In 2013, Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren conducted a historic surgery: he basically sliced the head off one mouse and attached it to the body of another. Believe it or not, the grotesque creature he had created actually survived for a few minutes – it opened its eyes, and even managed to breathe on its own. The operation was hailed a success, and since then, the eccentric doctor and his team have conducted head transplants on over 1,000 mice!
With each operation, Dr. Ren has tried to perfect his procedure by using tiny tubes to carry oxygenated blood from the mice’s brains to their new bodies. After over 1,000 transplants, the results are not very encouraging – after the procedure, the mice open their eyes, breathe on their own and even show signs of movement, but so far, every one of them has died within a day. That sounds scary and even unethical, but Dr. Ren is so motivated by his modest success that he wants to continue experimenting on other creatures. According to a Wall Street Journal report, he’s planning to conduct head transplants on monkeys next, hoping to create the first head-transplanted primate that can live and breathe on its own, ‘at least for a little while’.