Italian neuroscientist Sergio Canavero believes he’s found a way to medically swap heads and bodies, reports The Verge.
Yes, just like Nicolas Cage and John Travolta in Face/Off. But Canavero’s process is about replacing the entire head, not just a face.
Canavero has based his procedure off of a 1970 study in which a Dr. Robert White transplanted one monkey’s head onto another’s body, but obviously Canavero’s process has been adapted for human use. He outlines it from beginning to end in a medical journal called Surgical Neurology International.
It begins by cooling the patients’ bodies to 18 degrees Celsius, severing their spinal cords, pulling a switcheroo, and pretty much gluing the new head/body match together with an “inorganic polymer glue.”
This procedure is outlined based on research on dogs and guinea pigs.
But to reconnect every single artery, muscle, and all that other bodystuff in your neck – surely this is beyond the scope of modern medicine, right? Canavero acknowledges the difficulty but maintains that it’s quite possible. He says that as long as at least a few connections are made, a patient would have “some voluntary control of locomotion,” and that the electrical stimulation of the spinal cord can help nerve cells learn their new roles.
So whether you want a new head or a new body, it appears that you’re that much closer to achieving it.
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