Desperately grabbing my first cup of coffee for the day, I sat down to read the only paper available at my regular ‘pit stop’, a newspaper from two weeks ago. (Why it was still there is another story in itself.) Somewhere in the middle I came across a science story that grabbed my attention. I was a little bemused and mortified at the same time to read ‘Are head transplants really possible’.
According to an Italian neurosurgeon, the first human head transplant is now technically possible. Really ? Has ‘real’ science finally caught up to science fiction. Am I dreaming ? Is my favourite screen monster Frankenstein going to be having a coffee with me in a few years time ? I say a few years time because Dr. Sergio Canavero believes transplanting a head to the spinal cord of another body is in the realm of possibility in two years or a few years time.
Back in the 1970’s, a US neurosurgeon transplanted a monkey head onto another monkey body, it survived a few days before dying. The inability to repair the spinal cord in the 70’s was due to a lack of technology. Now, with recent advances the Italian neurosurgeon estimates it could be done with a 100 strong team of surgeons, working around the clock in a 36 hour long operation, at a cost of $12 million.
I have to say is it really worth it ? The doctor also has his own skeptics including a Professor from the British transplantation Society, who calls the whole concept ‘bizarre’. I suppose if they can clone a sheep, why not create a new and improved human being ? The jury is still out with this author, it’s a gruesome prospect. I am going back to my coffee!