Human Head Transplants: Science or Fiction?

Transplanting a human head. The very mention of the idea evokes such things as ranging from Dr Victor Frankenstein to the Head Museum of Futurama. Yet one Italian physician, Dr Sergio Canavero, believes transplanting a human head onto a human body is but a few years away. For this to happen, Dr Canavero is aiming to gather more funding, along with finding a medical centre or hospital capable of performing the operation. Doctors and nurses have reportedly expressed an interest in being involved; some 150 are expected to be required for the anticipated 36-hour operation. As for the patient, it’s not a defrosted Walt Disney. (Disney’s cryonics is actually an urban myth.) Instead a Russian man named Valery Spiridonov is said to be a potential volunteer. Spiridonov reportedly suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman disease. A rare genetic disorder of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) characterised by the degeneration of nerve cells and the wasting of ...

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