Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Successful Brain Transplant on a Monkey

From: David J.
Sent: June 20, 2012
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: First Successful Brain Transplant on a Monkey

First Successful Brain Transplant on a Monkey

You requested interesting emails. Well got this one from a friend in college. Enjoy :-). Dave.
Did you know that…

In the 1970s Dr. Robert J. White performed the first successful brain transplant on a primate, surgically attaching one monkey's head to another monkey's body.

White's real hope is that, one day, he'll be able to supervise the first human head transplant surgery, but until then, he's not about to discourage curiosity, be it from Scientific American or Hard Copy.

Right now, science is 25 to 50 years away from a successful human head transplant, White estimates. Other scientists say it could happen within a year, in a country anxious to be first, like Russia or China.

Outside the lab, a major part of White's career has been spent in the head trauma unit at MetroHealth, where for years he deftly performed delicate operations, but had a tough time accepting his patients' dismal prognoses.

"Everybody always thinks, "Oh, what a gross, horrible, mean thing to do to a person," he says of the surgery. "Well, pretend you're a total quad. Let's say you're real thirsty -- ask somebody to get you a glass of water, or ask somebody to help you transfer to the toilet when you have to go. When you become disabled, you lose all privacy. Your life is a schedule."

White's first medical breakthrough was not head transplantation, but a technique of cooling the spinal cord that slowed down the damage enough so that doctors could operate on it.

Read the whole story at Cleveland Scene

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