The first transplant of a human head has been carried out on a corpse in China during an operation that lasted 18 hours it has been announced by Professor Sergio Canavero from Italy.
The transplant operation shows that it is possible for doctors to reconnect blood vessels, nerves and the spine and a head transplant between donors who are brain dead is next.
DR. FRANKENSTEIN IS NOT A FICTION ANYMORE
Professor Sergio Canavero said that the operation had shown that it was possible to reconnect a head that had been severed. He said that in May scientists had undertaken a head transplant on a rat and this had been a practice run for what has been a human experiment that has been very controversial.
Researchers used three different rats for each of the operations, a smaller one which was the donor and two bigger rats, one of which was the recipient and one the blood supply. In order for the doctors to be able to maintain the blood flowing to the donor’s brain, they had to connect blood vessels from the rat to the veins of a third via a silicon tube which was sent through a peristaltic pump. When the head of the rat had been transplanted onto the body of the second rat the researchers then connected the donor’s superior vena cava and thoracic aorta by vascular grafts onto the carotid artery and the extra-corporeal veins of the rat recipient.
Professor Canavero, who is the director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, revealed the human head transplant had taken place at a conference that was held in Vienna. He said that the transplant procedure had been undertaken by a medical team headed by Dr. Xiaoping Ren. Last year Dr. Ren managed to graft the head onto a monkey’s body.
FULL REPORT OF HEAD TRANSPLANT IS EXPECTED WITHIN DAYS
A full report of the procedure along with the time-frame of the live transplant by the Harbin Medical University team is expected in a few days. Talking at the conference, Canavero said that nature had dictated rules to us for too long. He went on to say that people are born, grow, age and then die. For many millions of years, human beings have evolved, and 100 billion have died.
He said that this was like genocide on a big scale but now is the age where humans will be able to take back their destiny into their own hands, and it is going to change everything at every level. He continued by saying that the first head transplant of a human has taken place and this was something that everyone had said was impossible to do, but it has been a success.
PROFESSOR CANAVERO HAS BEEN CALLED DR. FRANKENSTEIN
The shocking plans of Professor Canavero were first made public in 2015. Valery Spiridonov, a computer scientist from Russia who is severely handicapped, had been a volunteer to be the first human guinea pig. However, he now accepts that any hopes of his own head being grafted onto the body of a healthy person are now over. More than likely the first live human head transplant is going to take place on a person in China, and many volunteers have put their name forward.
In a study by the Harbin Medical University in China Professor Canavero and researchers built upon some earlier head transplant experiments when they wanted to find out how they would avoid damaging brain tissue throughout the operation along with immune rejection over the long term.
In September 2016 he had outlined what some people termed Frankenstein experiments to bring human corpses back to life when testing his techniques. He and his colleagues had talked about trials for testing if it was possible for them to reconnect the spinal cord of a person’s head to the body of another person and undertook tests that would stimulate the nervous system in corpses that were fresh with electrical pulses.
The whole aim of surgery was to cut the spinal cord and make repairs and then use magnetic or electrical stimulation to reanimate the nerves along with movement. Dr. Canavero along with colleagues wrote an article for Surgical Neurology International and was likened to the Frankenstein story where the professor had made use of electricity to bring a creature he has made up of body parts to life.
CRITICS SAY PLANS OF DR. CANAVERO ARE FANTASY AND HE IS CRAZY
Dr. Canavero had pointed out that during the 1800s corpses that belonged to criminals had been experimented on after they had been hanged and those tests had been successful. There are many critics of Canavero who say that his plans are nothing but fantasy. The director of medical ethics at the Langone Medical Center at the New York University said that Dr. Canavero was crazy.
President-Elect of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons said that he would not wish it on anyone and would not let the doctor do it to him as there are things that are a lot worse than death. There are many other experts who oppose the plans of Dr. Canavero and skeptics have said that the operation is still many years away from becoming a reality in a live human being. However, it does look as though Dr. Canavero doesn’t think this way.