First Human Head Transplant to Take Place in 2017

Valery Spiridonov will donate his head for the groundbreaking procedure.

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What a time to be alive. NASA’s about to live stream a 4K video from space and a man just received a prosthetic arm wired to his brain which allows him to “Feel.” Now, we’re about to witness the first human head transplant—well, those of us who make it to 2017.

It was revealed earlier this year that 30-year-old Valery Spiridonov, a Russian man who suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman disease (a rare and severe form of spinal muscular atrophy) volunteered for the procedure and now we have a few more details according to Uproxx. Italian neuroscientist Sergio Canavero is planning the risky procedure and Chinese surgeon Ren Xiaoping will perform it at the Harbin Medical University in China’s northeast Heilongjiang province. “China wants to do it because they want to win the Nobel prize,” said Canavero. “They want to prove themselves [as] a scientific powerhouse. So it’s the new space race.”

The surgery will take 36 hours and cost $11 million if they can find a body to go with the head. There seems to be plenty of demand for donated organs but not so many willing to give up an entire body. And while the procedure would be a major milestone for the medical field, there are some who say it will not work because of possible issues with spinal cord fusion and organ rejection.

Despite warnings from naysayers and the possibility of everything going wrong, Canavero stands firm in his decision: “All the critics who spoke are ignorant.”

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