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World's first successful head transplant carried out on corpses, claims scientist
19 November 2017, 02:43 | Lucy Hill
Surgeon carries out first head transplant on dead bodies
The world's first human head transplant has been performed on a corpse in China by Italian professor Sergio Canavero.
According to The Telegraph, he said the transplant on a corpse showed his techniques for re-connecting a spine, nerves and blood vessels to allow two bodies to be reconnected would work. Dr Canavero also claimed to have carried out a "successful" rat head transplant.
Canavero instantly became famous after claiming to be working on the first human head transplant, and indeed, Canavero named the first patient who is Russian man called Valery Spiridinov who will have his head frozen and then grafted onto a new donor body. Canavero said that an operation on a live human would soon take place.
Professor Canavero added that the team's next move was to make full head exchanges between dead brain organ donors.
"And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent", he told a conference in Vienna, according to The Telegraph, which first reported the news.
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After announcing the feat, which theoretically has the potential to literally change the face of the world, Dr Canavero said his team will now get ready to carry out a head transplant on living person.
Spiridonov had volunteered because he suffers from Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, which causes severe spinal muscular atrophy, and he was willing to try anything to prolong his life.
"Everyone said it was impossible, but the surgery was successful".
Canavero did not present any evidence of the claims, though he promised that a scientific paper with details would be released in the "next few day", Newsweek reports.
And as neuroscience Dr. Dean Burnett points out in a scathing op-ed, Canavero's outsized claims about past successes may not exactly align with the realities of his accomplishments. According to the Italian, the monkey survived the transplant without any neurological injury for 20 hours before being euthanized for ethical reasons.
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