Surgeon creates two-headed rat, says humans are next
Scientists have successfully created a two-headed rat -- and humans might be next.
A team of Chinese researchers wrote a paper about the surgery together with Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero. It was published in CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics.
The team transplanted the head of one rat onto the back of larger rat.
According to the paper, three rats were used for the operation -- a smaller rat who acted as the head donor, and two larger rats.
One large rat received the head transplant, and the other provided continuous blood supply to the donor rat's brain tissue. The donor's head's blood vessels were later attached to the recipients.
The paper states that the donor's head was able to blink and respond after the operation.
Canavero has attained a level of notoriety in recent years for giving TED talks. He claims that he will perform a controversial human head transplant later this year.
Some think that a human head transplant is impossible at this point.
"This is such an overwhelming project, the possibility of it happening is very unlikely," Harry Goldsmith, a clinical professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, Davis, told news outlet New Scientist.
"The real stumbling block is the ethics. Should this surgery be done at all? There are obviously going to be many people who disagree with it."
In 2015, Canavero predicted that the first human head transplant would be completed in 2017. We'll see if that comes true.