Scientists planning the world’s first head transplant say they are one step closer to starting human trials.
The neurosurgeons have already performed the controversial operation on a corpse but now, Italian Sergio Canavaro and Xiaoping Ren, from China, claim to have repaired “irreversible” spinal cord injuries in animal experiments.
Two studies, published this week, show monkeys and dogs were able to walk again after their spinal cords were severed and successfully repaired.
The pair said their new findings are “unprecedented” and should pave the way for the first human trials.
Canavaro told USA Today the findings “completely reject the view… that a severed spinal cord cannot be mended in any way, a mantra uncritically repeated over and over.”
Human trials “next step”
Xiaoping said the breakthrough is proof that human trials should be given the go-ahead.
The studies, the findings of which are published in the journal Surgical Neurology International, took place at Harbin Medical University in China.