Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Mind Fuck Tuesday: Head Transplants
(BBC) The arguments against head and brain transplants were outlined by Dr Stephen Rose, director of brain and behavioural research at the Open University. He said: "This is medical technology run completely mad and out of all proportion to what's needed. "It's entirely misleading to suggest that a head transplant or a brain transplant is actually really still connected in anything except in terms of blood stream to the body to which it has been transplanted. "It's not controlling or relating to that body in any other sort of way."
"All you're doing is keeping a severed head alive in terms of the circulation from another animal. It's not connected in any nervous sense."
It's unrealistic to imagine taking an entire brain and transplanting it, but all these questions about the technology has led to a very realistic possibility that could change the future for many as described in this NOVA piece:
"We're not going to make whole brains in a dish and then just transplant them," says Evan Snyder, head of Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in California. "But what people are playing with is, is it possible to do little bits of tissue engineering in a dish and then put these tissues into small areas [of the body] and see whether you can make some connections?" Perhaps help a patient with Parkinson's disease regain some lost neural functionality, say, or buy a quadriplegic another segment of spinal cord function such that she can breath a little better on her own or can now move her thumbs—that's the hope, Snyder says.
This movie above and the one below are probably the only way I want to see this happen -
at 2:30:00 AM