Infant rat heads grafted onto adults’ thighs

This is an old story. How did I not hear about this before?

Infant rats are being decapitated and their heads grafted onto the thighs of adults by researchers in Japan.

If kept cool while the blood flow is stopped, a transplanted brain can develop as normal for at least three weeks, and the mouth of the head will move, as if it is trying to drink milk, the team reports.

The grafted heads could be “excellent models” for investigating brain function in human babies after periods of no blood flow, known as ischemia, they claim.

“Our main purpose is to investigate how the transplanted brain can develop and maintain function after prolonged total brain ischemia,” researcher Nobufumi Kawai, at the Jichi Medical School in Tochigi, told New Scientist. “And we tried to investigate the effect of lowering the temperature of the brain during the grafting.”

Full Story: New Scientist.

(Thanks James).

2 Comments

  1. Dammit all, now where was I recently reading about the transplant work Cold War Russian scientists were doing, grafting puppy heads to adult dogs necks…?

  2. Circus sideshows – while kids of die of hunger,abuse and neglect, scientists never tire of finding new ways to torment animals.

    If we took half the claims of vivisectors seriously, we’d expect disease to be a thing of the past anytime soon.

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