Even if you thought only Frankenstein could do it, doctors and scientists have promised the head transplant will be possible thanks to a procedure which does not affect the brain and doesn’t cause any damage. It seems that happened, as you can see in the video below.
According to Motherboard and New Scientist, Sergio Canavero, an Italian doctor has offered details about the progress he made in this direction together with Ren Xiaoping Harbin Medical University in China. Ren has invested many years in studying the procedure, experimenting on more than 1.000 mice. They were able to breathe and drink after beeing subjected to the 10 hours procedure but remained alive only a few minutes.
Now, according to Canavero, Ren’s team had a success with a monkey. Ren cooled the nerve system to -15 ° C to protect brain damage during while transplanting the head. Canavero claims the monkey survived the procedure without a neurological trauma of any kind, but the animal was euthanized after 20 hours due to ethical reasons, which we do not understand. Ren said, however, that the idea behind the experiment is to investigate how the brain can be supplied with blood to prevent the tissue from dying due to lack of oxygen and nutrients, not long-term survival.
The strange part is that Canavero spoke to the press before the actual work was published, an approach considered taboo in the scientific community. However, it seems that seven studies in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics and Surgery will be published and Motherboard and New Scientist already have confirmation that two of them were checked by the editors of the publications.
Michael Starr, CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics publisher, raised serious questions on the procedure ethics but maintains that his interest is focused on the possible applications of the procedure.
Apart from Ren and Canavero, there is another group of experts at the Konkuk University in South Korea which has the same goal. They have administered glycol polyethylene to mice that had problems with their backbones, and thanks to the substance the membranes were glued in place. As you can see in the video below, the animals were able to walk after the procedure.