Tuesday, December 3, 2002

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

If kept cool while the blood flow is stopped [during the operation], 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….

But other researchers are far from convinced by the grisly technique.