A British neuroscientist has spoken enthusiastically about the possibility of performing a head transplant for patients with debilitating illnesses.
A scene from Mel Brooks’s classic spoof, Young Frankenstein.
An Italian neuroscientist has spoken enthusiastically about the possibility of performing a head transplant for patients with debilitating illnesses. Dr Sergio Canavero, of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, believes that spinal cord operation procedures are sufficiently advanced to make this feasible. In a paper published last month, Dr. Canavero claims that a similar procedure could be used as the 1970 successful head transplant of a rhesus monkey by professor Robert White.
“Several up to now hopeless medical conditions might benefit from such a procedure,” Canavero said. He believes that it a team of 100 could perform the operation in 36 hours — at a cost of £8.5million. Both heads would have to be removed at the same time, and reconnected within an hour.
“This is no longer science fiction. This could be done today — now. If this operation is done it will provide a few people with a substantial amount of extra life,” he said. “The only reason I have not gone further is funding.”
However, the possibility of fusing the spine of one body with the brain stem of another is still very much in question. Canavero is relies upon a far-fetched hypothesis about ‘fusion healing’ to support his idea.
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