The Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero, who has been announcing an operation that is considered impossible for years, tries to demonstrate its viability in a murine model, which only lived for 36 hours.

One rat with two heads or two rats with one body?

It is one of those news that carries years appearing periodically in the media Communication. The head transplant is about to fall Or, at least, the Italian neurosurgeon announces it every few months Sergio Canavero, former director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group and currently in the HEAVEN / GEMINI International Collaborative Group, developed specifically to achieve that goal.

Sick of not being believed and scientists disqualify their ads, Canavero has gone one step further and published in the magazine CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics a experiment which, according to him, shows that he is closer to getting it.

The neurosurgeon has used three rats to create an animal hybrid with two heads. One of the animals supplied blood to the head of the second, smaller, that was beheaded and its head hooked to the third animal.

Last year Canavero declared that he had already carried out a head transplant in dogs, but no scientific journal has endorsed this information. The new experiment does have this guarantee, but it is not so clear that it will be transferable to humans; Among other things, the transplanted head only lived for 36 hours.

Despite this, the Italian doctor has again said that will transplant its first human head in China, a country where limits to human research they are much more lax than in others. The goal is for spinal cord injuries to regain their mobility, something that other scientists consider a chimera.

Professor of Neurosurgery Tipu Aziz, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, told The Times that Canavero I had lost my papers and that his experiment on rats “offered nothing new” on a scientific level. “It was done in dogs in the 1950s and in monkeys in the 1970s. Both were considered unethical“, He concluded.

Image of the Soviet experiment in which two dogs were joined by the head.

Image of the Soviet experiment in which two dogs were joined by the head.