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Will A Human Head Transplant Follow Operation On A Monkey?

Update Date: Jan 23, 2016 03:17 PM EST
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An amazing head transplant has been performed on an ape.

Sergio Canavero, an Italian neuroscientist, who is aiming to undertake the first human head transplant by 2017, says that China's Harbin Medical University team has successfully performed it on a monkey. It was a successful operation, but the blood supply got reconnected between the head and the body while the monkey's spinal cord was not included in the process!

"The monkey fully survived the procedure without any neurological injury of whatever kind," Canavero said, according to the New Scientist.

There were some other gruesome operations they performed on human corpses before they went on to monkeying with the ape's head.

"We've done a pilot study testing some ideas about how to prevent injury," lead researcher Xiaoping Ren added.

First, the team members cooled, and then removed the head. They then prepared the monkey's body by ensuring that the blood was cut at the same time. They used polyethylene glycol to paste and stitch between muscles, trachea and esophagus. After that the skin was stitched, according to the Telegraph.

However, after 20 hours, the monkey that successfully got the transplant had to be "put down after 20 hours for ethical reasons", according to HNGN.

Theoretical neurobiologist Mark Changizi said that in another case, ethical issues would not be involved.

"Setting aside the ethical issues of primate experimentation here, if one calls this 'torso-and-limbs transplant' rather than 'head transplant,' then the nightmare-ish ethical associations are dissolved," Changizi said, according to Gizmodo.

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