Wonderful Engineering

Human Head Transplant Now Possible

We all remember the Frankenstein; a man put together by a mad scientist by sewing dead human organs together. The idea was a fantasy only until now. Although the scientist we are talking about is not mad and is not planning to ‘sew’ human parts together. Meet Dr. Sergio Canavero, Italian Neuro Scientists, of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group. He believes that with the way technological advancement is progressing we will soon be able to transplant heads. Transplantation of a human head from another body has been up for debate for quite some time now. So far the problem has been to how to connect a head with another body’s spinal cord? Seems simple enough in writing but this is the hardest part actually. However, Dr. Canavero has rested his faith in a recent creation known as fusogens. He believes that with the invention of Fusogens, plastic membranes which have been created to repair severed nerves, the process of transplanting a head is possible. Fusogens allow the transmission of nerve impulses to the donor nervous system. Dr. Canavero believes that a transplantation of head will be possible in a few years and he has already devised the procedure. Back in 2008 he used electrical stimulation to wake up a patient who was in a coma for two whole years. His theories are based on those of Robert White. Robert White is the neurosurgeon who transplanted a monkey’s head back in 70’s. The procedure will require two bodies; donor and the recipient. These bodies will be chilled to a certain temperature. Afterwards, two surgeons will cut the spinal cords simultaneously of both bodies and the donated head would be immediately placed on recipient’s body and by employing fusogens will be attached to the spinal cord. Although this might bring up some ethical concerns and many debates, but one thing is for sure that this idea/procedure will be a breakthrough for the medical science. Here’s a video of monkey head transplantation, viewers’ discretion is advised.