Don't like your body? Good news! Doctors say that within the next two years you can transplant your head onto a new body. Pat and Stu had the story on radio today, and made sure that Jeffy knew exactly what would happen so he could start saving for the procedure ASAP!
Start listening at 1 hour 22min into today's show and scroll down for more
PAT: It just shows you that scientists are not infallible. They don't have all the answers, but they do have one coming very soon. And, Jeffy, this will be of particular interest to you. This is extremely exciting news for you. Within two years, you can finally get that head transplant that you so desperately need.
PAT: Can you imagine if you had a different head?
STU: Oh, wow.
PAT: How great it would be for you?
STU: It wouldn't improve the rest of you, but just the head --
PAT: Just the head. Get rid of the head and put a reasonable head on top of the thing that's underneath it. And it's improved quite a bit.
STU: Did you say --
JEFFY: You're the only person that told me that.
PAT: Right. Within two years, my friend. Hang on with this head for two more years. Then you can finally get the head transplant you so desperately need.
STU: Did you just advise Jeffy to put on a reasonable head? Was that the actual advice?
STU: I want to make sure I understand.
PAT: According to Surgeon Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy first proposed a serious attempt at human head transplant in 2013. He said, I think we're now at a point when the technical aspects are feasible.
PAT: He's outlined his technique. First, both the transplant head and the donor body would need to be cooled in order to slow cell death. Then the neck of both would be cut. And the major blood vessels linked with tubes. Finally the spinal cord would be severed with as clean a cut as possible.
STU: You want to keep that cut pretty clean. As clean as possible, right.
PAT: Joining the spinal cords with tightly packed nerves inside is key. Now, the plan involves flushing the area with polyethylene glycol which I love. I love to be flushed. Whether I need it or not about every six months with polyethylene glycol.
STU: Sometimes you'll get back from a commercial break 30 seconds later. Pat, where were you? I was flushing with polyethylene glycol.
PAT: That will be followed with injections of the same. A chemical that encourages the fat in the cell membranes to mesh. There's so much fat in yours it's meshing --
JEFFY: I'm going through the process. I'm getting ready.
STU: So this is just prep. Okay. And we've been critical this whole time. It explains a lot.
PAT: The blood vessels, muscles, and skin would then be sutured, and the patient would be induced into a coma for several weeks. This is exciting news for you. I'd recommend the coma be longer just in case. You know, maybe months or years in your case. Keep you from moving around and keep you off the air longer.
JEFFY: So for my safety?
PAT: Yeah. Electrodes would meanwhile stimulate the spine with electricity in an attempt to strengthen the new nerve connections. In case of rejection, the patient would be given an antirejection, you know, immunosuppressant. So they can actually -- isn't that amazing? You can sever the spinal cord, put a new head on, reattach everything, and then you could walk and move and talk and all that. Wow.
STU: If you're getting a head transplant. Right?
Are you keeping your brain?
PAT: That's a good question.
STU: Or do you take your -- like I have a head that someone might want and Jeffy has a head that no one would want. They cut our spinal cords. Throw Jeffy's in the trash. Goes into the trash immediately.
JEFFY: I can help somebody.
STU: No. Probably not.
PAT: A dog. Maybe put your head on a dog.
STU: Or a dog could eat the fat off of the cheeks and such. Right?
PAT: I'd love to see your head on a dog.
STU: So they take my head off, and they -- so is it the functioning head is moving to a new body is really what it is. Right?
STU: You're not changing heads -- I know this is weird to talk about.
PAT: Would you be you at that point?
JEFFY: No. That's what I'm thinking. People used to think with the heart transplants and, oh, Uncle Billy has Little Johnny's heart now. Think of that.
STU: What kind of weird Lifetime movie is that? Uncle Billy has Little Johnny's heart.
JEFFY: But now Uncle Billy has little Johnny's head, oh, my gosh.
STU: I think the issue here, it's not a head transplant, as if you're receiving a new head. You're receiving a new body. It's really more of a body transplant. Right? Because you're taking the working ahead and putting it on another body. Not the other way around. My head is not working. Give me a new head on this body. Right? Because then you would have to transfer the brain too and then you're not you. You're taking my head in this theoretical example is the working head. You chop Jeffy's head off. Throw that in the trash. Or staple it on a dog or whatever. And you put my head on Jeffy's body, and then I am -- it's still me because my brain is still working in theory. I just have bad health measurables because I have Jeffy's body. Right?
That's the end of it.
JEFFY: Yeah, I guess. It's creepy.
PAT: Either way, it's creepy. I think you're right. It has to be that way, otherwise it's not you.
STU: Unless you -- like you installed a new head on you from someone else and then they also took your brain and transplanted it into that brain. Like, maybe if you had a skull fracture that was so bad, your head -- you're just going to seep out during lunch. Your brain would seep out under the plate. You don't want that to happen. Take the brain out. Put a new head on. Pop the brain back in like it's a new engine. Then put the top on. The hair hood kind of gets popped on the top there. And then everything is okay. But I think that's a little bit too complicated.
JEFFY: That's a lot of connections.
STU: Thank you, Jeffy. That's a lot of connections.
JEFFY: That's a lot of connections.
STU: It is. It would be amazing to see, if my brain got on to somebody else's body, my brain would be able to theoretically control the foot of that new body?
PAT: Yes, in theory.
STU: I mean, that is really freaking weird.
PAT: They don't say if they've already performed this on animals. I would think they would have to. If this is two years out from doing this on humans, you would have had to successfully done this on something. Right?
STU: You would think so.
PAT: Because it wouldn't make any sense to make this proclamation if you aren't certain you could make it happen. That's weird. I don't know how that works out soul-wise. Does your soul transfer with your -- with your head?
STU: I think it does.
PAT: Does it?
STU: That's a spiritual thing.
JEFFY: The heart thing is not really the heart.
PAT: You're kind of messing with things that shouldn't be messed with at that point.
STU: Oh, boy. You'll stay alive hopefully in theory. I think it's a spiritual thing. Right?
It has nothing to do with your actual body. It's a spiritual thing.
PAT: So your spirit transfers with your head? Your spirit --
STU: I think it's there --
PAT: Is it all through your body? Because I think it is.
STU: It's with your consciousness.
JEFFY: Perhaps when they're cutting your head off, your spirit says, you know, maybe I'll go with the head.
PAT: Here's what we do, we try it on you right now, and we'll see.
STU: Yeah, let's give it a whirl. Get the saw out.