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The human head transplantation system is presented to the public for the first time

The private bioengineering company BrainBridge, based in the USA but operated from Dubai (UAE), today introduced the world to the first-ever developed system for human head transplantation.

It is claimed that the necessary technologies for this innovative operation could be fully ready within 8 years and that individuals who undergo head transplantation will live much longer than the average lifespan, considering that the human brain ages much slower than other parts of the body.

BrainBridge asserts that head transplantation surgeries could drastically help people suffering from paralysis and spinal cord injuries. Donor bodies will be sourced from patients with deceased brains.

The simplified scheme of such a transplantation looks like this:

  1. Initially, both the donor and recipient bodies will be cooled to 5°C to prevent damage to the living brain during transplantation.
  2. Then, an artificial plasma solution will be introduced into both bodies at the required concentration to supply oxygen to the brain and prevent blood clotting.
  3. Next, blood from the recipient’s native body will be completely drained from the head to prevent clotting, and after the head is detached, it will be immediately connected to the circulatory system of the donor body and flushed with fresh, oxygen-rich blood.
  4. Afterward, facial muscles and soft tissues from the donor will be transplanted to reduce the risk of tissue rejection and “rejuvenate” the recipient’s face.

This entire operation will be performed using special robotic devices and with the involvement of artificial intelligence. Specifically, AI algorithms will monitor the condition of muscles and nerves during the operation to “facilitate smooth adaptation”.

To restore neuronal connections in the severed spinal cord and fuse the cut site, polyethylene glycol and a “specialized implant” will be used.

After the operation, the patient will spend about a month in a state of artificial coma in the intensive care unit. During this time, their new body will receive immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection by the immune system of the donor body. Also, the brain will need time to regain control over the body.

“The goal of our technology is to push the boundaries of what is possible in medical science and offer innovative solutions for those fighting life-threatening conditions. Our technology promises to open doors to life-saving treatment methods that were unimaginable just a few years ago,” says project leader Hashem Al-Ghaeli.

Currently, the company is seeking specialists capable of performing such operations and is targeting leading experts from around the world, “interested in expanding the boundaries of biomedical science and making the world a better place.”

However, some experts have greeted this news with skepticism, stating that head transplantation still remains in the realm of science fiction, and the BrainBridge system presented is very crude and unrealistic.

“There is no evidence that head transplantation is possible in humans. This (BrainBridge presentation) reflects a crude simplification of how the brain works and how these diseases develop, assuming that this proposal could be a bad joke,” says Ahmad Al-Heifat, a neurobiologist from the Royal College of London.

“I have seen several fantastic claims from private and commercial organizations, but this is undoubtedly the most extreme. In many ways, it resembles a dozen unlikely, absurd statements bundled into one convenient package.

Starting with the fact that direct head transplantation remains a fiction. While most of the key obstacles are acknowledged in this video, the proposed ‘solutions’ at best are vague hints at things that won’t be discovered for decades, if not centuries. Assuming they will happen at all.

Given all the most obvious qualities of this video — incredibly smooth CGI graphics in a corporate theme, insanely optimistic, unsupported statements, constant mention of the trendiest technologies, and emphasis on longevity and restored youth — I am sure this video exists solely as a kind of bait.

It is intended to lure one of those tech billionaires obsessed with the idea of immortality to fund this startup. This is the only explanation that makes sense, based on everything we know about modern science and how it works,” argues Ahmad Al-Heifat.

Surgeon Karan Rangarajan from Hampshire Clinic also sees many weaknesses in the presented system:

“When surgeons connect nerves in any part of the body, for example, during a hand transplant, we simply do not know if the nerves will function normally afterwards.

Even if everything connects, if any of these connections fail or break after the operation, it could mean instant death for the patient. Not to mention the need for lifelong medication to prevent rejection of the transplant.

Moreover, if you disconnect a person from the ‘network’ and flick the ‘off switch’, are you sure you’ll get the same person when you flick the switch back on?”

The real problems of human head transplantation began to be actively discussed worldwide since 2015 when the controversial Italian neurologist Sergio Canavero announced that he was ready to perform such an operation on a living person. At one point, his patient almost became Russian Valery Spiridonov, confined to a wheelchair, but it didn’t work out.

Canavero never proceeded with the actual operation. First, he claimed to have performed a trial head transplant on cadavers, then on rats, and then simply stopped making statements.

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