Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Of Solid and Obsolete – 4

By: al-Sa Her al-Ba Her

Once, I aim to write at least 5 blogposts before I end my study here. And here you go, my fourth.

1.      HEAVEN: Head Anastomosis Venture. In 1970, Robert White and his team had transplanted the head of a rhesus monkey to the body of another rhesus monkey with already severed head, and that little Frankenstein was alive for 8 days. However, they did realized that the greatest challenge in this procedure is reconnecting the severed spinal cord.

"The Dawn of the Rise of The Planet of the Apes: The Origin"

Fast forward to 21st century, Sergio Canavero and his team from Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group (P/S: scientific societies + cool name + futuristic research + promise of a better future = the beginning of doomsday) claim that they may have found a way to overcome that problem.

"Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group... the only thing left for them is to create a cool, simplistic logo design and they are set to destroy the world"

Their solution: GEMINI procedure, in which they will cut the spinal cord with ultra-sharp blade, and reconnect them using substance called fusogen-sealant (so-called because the substance both fuse and seal the site of resection). What this substance do is it first acutely dehydrate the something something and the hydrophilic force pulls and hydrophobic seals and etc etc… (read it yourselves, I just can’t brain it anymore)

Anyway, in this journal, they’ve described the procedures step-by-step from cooling the brain to cutting to reanastomosing and lastly physiotherapy. And the comments worth reading too. One of the commenter suggested to attach ovum to one side of the severed cord and sperm to the other side, so that the sperm will guide the connection of the cord (huh?)

Regarding ethical consideration, the author told this story of 2 man who beheaded their head and later their heads were restored magically, but to the wrong body. The wife of one of the man was in conflict of choosing which one was her husband, and to make matters worse, the wife love both men.

What’s your opinion? If this is achievable, would you allow it, as a doctor or even as a patient who may need it?

Read further here: Canavero S. HEAVEN: The head anastomosis venture Project outline for the first human head transplantation with spinal linkage (GEMINI). Surg Neurol Int [serial online] 2013 [cited 2015 May 12];4:335-42. Available from: http://www.surgicalneurologyint.com/text.asp?2013/4/2/335/113444

...meanwhile, this is my greatest achievements...

2.      Delayed cord clamping. I’ll just copy and paste the conclusions here:

“Providing additional placental blood to the preterm baby by either delaying cord clamping for 30 to 120 seconds, rather than early clamping, seems to be associated with less need for transfusion, better circulatory stability, less intraventricular haemorrhage (all grades) and lower risk for necrotising enterocolitis. However, there were insufficient data for reliable conclusions about the comparative effects on any of the primary outcomes for this review.” (source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003248.pub3/abstract)

“A more liberal approach to delaying clamping of the umbilical cord in healthy term infants appears to be warranted, particularly in light of growing evidence that delayed cord clamping increases early haemoglobin concentrations and iron stores in infants. Delayed cord clamping is likely to be beneficial as long as access to treatment for jaundice requiring phototherapy is available.” (source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004074.pub3/abstract)

P/S: what Afifi shared in the comment in Gen09 group (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6440574) is an article from 1984. My suggestions: 1) always recheck the date before using a source; 2) use Cochrane Database or UpToDate to look for latest systematically reviewed articles.

By the way, if you want to read any free full-text articles/ journals, search in PubMed Central (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/)

One more blogpost to go!

Do things with passion or not at all.

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