Plastic Surgery? Why Not Just Get a Head Transplant

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Why have plastic surgery when you can just get a head transplant. Head transplants may become a very real thing in the near future.

This was proposed in 2013 by Sergio Canavero, he wants to use this surgery to extend lives of people whose bodies have started to degenerated. He is now claiming that the major hurdles like the body rejecting the head will be able to be overcome.

“The first attempt at a head transplant was carried out on a dog by Soviet surgeon Vladimir Demikhov in 1954. A puppy’s head and forelegs were transplanted onto the back of a larger dog. Demikhov conducted several further attempts but the dogs only survived between two and six days.”

In 1970 a team at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, successfully transplanted the head of one monkey to another. With this first attempt they did not attempt to join the spinal cords so the monkey was unable to move. This monkey lived for seven days until the body rejected the head.

Since the monkey very few experiments have been tried but with modern technical advances Canvero thinks this may be possible. The main issue they think they may have is connecting the spinal cords so the subject may move.

“The trickiest part will be getting the spinal cords to fuse. Polyethylene glycol has been shown to prompt the growth of spinal cord nerves in animals, and Canavero intends to use brain-dead organ donors to test the technique. However, others are skeptical that this would be enough. “There is no evidence that the connectivity of cord and brain would lead to useful sentient or motor function following head transplantation,” says Richard Borgens, director of the Center for Paralysis Research at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.”

All in all head transplants may really happen here in the next two years.

 

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