The world's first human head transplant has been successfully carried out
The world of science is at once awe-inspiring and...borderline horrifying. For all of the veritable Einstein's out in the world, there are thousands of us ordinary folk who can't understand why blood doesn't pour out of our mouths or how the human anatomy manages to come together. But luckily for people like us, there are professionals who can tend to all of our bodily mishaps.
And apparently the fields of medicine and science, and the experts within it, are only becoming more ambitious. According to controversial Italian professor and neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavero, the world's first human head transplant has been carried out in China. Experts state that the experiment, which was conducted on a corpse during an 18-hour operation, demonstrated that it is possible to successfully reconnect the spine, blood vessels and nerves of a severed head.
The complex procedure was carried out by a small team from the Harbin Medical University, and it was lead by Dr Xiaoping Ren, who last year managed to graft a head onto the body of a monkey.
The principal goal of the surgery was to cut and repair the spinal cord before using electrical or magnetic stimuli to "reanimate" the nerves, hopefully provoking movement in the cadaver.
A full report of the operation and a timeframe for the live transplant are to be expected within the next few days.
Canavero, who is also the director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, publicised the news at a press conference in Vienna this morning, where he stated that a very similar operation will take place "imminently" on a live human being.
Speaking at the Press Conference, Canavero asserted:
"For too long nature has dictated her rules to us. We're born, we grow, we age and we die. For millions of years humans has evolved and 100 billion humans have died. That's genocide on a mass scale. We have entered an age where we will take our destiny back in our hands.
It will change everything. It will change you at every level. The first human head transplant, in the human mode, has been realised. The paper will be released in a few days. Everyone said it was impossible, but the surgery was successful."
Professor Sergio Canavero first made his ambitious plans public 2015, and since then an alarming number of people have stepped forward to be his first patient. Russian computer scientist, Valery Spiridonov, who is severely handicapped, was perhaps the most famous candidate to announce his eagerness to undertake the controversial procedure.
However, the 31-year-old's hopes have now been dashed. Canavero revealed at the press conference that the first transplant will be carried out on someone from China, and he also claimed that a large number of people have already volunteered to take on the risky surgery.
Well, putting aside all the comparisons to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I think we can all agree that if Sergio Canavero is able to pull this off, it would certainly be a big step forward for everyone involved in the medical community.