Head transplant successfully performed on monkey

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A monkey head transplant was successfully performed at a university in China, claims Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero. The experiment was carried out at Harbin Medical University in China, reported the New Scientist.

The researchers reportedly connected the blood supply between the head and the new body, but did not connect the spinal cord.

“The monkey fully survived the procedure without any neurological injury of whatever kind,” New Scientist quoted Dr. Canavero as saying. The monkey was kept alive for only 20 hours following the procedure for ethical reasons.

Other techniques to aid recovery could include spinal cord stimulation and the use of a negative pressure device to encourage the nerves to fuse, the New Scientist reported.

According to the New Scientist, Dr. Canavero is seeking funds to perform a head transplant on 31-year-old Russian patient Valery Spriridonov, who suffers from a genetic muscle-wasting disease.

1. Two heads severed from two medical bodies
2. Polyethylene glycol added to the wound
3. Depiction of spinal cord stimulation
4. Negative pressure device is applied
5. Head is cooled to -15 °C
6. The spinal cord and blood vessels are connected

VOICEOVER (in English):
[CUT 1]
Italian Doctor Sergio Canavero claims a human head transplant could be successful.
First both patient and donors’ heads are severed.
An adhesive known as polyethylene glycol would then be used to preserve nerve cell membranes.”

[CUT 2]
“Spinal cord stimulation could speed a potential patient’s recovery.”

[CUT 3]
“A negative pressure device would encourage nerves to connect.”

[CUT 4]
Canavero told New Scientist Chinese researchers who claim to have performed a head transplant on a monkey say the head was cooled to -15 °C without injury to the brain.
The spinal cord was not connected and, for ethical reasons, the monkey was euthanized less than a day later.”

SOURCES: New Scientist, Daily Mail, Discovery