Surgeon claims he has done the first head transplant on a corpse

Surgeon carries out first head transplant on dead bodies

The Internet was abuzz on Friday with news that famed-and controversial-Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero and partner Dr. Xiaoping Ren of Harbin Medical University in China had performed the world's first successful human head transplant (albeit with the major caveat that it was done on a corpse, raising comparisons to Dr. Frankenstein and his monster).

"For too long nature has dictated her rules to us", Professor Canavero told reporters in attendance.

According to The Telegraph, he said the transplant on a corpse showed his techniques for re-connecting a spine, nerves and blood vessels to allow two bodies to be reconnected would work.

If you were going to believe that anyone had completed the first-ever human head transplant, it would be Sergio Canavero. He has said that it could happen this year, for instance, and that the surgery could even take place in the UK.

Professor Canavero's team has repeatedly claimed that they have successfully performed the same surgery on mice and monkeys.

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In 2015 Professor Canavero, former director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, announced that he meant to transplant the head of a paralysed man onto the body of a dead donor.

But there's a catch - neither the donor, nor the recipient, were alive.

Spiridonov had volunteered because he suffers from Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, which causes severe spinal muscular atrophy, and he was willing to try anything to prolong his life.

According to the newspaper, Canavero did not provide any concrete proof for his claim, but said that "the paper will be released in a few days". "A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage", the Telegraph reported. "And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent", he added.

But not everyone is convinced Professor Canavero could actually ever achieve a successful head transplant. The animal, too, was kept alive for nearly 20 hours for ethical reasons.

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