The idea of bringing people back from the dead by transplanting their brains into donor bodies may sound like science fiction.
But the bizarre vision could be a reality within three years, according to a controversial Italian surgeon.
Professor Sergio Canavero is famed for his plans to carry out the first human head transplant next year, and says that he will then focus on brain transplants.
Professor Canavero is Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, and is aiming to carry out the world’s first human head transplant next year.
In a new interview with Ooom magazine, he has outlined his next plan, which involves thawing frozen brains and inserting them into donor body.
While many experts are sceptical that complex organs like the brain can be thawed without damage, Professor Canavero believes the first frozen brain could soon be awoken.
He plans to awaken patients frozen by the Arizona-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
Professor Canavero told Ooom: ‘We will try to bring the first of the company’s patients back to life, not in 100 years.
‘As soon as the first human head transplant has taken place, i.e. no later than 2018, we will be able to attempt to reawaken the first frozen head.
‘We are currently planning the world’s first brain transplant, and I consider it realistic that we will be ready in three years at the latest.
‘A brain transplant has many advantages. First, there is barely any immune reaction, which means the problem of rejection does not exist.
‘The brain is, in a manner of speaking, a neutral organ. If you transplant a head with vessels, nerves, tendons and muscles, rejection can pose a massive problem. This is not the case with the brain.’
While he is optimistic about the plans, he did admit that there could be physical and psychological issues after putting a brain in a different body.
He said: ‘What may be problematic, is that no aspect of your original external body remains the same.