A head transplant was successfully conducted on a monkey, claims a radical neuro-scientist. Last year controversial surgeon Sergio Canavero created a worldwide storm by declaring that he would attempt a human head transplant. He claimed that the surgical protocol would be ready within two years and added that it would be a treatment for complete paralysis.
Sergio Canavero recently announced that researchers at Harbin Medical University in China had successfully transplanted a head of a monkey into a different body. After the surgery he said, “the monkey fully survived the procedure without any neurological injury of whatever kind.”
Presently he is working with Chinese and South Korean scientists and are claiming they are moving closer towards their goal.
Canavero stated, “I would say we have plenty of data to go on”. Pointing to people’s apprehension about the surgery he further emphasized, “it’s important that people stop thinking this is impossible. This is absolutely possible and we’re working towards it.”
He added that after the surgery the monkey was kept alive for 20 hours for ethical reasons.
According to The Huffington Post the head transplant was a duplicated work previously done by American neurosurgeon Robert White. According to White, a monkey can survive such transplant if the head is cooled minus 15 degrees Celsius.
The human head transplant is likely to happen in China and will cost $11 million. The procedure will take 36 hours and will be done by December 2017, as reported by Independent. Ren Xiaoping, who is going to assist Canavero, said that the team would attempt the transplant if research and tests show that it would be successful.
The procedure is already highly criticized by doctors and scientists round the world. Doctors have argued that it is equal to killing the person undergoing it.
Arthur Caplan of New York University School of Medicine, commented, “If he knew what he was doing, he would help people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries rather than prattling on about transplanting heads”.