A new claim from the quack decapitator

Sergio Canavero is now claiming to have achieved successful repair/regeneration of severed spinal cords by something he pompously calls The Gemini Protocol. This is simply severing the cord with a sharp knife (good to know he’s not using a dull one) and immediately squirting the cut with polyethylene glycol (which we’ve known for decades will cause cells to fuse). He has photos of rats that he said managed to start walking again two weeks after slicing through their spinal cords.

This is pretty much guaranteed bullshit.

More qualified experts than I say the same thing.

Critics of the proposed human head transplant have been vocal since it was first announced. Commenting on it in 2015, Chad Gordon, professor neurological surgery at Johns Hopkins University, told BuzzFeed : “There’s no way he’s going to hook up somebody’s brain to someone’s spinal cord and have them be functional. On the conservative side, we’re about 100 years away from being able to figure this out. If he’s saying two, and he’s promising a living, breathing, talking, moving human being? He’s lying.”

Jerry Silver, Professor of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, works on repairing spinal cords after injury. Commenting on the latest study, he tells Newsweek it is unclear whether to team had truly severed the cord completely. “I notice that in the last paragraph they state ‘In conclusion, we have shown that the paralysis following full severance of the dorsal spinal cord can be reversed—to a significant extent—by immediate application of a fusogen.’ Did they sever only the ‘dorsal’ cord?” he says.

He said the team also claims the axons—which form part of the spinal cord—had regenerated, but “they show no evidence for regeneration.”

“There is no histology [the study of the microscopic structure of tissues] which is the only way to assess what is really going on here,” Silver said, adding the BBB scores—the scoring system used to assess motor function in rats—were unrealistic.

“Two treated animals supposedly recover locomotor skills that are nearly normal (BBB scores of 19 and 20 out of a possible 21 total) and as a group they average a score of 12 which means that they can on average take multiple weight bearing steps. [This is] unbelievable. Too good to be true in my opinion, which mandates that these results will have be independently verified and properly analyzed before this work can be accepted as scientifically valid.”

No histology. Partial cuts? Poor documentation of supposed recovery. This guy is a quack.

By the way, he’s also abruptly dropped plans to do the first human experiment on a man with a degenerative disease, Valery Spiridonov, and is instead planning to do it on an unnamed Chinese victim patient, just as he has announced Chinese government support.

Don’t take Canavero seriously, unless it’s to drag him off to the Hague for prosecution. His proposal is a glory-seeking sham.


  1. says

    Title is ambiguous. It’s a about a quack who wants to decapitate others.

    A Quack Decapitator might be a noble profession.

  2. blf says

    A Quack Decapitator might be a noble profession.

    The mildly deranged penguin probably won’t let anyone borrow her duck-proof armoured suit. She’s quite attached to it, or more commonly, stuck inside it.

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    This quack has gone to the dogs.

    Don’t hurt me. Someone had to say it.

  4. vole says

    At one time it was “known” that if you cut off the head of a snail, it would regenerate. This is referred to in a poem “The Snail” (which is actually a biting political satire) by Giuseppe Giusti (1809-1850). Regeneration of the head in snails was first reported by the Italian scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani in 1768. Those who successfully repeated his experiment (or claimed to have done so) included Voltaire, who expressed his hope that humans might one day be able to do the same, and suggested that in many cases such a change would be an improvement for all concerned. From my researches into snail biology I learned also that there is a prominent present-day malacologist called F Giusti. Is it too much to hope that he might be a descendant of the poet?

  5. says

    If your supposed medical procedure has a name that sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel you’re probably doing something questionable.

  6. chrislawson says

    Another red flag: Canavero claims the procedure had “no adverse side effects recorded”. Of course he has a TED talk.

  7. davidnangle says

    rietpluim, fewer repeat customers.

    Probably best for society, in the long run, even if we don’t like it.

  8. Big Boppa says

    I propose that Trump be the first test subject. Graft his head on Ivanka’s body. He can spend all his time grabbing himself by the pussy.