Neuroscientist claims first-ever head transplant now possible

ED_Science_Lab_5c_19

Dr. Sergio Canavero, a member of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, may have made a giant leap in the medical world.

Canavero, in a recent paper, claims that technical barriers to attaching one person’s head onto another person’s body can possibly be overcome. He outlines a procedure modeled on successful head transplants done on animals since 1970.

The biggest obstacle in a head transplant has been attaching the animals’ spinal cords to the donor bodies. In past tests, this would leave the animals paralyzed below the point of connection.

Canavero claims that recent advances in surgically severed spinal cords could make the transplant technically feasible in humans.

“The greatest technical hurdle to [a head transplant] is of course the reconnections of the donor’s and recipients spinal cords. It is my contention that the technology only now exists for such linkage … several up to now hopeless medical connections might benefit from such a procedure,” he wrote in his paper.

Last week scientists at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic were able to restore limited connectivity between the two severed halves of spinal cords in rats.

“It is this “clean cut” [which is] the key to spinal cord fusion, in that it allows proximally severed axons to be ‘fused’ with their distal counterparts. This fusion exploits so-called fusogens/sealants … [which] are able to immediately reconstitute cell membranes damaged by mechanical injury, independent of any known endogenous sealing mechanism,” Canavero wrote.

Such a procedure, though met with extreme controversy, may have major consequences to paraplegics in the future. It could also affect patients with muscular dystrophy.

Canavero estimates that the each procedure would cost approximately 10 million euros, or $13 million.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.