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Russian, Chinese surgeons may join first-ever head transplant experiment

September 11, 2015, 18:16 UTC+3 VLADIMIR

The operation is due in December 2017

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Valery Spiridonov

Valery Spiridonov

© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

VLADIMIR, September 11. /TASS/. Russian and Chinese surgeons may by the end of September confirm participation in history's first-ever head transplant surgery set for 2017, a spokesman for the operation volunteer told TASS on Friday.

Thirty-year-old Russian programmer Valery Spiridonov, suffering from genetic muscular atrophy and confined to a wheelchair for life, is a candidate for the history's first-ever head transplant surgery planned by neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero.

"We would like to exchange the information with Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero," Spiridonov’s spokesman said. "We are holding talks with Russian surgeons, transplant and resuscitation transplant specialists working for the Russian Academy of Sciences."

The spokesman said that their participation in the surgery would become clear by the end of September adding that Canavero was cooperating with Chinese scientists, known for their successful head transplant operations on mice.

This $11 million-plus procedure is expected to last about 36 hours and may take place in the United States - an attempt condemned as "reckless" by Academician Anzor Khubutia, director of Moscow's Sklifosovsky emergency hospital.

Domestic legislation does not allow head transplantation surgery to be conducted in Russia.

The idea of transplanting a donor’s head onto a body was first described by Russian science fiction writer Alexander Belyaev in his 1925 novel "Professor Dowell's Head.".

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