgeons that carried out those experiments referred to the procedure, and it stuck.

Technically, calling it a body transplant would be more accurate because the head is representative of the person receiving the new body part. But it's not a whole body transplant. That term is usually used to describe a procedure in which the brain of one organism is transplanted into the body – and skull – of another.

By calling Canavero's proposed surgery a head transplant it makes it clearer that this involves the head and the brain inside.

What's the difference between brain and head transplants?
A brain transplant would involve removing the brain from the skull and placing it in a donor skull. It is more difficult than a head transplant because of the complex surgery to separate the brain and blood supply without damaging delicate tissue.

Could the transplant technique work for a cryogenically frozen head?
No. The proposed technique requires a healthy human head and brain. It is not yet known whether it is possible to "defrost" a cryogenically frozen head and resurrect healthy brain tissue.

Even if the surgery works, wouldn't it be psychologically damaging?
Some people who have received face or limb transplants mourn the loss of their old body part or feel that their self image is conflicted. Studies show that inputs from our body, such as a heartbeat or rumbling stomach, can influence our will power, emotions and languageMovie Camera. Who knows whether the person who comes out of the operating room would be the same as the one who went in.

Would there be any benefits apart from getting a healthier body?
If the recipient head is older than the donor body, they may get a rejuvenating boost. Infusions of young blood can raise physical endurance and cognitive function in older animals. A study is now seeing if young blood has the same effect on people with Alzheimer's.

I'm a registered organ donor. Could my body be used for this?
Each country has its own rules. In the UK, joining the register would not automatically allow your body to be used. "If a person needs something not specified on our forms, we would ask a potential donor's family to consent," says an NHS spokesperson. "We would only approach a family if the planned procedure had ethical approval."

Sauce: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27...XxuBlVVhBc

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06-13-2015, 02:14 PM #2
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I saw this article a while ago...

Pure Sci-fi if you ask me.. they can't even give back mobility to paraplegics let alone transplant a full head.

Seems like the premise for a Bollywood Sci-Fi movie.
This post was last modified: 06-17-2015, 07:07 AM by Tarikko.

“The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only.”

― Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History

06-13-2015, 06:17 PM #3
Corvus Metus
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I remember seeing this before, when a lot of people question if it was viral marketing for Metal Gear Solid 5.  The doctor who wants to perform the surgery looks a lot like the doctor in the game,  the doctor calls the surgery HEAVEN, and a location in MGS is Outer Heaven.   The whole thing SOUNDS like something you'd find in Metal Gear...

But truth is stranger than fiction.  Absolutely insane this is actually being attempted.

I've come to see in the Land of the Free,  there's only a future for the chosen few.
Billy Bragg - To Have And To Have Not

06-16-2015, 08:40 PM #4
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Where's Rod Serling?  I'm hearing Twilight Zone music.

This is insanity.

06-16-2015, 09:23 PM #5
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(06-13-2015, 02:14 PM)Tarikko Wrote:  they can't even give back mobility to paraplegics let alone transplant a full head.


06-17-2015, 12:01 PM #6
Kung Fu
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This gave me a good chuckle. Perhaps it will be more feasible in the next, I don't know 500 years.

Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu alaihi wasalam) said:

"My similitude and that of the life of this world is that of a traveler who took a rest at mid-day under a shade of a tree and then left it."       (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim)