Planet China

Getting a head

A professor at Harbin Medical University has told China Daily that he will soon be in a position to “transplant a human head” via surgery. Ren Xiaoping told the newspaper that it will be “at least two years” before he is able to undertake the first human head transplant in history. He said he will partner with Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero on what is “one of the most cutting edge technologies in the medical field”. The surgery transplants a healthy human head onto the body of someone who is brain dead but whose body is healthy. Says Ren: “If a man with an aging body can replace his body with a young and healthy body, his aging brain will become younger with the new body meaning longer life for the man.” A Russian computer scientist with muscular dystrophy has agreed to become the first patient, reports China Daily, adding that some doctors have raised ethical issues over head transplant surgery.

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