Re: Head transplantation done

John D. Gleason (
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 17:20:57 -0500 (EST)

Anders wrote:
>"The latest developments in the 20-year project, including the vital
>step of achieving respiration in the transplanted heads, have been
>reported in an American scientific journal by Robert White, professor
>of neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
>I have not been able to find it in Medline, though. Anybody else who
>can dig up the original reference? Somehow I think the Times may be
>exaggerating things.

Actually, just the other day, The Learning Channel had a program on
entitled "Unnatural Science" which discussed Dr. White's research in
addition to other controversial topics such as cloning and germ-line gene
therapy. They had video of the transplanted monkey head, I believe the
monkey survived for a month (not sure about the amount of time but it was
significant) although it couldn't move it's new body.

Dr. White was forced to stop his research in this area due to death
threats by animal rights activists and a lack of funding. He is
considering resuming his research on "total body transplants," as he
prefers to call it, at a Ukrainian neurosurgery facility. You can read a
brief article that contains most of the same information at:

A quick search of medline turned up the following articles, which someone
with an interest and access to a medical library might be able to look up
(and summarize for the list - please!)

"Selective hypothermic perfusion of canine brain." White RJ, Takaoka Y;
Neurosurgery 1996 Dec; 39(6):1271

"The isolation and transplantation of the brain. An historical perspective
emphasizing the surgical solutions to the design of these classical
models." White RJ, et al.; Neurol Res 1996 Jun; 18(3):194-203

"Postulates for brain transplantation. [Editorial]" White RJ; Surg Neurol
1991 Feb; 35(2):164

"Brain transplantation." White RJ; Surg Neurol 1985 Apr; 23(4):449

"Primate cephalic transplantation: neurogenic separation, vascular
association." White RJ, et al; Transplant Proc 1971 Mar; 3(1):602-604

There were some additional articles that looked interesting, but these
seem to be the most relevant. The first article, I assume, is regarding
the short-term cooling of the brain during surgery, but I wonder if it
would be at all applicable to cryonic research? I believe the final
article is the one in which Dr. White reports the full body