The Rat With Two Heads

Scientist Sergio Canavero has completed an experiment which hasn’t necessarily been embraced by the scientific community.

In preparation of his idea to transplant a disabled person’s head on to a recently deceased body, he managed to complete the procedure on a rat.  He needed three animals for the procedure – one to provide the donor head, one to provide the donor body, and one to provide a blood supply to the head while it had no body attached.

The head “lived” for 36 hours and could see and feel pain.

Having managed to reconnect the spinal column of a dog after 90 per cent of it was sliced through, Canavero plans to do his human head transplant in a country without particularly strict controls, which probably suggests that he knows most people think what he’s doing isn’t quite right.

The Times reported:

Tipu Aziz, professor of neurosurgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, said that Professor Canavero had “gone completely off the rails”. He said that the rat experiment did not tell us anything new. “Scientifically it’s of no interest. In the 1950s they did it in dogs. In the 1970s they did it in monkeys. Both were considered unethical.”

Obviously the research produces some interesting questions.  I thought of one because I wasn’t concentrating properly when I started reading the story and wondered why any animal would need two heads.

It also reminded me of the line from a comedy show that I can’t remember about someone having their favourite broom that had had four handles and three brush heads.  How many parts can you replace for it still to be the same person?

If the research was a success, and lessons are learnt that basically means that anything can be transplanted in to a person, could we live forever?  Who wants to do that anyway?

There’s no time for us,
There’s no place for us,
What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us.

Who wants to live forever,
Who wants to live forever…..?
There’s no chance for us,
It’s all decided for us,
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us.

Who wants to live forever,
Who dares to love forever,
When love must die.

But touch my tears with your lips,
Touch my world with your fingertips,
And we can have forever,
And we can love forever,
Forever is our today,
Who wants to live forever,
Who wants to live forever,
Forever is our today,
Who waits forever anyway?

Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen



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