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Body transplant

  1. Apr 12, 2015 #1

    wolram

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  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2015 #2

    mfb

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    Well... why not? You can argue that a healthy body can be used to save more than one life if multiple organs are used somewhere, but having the option of such a head transplant is certainly interesting. Independent of the outcome, I guess there is much we can learn about human biology.

    I don't share the optimisim of the surgeon, however - if connecting two parts of the spinal cord would be that easy, there would be a long list of people waiting for it. They probably have perfect conditions here, but that will still be a very critical part, together with the usual issues of transplanted body parts.
     
  4. Apr 12, 2015 #3

    OmCheeto

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    He seems like a very nice, smart young man.
    I think they should do the procedure on about 200-300 MPs first.
    It would be a shame to practice this first, on someone with a functioning brain.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2015 #4

    wolram

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    LOL
     
  6. Apr 12, 2015 #5

    Evo

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  7. Apr 12, 2015 #6

    Pythagorean

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  8. Apr 12, 2015 #7

    wolram

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    I have dissowned this post, if i get an infraction it'''''''''''''''''''''''''s not my fault:frown:
     
  9. Apr 12, 2015 #8

    Evo

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    Awww, you're not getting an infraction.
     
  10. Apr 12, 2015 #9

    OmCheeto

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    It does have origins from an apparently legitimate source:

    A comment in the New Scientist Magazine seems to confirm Pythagorean's statement:

     
  11. Apr 12, 2015 #10

    Evo

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    Seems it's just a sensationalist ploy to get attention. No one is taking it seriously.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530103.700-first-human-head-transplant-could-happen-in-two-years.html?full=true#.VO-HQCzX51p
     
  12. Apr 29, 2016 #11
  13. Apr 29, 2016 #12

    mfb

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    "This magazine article is only available to paid subscribers "
     
  14. Apr 29, 2016 #13
    hmmm maybe it's a country block because I can read with without logging in or having a subscription.
     
  15. Apr 29, 2016 #14

    OmCheeto

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    I read it with no problem.
    Here are the raw notes I've extracted over the last 2 hours:

    Gemini: spinal cord fusion
    Heaven: HEad Anastomosis VENture
    ----
    my transcription rom the video, where "The Doctor" describes the spinal chord:
    t≈3:00
    A bundle of one million fibers, all of them necessary, for movements to occur, just like spaghetti.

    For movements to occur, you really need all of them. In the spinal cord, the spaghetti come in contact with specialized cells called motor neurons. These are the cells, that make you move.

    If this were the true story, I wouldn't be here. But the story, is, plenty different. I welcome you, to HEAVEN...
    -----------

    Another article
    Head transplant carried out on monkey, claims maverick surgeon
    19 January 2016
    "Canavero says Kim’s work shows that the spinal cord can re-fuse if it is cut cleanly in the presence of polyethylene glycol (PEG), a chemical that preserves nerve cell membranes. “These experiments prove once and for all that simply using PEG, you can see partial recovery,” he says."

    --------
    wiki on Polyethylene glycol
    ...
    • The injection of PEG 2000 into the bloodstream of guinea pigs after spinal cord injury leads to rapid recovery through molecular repair of nerve membranes.[17] The effectiveness of this treatment to prevent paraplegia in humans after an accident is not known yet.
    • PEG is being used in the repair of motor neurons damaged in crush or laceration incidents in vivo and in vitro. When coupled with melatonin, 75% of damaged sciatic nerves were rendered viable.[18]

    [17] R. B. Borgens and D. Bohnert (2001). "Rapid recovery from spinal cord injury after subcutaneously administered polyethylene glycol". Journal of Neuroscience Research 66 (6): 1179–1186. doi:10.1002/jnr.1254. http://https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11746451 [Broken].

    [18] G. Bittner el. al. (2005). "Melatonin enhances the in vitro and in vivo repair of severed rat sciatic axons". Neouroscience Letters 376 (2): 98–101. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2004.11.033. http://https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15698928 [Broken]


    Of course, as a notaneuroscientist, I just look at all this, shake my head and say; "Looks like science fiction to me".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  16. May 15, 2016 #15
    They have successfully done this to monkeys but they were paralyzed from the neck down and did not live long.
     
  17. May 15, 2016 #16

    ProfuselyQuarky

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    So that wasn't exactly a success, was it?
     
  18. May 15, 2016 #17

    Pythagorean

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    Well it was in the sense that he was able to cross connect things between two different orgasms to sustain life. I don't remember if it was circulatory or nervous system or both, but the problem that he was solving when he did that expeirment was that two organisms of the same species aren't 1-to-1 the number of veins and nerves connecting my head to my neck is different than yours, so if we swapped heads, the surgeon would have to figure out, on the spot, how to match any "spare" or "crossed" hardware as it were.

    But before we question the validity of it, I think the ethics are the bigger issue.
     
  19. May 16, 2016 #18
    Even if became possible to successfully rewire the nervous system, I can't see that this procedure would be practiced.
    As with any other transplant the donor and recipient would need to be genetically similar.
    The person whose head is to be transplanted presumably is in a terminal condition and could die soon of heart failure or something, probably sooner than a suitable fully functional body but which is brain dead could be found.
    Think of the logistics too - the body, let's presume the victim of a car crash or similar, would have to be delivered to the operating theatre within an hour at the most, and a team of very highly skilled surgeons + support staff would need to be permanently on standby ready to do the job at any time without notice or any time to prepare.
     
  20. May 21, 2016 #19
    Well how do you define success? The monkeys did survive for a period of time. For example people with organ transplants have severely reduced life expectancy (for the most part). Would you consider that a success or failure?
     
  21. May 22, 2016 #20

    ProfuselyQuarky

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    For one thing, they were paralyzed from the neck down. Applying that to a human, wouldn't that be almost worst than death? You're completely dependent on other people (most likely your family) and you can never do anything else on your own. You may live longer, but that time is spent in suffering. Yeah, it's great that the procedure prolonged the life of the monkeys for a bit, but I don't think that those results are "enough" for people.
     
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