On Friday, Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero announced that a team led by himself and Professor Ren Xiaoping from China had successfully performed the first human head transplant on a corpse at Harbin Medical University. He also mentioned the prospect of doing such a surgical operation on living humans. Is his claim even possible? Two experts shared their views with China Daily's Zhang Zhouxiang: Wang Yue, a professor at the Institute of Medical Humanities, Peking University Personally, I think it is a little misleading to call what Canavero and Ren have done "a surgical operation". "Surgical operations" are done on living human or animal bodies and they mean to help to sustain life or improve its living conditions; "Transplanting" the head of one corpse to the body of the other should be more properly called "dissection". Besides, Canavero claimed that the 18-hour "operation" showed it is possible to reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels, without ever mentioning whether he succeeded in reconnecting them. In practice, the most difficult part lies not in repairing blood vessels or muscle, but in reconnecting the nerves and reactivating them, or letting the signals transmit through the re-connected nerves. Unless there is a breakthrough in the impairment of wounded nerves, it is irresponsible to do such an "operation" and hype it up. Further, Canavero said they would "imminently" move onto a living human who was paralyzed from the neck down. According to our standards, medical professionals must do enough tests on animals before implementing any new surgical operation to human bodies. However, Canavero mentioned a few tests he and his team did to animals. For example, last year they had successfully grafted a head onto the body of a monkey, but there is no total number (of these tests). Neither has any medical authority claimed to have granted them any approval. Therefore, the attempt to do the "operation" on living humans must be put under strict regulation. Maybe we can hold a more tolerant view towards experimental "operations", but when it comes to real operations, professionals, the media and supervisors must all be cautious. Zhang Tiankan, vice-chief editor of Encyclopedia magazine and a former medical researcher Canavero said he would do the head transplant on living humans. Let's assume he had successfully done it and the person survived after the operation. A new problem would then emerge: Who is the new person? Is he the previous head owner or the previous body owner? The biological, ethical, and legal affairs involved will be unprecedentedly complicated. Biologically, the person would suffer from chaos because his/her mind resided in the head, but his/her body belonged to someone else. When he/she looked at the new body, which happens every hour, the self-recognition problem might be a big challenge for him/her. Ethically, if the person who received the operation married and had children, that would be a very big problem because the children inherited DNA from the body. Should the children be considered the new person's children? Would he/she accept the children? None of the above-listed problems are as big as the legal one. Whose identity should he/she inherit, the head's or the body's? Whose property? Whose family? Would the person be given a new social security number, or should he/she use the old number of either the head or the body owner's? Luckily, none of the above will happen in the near future, because there is no medical authority openly issuing approval for a head transplant on any living human yet. I hope the medical authorities will be as cautious as they always are, because such a transplant would cause many more problems than benefits. fabric wristbands uk
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Cambodia's Prime Minister and president of Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Hun Sen looks at the ballot box after casting his vote during local elections in Kandal province, Cambodia June 4, 2017. [Photo/Agencies] KANDAL, Cambodia - Since early Sunday morning, Cambodian voters have queued at polling stations across the country, waiting their turns to cast ballots in the 4th commune elections. Cambodians are confident that their votes will bring good leaders to their villages and communes. The election is crucial to electing good commune chiefs and councilors who care about the people and devote their physical and mental energies to commune and village development, 56-year-old businesswoman Seang Chantheng told Xinhua after casting her vote at a polling station in the southern Kandal province. She revealed that she voted for the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) since the party has brought full peace and development to the country. The party I trust, the party I have always supported is the Cambodian People's Party and today I voted for the party, she said. Eang Dane, 19, a high-school student in the capital of Phnom Penh, said she also cast her ballot for the CPP and believed that only leaders from the CPP could bring real development to the grassroots people. It was the first time I have voted, I'm really happy, she told Xinhua after voting at a station in Phnom Penh. I love the CPP because the party has brought peace and development to our country. Dane was confident that the CPP would continue to win the elections for further development in communes and villages, especially the development of roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. Kim Sokhonn, a 46-year-old housewife who voted at a polling station in Kandal province, said she felt free to vote for the party she liked, and there was no intimidation. I hope that all political parties will accept the election results. I don't want to see the situation like it was in 2013, she told Xinhua, referring to the national elections in July 2013 in which the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) did not recognize the election results and staged mass protests for months. Twelve political parties have contested in Sunday's elections, with the ruling CPP and the opposition CNRP being the major contestants, according to the National Election Committee (NEC). CPP President and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen voted at a polling station near his mansion in Kandal province, roughly 10 km south of the capital on Sunday, while CNRP President Kem Sokha cast his ballot in Phnom Penh. Hun Sen said during an election campaign on Friday that he was confident that the CPP would continue to win the majority in the polls. There is only the CPP that has sufficient capacity to govern Cambodia and to maintain the country's peace and development, he said, adding that the party has more than 5 million members. Approximately 7.87 million eligible voters are expected to vote in the elections which are held to elect 11,572 commune chiefs and councilors for the kingdom's 1,646 communes. The preliminary election results are expected on Sunday evening and the official results will be released 21 days after the votes. Held every five years, the commune elections are seen as a bellwether of the ruling party's support ahead of the national elections in July 2018. In the last commune elections in June 2012, the CPP gained 61.9 percent of the votes, compared to about 30.6 percent for the opposition.
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