Modern Frankenstein: Are we on the pathway to human head transplants?

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Sergio Canavero

The mysterious work of Dr. Sergio Canavero is the stuff of grade-B horror movies. He claims he’s successfully attached a living mouse head to a rat, severed the spines of mice, and perhaps most impressively: reattached them.

His quest for the scientific holy grail lead to papers detailing two-headed creatures, a transplanted dog’s head, and bold claims about the first human head-transplant — which he plans to undertake later this year. Beyond that he’s said that he will be able to resuscitate a frozen brain within a few years.

The medical community has its concerns. For one, Canavero would have to attach millions of tiny nerves, a problem he says he’s solved by using a fusogen (sealant) comprised of polyethylene glycol (PEG). This gel substance works like a glue. It’s nothing new: PEG is used in a variety of biological and commercial applications, such as laxatives and skin cream.

It’s 2017 and Dr. Canavero claims he’s performing mind-blowing procedures; it boggles the mind that he doesn’t have hundreds of hours of video evidence to support his claims. Instead there’s been vague research papers and larger-than-life claims to go on. What he’s really doing — and who is helping him — remain a mystery.

A successful human head-transplant, seems improbable; yet it must be considered. The ramifications of being able to reconnect spinal tissue go far beyond solving paralysis: they’re the first step to living forever.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Human head transplants, and the mad scientist who’ll perform them

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