FRANKENSTEIN HEAD SWAP OPS Head transplants will happen by 2030 after technology advances, top doctor claims

2020/08/18 21:15

Today's Vocabulary

1.neurosurgery (n) 
operations on any part of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, and individual nerves

2. brainstorm (v) 
(of a group of people) to suggest a lot of ideas for a future activity  very quickly before considering some of them more carefully

3. transplant (v)
to move something, or to be moved, from one place or person to another

4. eponymous (adj) 
an eponymous character in a play, book, etc. has the same name as the title

5. grafting (v)
to join or add  something new

6. muscular dystrophy (n) 
a serious disease in which a person’s muscles gradually become weaker until walking is no longer possible

FRANKENSTEIN HEAD SWAP OPS Head transplants will happen by 2030 after technology advances, top doctor claims

Bruce Mathew, a former clinical lead for neurosurgery at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, made the realisation while working with author Michael J Lee on science fiction novel, Chrysalis.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: “Initially our intention was just to brainstorm an idea and it seemed rather silly, but then I realised, it actually isn’t.

“If you transplant the brain and spinal cord together it’s not impossible.”

Another medic, Prof Sergio Canavero, is also working on the first transplant but his method involves severing the spinal column, a concept Mr Mathew dismissed as “utterly ridiculous”.

In Mary Shelley’s 1818 horror novel Frankenstein, the eponymous scientist creates a monster by grafting together body parts.

Mr Mathew said a number of advancements would be needed.

His approach would benefit those with muscular dystrophy, amputees and potentially patients who have been frozen.

Medical ethics makes research difficult in the west but in parts of the world with less strict regulations experiments may happen.

Mr Mathew says transplants onto robotic bodies would also one day be possible using his method.


  1. What kind of movie did the article liken head transplants to?
  2. What did the doctor say had to be transplanted with the head?
  3. What disease did the doctor say the new technology could treat?

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein