China Announce First Human Head Transplant

China have introduced plans to carry out the primary ever human head transplant later this yr on an unnamed Chinese citizen.

Italian neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero will carry out the pinnacle transplant later this yr, in response to German journal Ooom. Following that, the Doctor additionally plans to revive a cryogenically frozen mind and transplant it into the donor physique inside three years.

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“Because the head transplant will be conducted in China it’s much easier to get a Chinese donor,” he says. “That’s the main reason. I’m not sure if Professor Canavero has talked to Valery in the meantime. I don’t know the reaction of Valery. However, if the head transplantation succeeds—and we all hope and are confident that it will succeed—then it will not be the last, so it will only be a question of time when Valery will get a new body.”

Canavero, in an interview with OOOM, stated the primary human head transplant will happen inside 10 months. He didn’t specify a date for the surgical procedure, however Kindel stated the workforce is on observe to hold it out on the finish of the yr: “They have a tight schedule but the team in China say they are ready to do it. Professor Canavero always said we will be ready at the end of 2017 and—if there is a strong power in China behind the project — it seems it definitely will be at the end of this year or the start of next year that the entire procedure will be conducted.”

At current, Canavero and Xiaoping Ren, of the Harbin Medical University in China, have introduced little proof to persuade the scientific group their plan will probably be a hit. Canavero beforehand has supplied a short define of what they intend to do, however with comparatively little element of the steps concerned. Research outlining experiments on animals have additionally did not persuade critics, lots of whom say we’re nowhere close to having the know-how required to undertake such a fancy process.

In the press launch, Canavero stated they’ve a number of papers relating to go transplants which can be presently beneath peer evaluate and can seem in “renowned scientific medical journals”—though he didn’t specify which journals. “I can only disclose that there has been massive progress in medical experiments, which would have seemed impossible even as recently as a few months ago,” he stated. “The milestones we have reached will undoubtedly revolutionize medicine.”

Asked about why Canavero and Ren are protecting their analysis such a carefully guarded secret—one thing they’ve been criticized for prior to now—Kindel stated it’s to do with the applied sciences they’re growing: “Are these procedures that can be patented? If this is the case then it will be done,” he says. “It’s the same as with pharmaceutical companies. They conduct research for years and don’t publish anything, then at a certain stage they go out and inform the media and public.”

Responding to criticism from different scientists, he added: “Michael Sarr, editor of [the journal] Surgery, says there is a 98 percent probability it will work and he’s renowned neurosurgeon. On the other hand, there are so-called experts who have no experience because they have never done this before. They say ‘no this will never happen.’ Canavero has just one goal—he says ‘I work on it. We have the scientists, the experts, the teams in the U.S., South Korea and China working it and when we are ready to inform the public, we will do it.’”

Several folks working within the discipline have additionally criticized the scientists on the idea that if they’ve the know-how to restore spinal cords—one of many key components of the surgical procedure—then they need to be growing this to deal with people who find themselves paralyzed, as a substitute of holding it again for a surgical procedure many consider won’t work.

“[Repairing the spinal cord] was part of the entire research for the head transplantation,” Kindel says. “At the beginning they were just trying their technique and thought, well maybe it works—but it does work. It was astonishing for the entire team. It’s just part of the entire process. And if it is the case they can help tetraplegics and paraplegics, then this is really a huge step forward in medicine.”

Kindel stated he and the workforce know of no authorized restrictions or rules that will forestall them from finishing up the surgical procedure. In China, surgeons are actually ready for journals to approve the research they’ve submitted—after which level the findings will turn out to be public.“This is something that is completely new and could change medicine,” he says. “If this works—and all the studies seem to show it will work—then this is really a major step forward for medicine in general.”