A head transplant on a monkey was reported to have been a successful procedure. Sergio Canavero, an Italian neuroscientist known for aiming to perform the first human head transplant by 2017, claimed that a team of researchers from China's Harbin Medical University did almost the same procedure successfully, albeit on a monkey. The operation was successful, but only the supply of blood was reconnected between the head and the body - not the monkey's spinal cord.
"The monkey fully survived the procedure without any neurological injury of whatever kind," Canavero said, according to the New Scientist.
The team also prepared with human corpses before proceeding with the operation on the monkey.
"We've done a pilot study testing some ideas about how to prevent injury," lead researcher Xiaoping Ren added.
The procedure was done by cooling then removing the head, then preparing the body of the monkey by making sure that all blood is cut at the same time. The spinal cord is then glued using polythylene glycol, then stitching between muscles, trachea and esophagus can begin, then the skin will be sewed, according to the Telegraph.
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The monkey that successfully received the transplant had to be put down after 20 hours for ethical reasons.
Theoretical neurobiologist Mark Changizi noted that if it were a different case, ethical issues will not be an issue.
"Setting aside the ethical issues of primate experimentation here, if one calls this 'torso-and-limbs transplant' rather than 'head transplant,' then the nightmare-ish ethical associations are dissolved," Changizi said, according to Gizmodo.