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!