Italian Scientist Claims Human Head Transplantation Possible In Two Years

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At a time when awareness on organ donation is catching up, a scientist is planning for a head transplantation. In an article published in the latest issue of 'New Scientist,' Turin-based Sergio Canavero says a head transplantation surgery could be possible in next two years.

The Italian scientist expects that a head transplantation would help people whose muscles and nerves are degenerated or organs are affected with cancer.

Canavero proposed the technique for the first time in 2013 and claimed that fusing of spinal cord and surmounting body's immune system are possible in the near future. He will be presenting his project in June at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons in Annapolis, Maryland.

Canavero hopes that repeated injection of polyethylene glycol would help fuse head and the spinal cord. The patient, after transplantation, need to be in a coma state for several weeks, in order to prevent even slight movements. The scientist expects that the donor head could speak with the same voice and could walk in a year.

According to Canavero, the biggest hurdle in doing such a surgery would be ethics and resistance from society. He likes to do the experiments in U.S., but expects easier approvals in Europe. He says, "If society doesn't want it, I won't do it. But if people don't want it in the US or Europe, that doesn't mean it won't be done somewhere else."

Recently Chinese scientist Xiao Ping Ren and his colleagues have performed head and body reconstruction in mice.

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