Monkey head transplants coming soon in China?

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Thank goodness - I’ve been waiting years for a suitable brain donor!

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Dog head grafts onto other dogs and decapitated heads kept alive were done in the 1930s-50s by Russian scientists.
Sergei Brukhonenko
Vladimir Demikhov
Truly disturbing. But I imagine the tech has advanced rapidly since then, and I’m surprised we haven’t seen more horror stories in the interim.
(not recommended viewing)

Surely it won’t be long now:


Several researchers have transplanted monkey heads going as far back as the 1970’s. One researcher even claims it will be easier on humans because (paraphrasing) "the anatomy is larger and easier to work with).

Cool! I want a monkey head! Oh, wait…

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There’s no reason to think it would be that difficult to do for humans. But how would you like to be tetraplegic and ventilator dependent? Until we can make nerves regrow consistently it’s a pointless exercise.

I’m now convinced that everyone was high in the 70’s, even brain surgeons.

“Dude, follow me on this… what if… we take the head from one monkey… and put it on the body of another monkey?”
“Whoa… I’m in! Let’s do it!”

10 minutes later, two perfectly good monkeys are now one monkey paralyzed from the neck down and one dead monkey…


Ugh, do we even want/need to be able to graft human heads onto bodies ? Can’t we just leave these poor animals alone ?

Who can score for ludes if not a doctor?

I made this half monkey, half monkey monster to please you
But I get the feeling you don’t like it
What’s with all the screaming?
You like monkeys, and you like monkeys
Maybe you don’t like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many monkeys
Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined some monkeys making a gift for you?

Stolen from Johnathan Coulton’s Skullcrusher Mountain

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If research did continue ,the scientists performing would know to keep their mouths shut, lest they have animal rights groups breathing down their neck. And while most people ignore ARGs, sometimes the horrors they uncover are too much for the public to not see.

One paralyzed monkey that usually dies in 24 hours.

If the current standard for ‘success’ involves mouse models and post-surgical survival times in the single-digit hours (hey, at least you don’t need to worry about nerve regrowth!); it seems pretty questionable whether you can say that monkey head transplants are ‘coming soon’, even if the researcher is willing to start chopping up monkeys yesterday.

If you aren’t too picky about the patient actually surviving long enough to make your failure to fix their spinal cord a problem, the technology has been ‘mature’ for decades. That’s a pretty low bar to clear, though.

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Maybe, maybe not. They certainly claimed to have done so, but all the footage of those supposedly-disembodied-but-still-alive dog heads only shows them from angles in which the bodies could easily have been concealed under the table.

Remember, these were scientists working under the Stalin regime who had a hell of a lot of motivation to show results. Extraordinary claims of success should be taken with a grain of salt when admitting failure could have meant a one-way-ticket to a Siberian labor camp.

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