Monkey Head Transplant Done First Time In History

Science also has dark corners. The monkey head transplant experiment is one of those experiments that give you “chills” if you witness it. Humans are very intelligent but also very cruel. Proof of this are monstrous experimental cases. They experimented on almost all animals with monstrous transplants despite heavy criticism. In these experiments, there was a limit experiment that pushed the limits of human morality and humanity.

The “chilling” monkey head transplant experiment in 1970

The “chilling” monkey head transplant experiment in 1970

Dr. Jerry Silver can still picture the 1970 day when he stood in the lab as his colleague, Dr. Robert White, transplanted the head of a rhesus monkey onto the body of another rhesus monkey.
“I remember that the head would wake up, the facial expressions looked like terrible pain and confusion and anxiety in the animal. The head will stay alive, but not very long,” the Case Western Reserve University neurologist told When doctors attempted to feed the re-connected head, the food fell to the floor. “It was just awful. I don’t think it should ever be done again.”

And yet, an Italian neuroscientist with the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group is now saying he not only thinks it should — and could — be done again, but that a similar procedure could be performed on humans.
When performed on animals, head transplants are hardly perfect: they leave the animals paralyzed below the point of transplant, as Silver witnessed in 1970. This is because doctors have yet to successfully connect the animals’ spinal cords with their donor bodies.

Surgical method

In Canavero’s proposal, he outlines the surgical method. First, the two bodies must be in the same operating room. The head to be transplanted must be cooled to between 54.6 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors then have an hour to remove both heads and reconnect the donor head to the circulatory system of its new host body. Cardiac arrest is induced throughout the procedure, with the host body’s heart restarted upon successful connection.

Surgical method

“It’s complete fantasy, that you could use [PEG technology] in such a traumatic injury in an adult mammal,” Silver says. “But to severe a head and even contemplate the possibility of gluing axons back properly across the lesion to their neighbors is pure and utter fantasy in my opinion.”
Beyond the possibility, there are incredible ethical questions to answer. And there is the price tag: Canavero estimates the procedure would cost about $13 million. Silver hopes the idea will never even get to the point of cost considerations.
“Just to do the experiments is unethical,” he says. “This is bad science, this should never happen.”

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