The manga was actually a source of inspiration.
On December 23, 1954, in Boston, the world’s first organ transplant was successful. A patient with advanced nephritis got a kidney from his twin brother. This lentil The organ still survived in his body for a long time. Since then, organ transplants have been on the medical treatment stage, and diseases that were once considered incurable, such as heart failure, liver disease, etc., have been treated through organ transplantation; patients who are almost desperate can continue their lives.
With the development of organ transplantation, more and more organs have been successfully transplanted, such as kidney, heart, liver, etc., but these are only the physiological organs of the human body. If it is the source of consciousness – the head of the brain? A crazy medical scientist has been keen on head transplanting, he is Sergio Canavero of Italy.
There is a story about Sergio Canavero’s childhood. Canavero loved superhero comics when he was a child. One day, in the comical Dr. Manga comics published in November 1976, he saw a terrible car accident in Dr. Singer. After the accident, Dr. Dr. Dr. Bloody and scary hands were engraved in his mind. He continued to look at it with great interest, seeing the hands of Dr. Singer with the help of the magician Gu Yi, the nerves in his hands that were cut off by the car accident miraculously merged, the nerves began to re-engage, Dr. Both hands are able to move. The rupture of the nerves and the miraculous fusion made the young Canavero indulge in the nerve world, and he became interested in neural connections.
His strong interest in the nerve prompted him to enter the University of Turin, Italy, to start training medicine, and the brain of the nervous system, the brain, became the focus of Canavero. “The nerves of the brain and the trunk are so tightly connected. What happens if the new brain is reconnected after being cut?” Since then, Canavero has had a keen interest in the head-changing technique.
Is it reality or science fiction?
Driven by interest, Canavero created the “head anastomosis project”, in which they worked like this: two groups of surgeons quickly cut off the heads of two people, one of whom was the supplier, one It is the recipient. The head is the one who loses the ability to move, but the brain is still healthy, and the recipient is the person whose brain is dead but healthy. After chopping off the head, the supplier’s head is transferred to the recipient with a special transfer machine, and important parts such as blood vessels, nerves and spinal cord are sutured, and finally the recipient is awakened. This looks like a classic shot of a horror movie.
Canavero said that in order to ensure the activity of the donor and recipient heads, they must first cool their heads to delay tissue death. When the supplier’s head is connected to the recipient’s body, the addition of polyethylene glycol promotes the fusion of adjacent cells between the head and the body, thereby promoting fusion of blood vessels, vocal cords and the like. At the same time, the nerves should be electrically stimulated to strengthen the nerve connection.
The seemingly seamless plan made Canavero very confident, but his plan made many peers think it was just a science fiction novel, or a nonsense. Canavero’s critics believe that reconnecting blood vessels and vocal cords is theoretically possible, but it is also very challenging. At the same time, the immune rejection caused by transplantation will cause many complications. Resolving immune rejection is a necessary condition for the recipient to survive. At the same time, the challenge of resolving rejection may be greater than that of suturing blood vessels. They think that Canavero is only for speculation and self-promotion, and that he is a “madman.” At the same time, this also raises the issue of bioethics: Is the person undergoing surgery the same person before and after the operation?
Has the head change been successful?
Faced with many refutations and criticisms, Canavero believes that these so-called experts are short-sighted, they just want to stop and marry him, and express their reluctance to share his amazing remarks with them. He said: “In the long history of scientific proof, many scientists are called mad, but they can still confirm their views. Every medical miracle, such as the world’s first heart transplant in 1967 and the first case in 1978. IVF was initially condemned. But this is only a scientific breakthrough that can promote social development.”
In 2015, Canavero announced that the world’s first human skull transplant will be completed within two years. On November 17, 2017, at a press conference in Vienna, Austria, he declared that the world’s first head-changing technique was successfully implemented in China. This remark immediately occupied the headlines of major news, and the major media rushed to report.
But is this head change really successful? In the case of a heart transplant, when a new heart is transplanted into the recipient, it is necessary to immediately switch on a blood vessel or the like. In addition, the transplanted heart should be able to survive and function in the recipient for a long time, which can be regarded as a successful transplant. That is to say, the so-called transplant success is to function normally after transplantation.
In Canavero’s transposition, the supplier and recipient of the skull are the remains of brain death. Although they successfully connected the cut spine, nerves, tissues and blood vessels, the brain in the skull did not exist at all. The true transplant is successful and the brain is still dead. From this point of view, the “success” of the head change may be just a successful suture of the doctor.
Moreover, before this human head transplant, Canavero claimed to have successfully transplanted the monkey’s head, but the monkey who received the head transplant did not recover consciousness and died less than a day after living. This shows that Canavero’s human head change has no previous experimental basis. It is also natural for others to question the “success” of this human head change.
It is undeniable that Canavero is an excellent medical scientist and a very confident person, but this is not the reason why he self-promotion and evade professional examination. What scientists have to do is not only to improve their professional knowledge, to achieve academic achievements, but also to accept professional and correct criticism, to be open-minded, to achieve true success. Even if we are not scientists, this should be the case.
The manga was actually a source of inspiration.