Head transplants may seem like something out of a science-fiction movie, but with Dr. Ren, fiction is quickly turning into reality.
The 55-year-old Chinese doctor and his research team stationed in the frozen North of China have carried out animal head transplants as well as transplants on human corpses.
The hope for Dr. Ren and his staff is to one day successfully perform a head transplant on a living human patient.
As mentioned, the doctor and his team have successfully transplanted the heads of monkeys — in the most recent case, the monkey was able to survive hours after the transplant. Results such as these give Dr. Ren hope that he is moving closer to what he calls “The Chinese dream.”
Dr. Ren already has his first patient: 31-year-old Valery Spiridonov, a man who suffers from severe muscular atrophy. But the doctor’s work has not come without its fair share of criticism. Many believe that a human head transplant is unethical.
Though results have been promising, a human head transplant may still be a ways away. Dr. Ren, however, remains optimistic. He believes in a year’s time the revolutionary procedure may be ready to be performed.
Science fiction is fun, but this science looks like it might be a reality and that's a terrifying fact.
(Photos from top: Robert White / Canavero S / Surgical Neurology International, The Wall Street Journal)