The world's first human head transplant has been carried out on a corpse in China in an 18-hour operation that showed it was possible to successfully reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels.

At a press conference in Vienna on Friday morning, Italian Professor Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, announced that a team at Harbin Medical University had "realised the first human head transplant" and said an operation on a live human will take place "imminently".
The Italian neurosurgeon did not present any evidence of his claims at the conference. Instead, he said a scientific paper with details of the procedure would be released in the “next few days.”
"For too long nature has dictated her rules to us,” he said. “We're born, we grow, we age and we die. For millions of years humans has evolved and 100 billion humans have died. That's genocide on a mass scale. We have entered an age where we will take our destiny back in our hands. It will change everything. It will change you at every level.”

Canavero said his team has managed to cut down the time of the operation to just 18 hours. "After several transplants, the first full rehearsal has taken place in China. The surgery lasted 18 hours. I mentioned in 2015 that it should take 36 hours, but the Chinese improved on that in a spectacular way, and the surgery was successful.
"The next step is a full head transplant on brain dead organ donors and the first human head transplant for medical reasons will take place imminently. The date will come from Xiaoping in the next few days."
Since announcing his plan, Canavero has attracted a barrage of criticism. Most experts agree that his plan is not plausible—with most pointing out that with current technology, spinal cord fusion is not possible.
There are also major ethical concerns regarding the legality of such a procedure, and a worry that the operation will fail but the head will remain alive.
Jerry Silver, a professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, recently told Newsweek that technically the head could be attached to a respirator where it could remain alive for days in incredible pain. “Every muscle, the bones, everything has been severed,” he said. “Can you imagine the pain from all those cut things? That’s the worst. The head is going to wake up in pain.”
Canavero has remained defiant of his critics throughout, however. He told Newsweek that if the operation is a success—a likelihood he estimates to be around 90 percent—it would be a “tremendous revolution that you will not have seen for some time.”
“The surgery is long and tedious, but absolutely feasible,” he added. “One thing is certain. Spinal cord fusion is a reality and head transplants will happen.”


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