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Make Me Live Forever (Graphic Experiment with a monkeys head transplanted Incl.) Dr. Robert White

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posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:05 PM
A documentary was shown recently on UK television called "Make me live forever" where they covered a few things people do in their quest for eternal life, or certainly extending their life.

One small part covered the work of Dr. Robert White, who is known to of carried out a successful experiment to see if a head could be transplanted onto another body, thus continuing life, on the basis that their life could be extended due to a body medical problem, we can debate its usefulness, and negatives, but for now i wanted to bring this up for discussion, as i found this fascinating, and yet a little disturbing, the implications and sacrifices that come with this procedure as you can imagine.

We have all heard of cryogenics, but that is still science fiction as we don't know how to defrost them (sorry couldn't think of a better word) with everything fixed and no damage to the body and brain.

I have heard conflicting information regarding how long they lived for, the articles i will post refer to the monkeys living no more than a few days to a week, where as in the documentary Dr. Robert White say's one monkey lived for 2 weeks, and only ended when they decided the experiment had been a success.

Not surprisingly the monkey was described as being angry when it was awoken from the operation, snapping its teeth at the doctor, a primates sign of being angry.

Being that this operation took place in the early 70's and his work in this field going back to the early 60's, this caught the interest of the Soviet Union and CIA (Cold War), which makes great reading, well at least for me

Here's the video with the archive film included, with Dr.Robert White being interviewed amongst others during this clip, if easily offended dont watch it.

Monkey experiment

Below is a link to an interview with him taken in 2007.

Over his forty-year career, Dr. Robert White founded a brain research laboratory, published hundreds of articles, participated in work that was nominated for the Nobel Prize, visited Russia in the midst of the Cold War and handled Lenin’s brain, advised multiple Popes on scientific ethics, became a target of animal rights activists, and raised ten children. Oh yeah, and he also transplanted a monkey’s head to another monkey’s body.

Continues on link, with interview included.

Here's a bit more info on him and his work.

When Vladimir Demikhov unveiled his two-headed dogs in 1954, it inspired a strange kind of surgical arms race (or rather, head race) between the two superpowers. Eager to prove that its surgeons were actually the best in the world, the American government began funding the work of Robert White, who then embarked on a series of experimental surgeries, performed at his brain research center in Cleveland, Ohio, resulting in the world's first successful monkey-head transplant.

The head transplant occurred on March 14, 1970. It took White and his assistants hours to perform the carefully choreographed operation, separating a monkey's head from its body and reattaching it to a new body. When the monkey woke and found that its body had been switched for a new one, it angrily tracked White with its eyes and snapped at him with its teeth. The monkey survived a day and a half before succumbing to complications from the surgery. As bad as it was for the monkey, it could have been worse. White noted that, from a surgical point of view, it would have been easier to put the monkey's head on backwards.

The main obstacles/implications will be described as follows; most of the monkey's died as a result of the bodies natural response to reject the transplant, which we now know can be overcome, unable to attach the spinal cord so the patient for want of a better word, would be paralysed from the head down, maybe a price worth paying for an extended life? Debatable of course.

Of course for someone to have this operation, a body would be needed, presumably a body with no defects, which raises some serious concerns of fair practice and ethics.

With future technology getting closer by the day to actually being able to make paraplegic people walk again i think the spinal cord issue wouldn't be such a problem in the near future.

Im not religious but im sure this would make some waves for the religious folks, would their God approve? I think not.

His work had to stop for fear of his life and mainly his family due to animal rights activist's, and he says the work went black, underground, as the implications were far reaching.

So i hope you can put aside your animal welfare concerns for a second, and have an intelligent debate on this topic, i hate animal cruelty, but the facts remain, if he did it on monkeys, it can be done on us, and even better with today's technology.

[edit on 21-2-2009 by Denied]


posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:21 PM
very interesting video, however I am not sure if the monkey survived very long - if you look at the video, the nose and the mouth of the monkey was seriously bleeding etc. I believe that transplanting the head into an "Asimov" - like robot would be actually better. The brain could have various microchip implants needed in order to control the robot , so I believe that the brain would learn how to use the robot as it would be its own body.. so no ethical problems in finding donors or keeping a heard attached to a paralyzed body..
However the big challenge would be how to keep a head alive while embedded inside a machine.


posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:24 PM
i just wanted to provide an interesting link with news related to life-extension domain : link

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:26 PM
reply to post by sty

hehe you just think it would be awesome to be half robot, half man

Its ok... I do too


posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:27 PM
reply to post by nj2day

lol, better than attached to a dead body , init?

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:36 PM

Originally posted by sty
very interesting video, however I am not sure if the monkey survived very long - if you look at the video, the nose and the mouth of the monkey was seriously bleeding etc.

I believe that was due to the rejection response.

None of the monkeys lived more than a week after the operation - their faces swelled and bled as rejection set in.

Regarding the robot comments, even though possible, its in its infancy and still needs alot more research and work, but i know that's probably the future of this kind of thing, with less ethics involved.

However this procedure, would work with today's technology, only the spinal cord issue to overcome if you wanted full movement.

I wonder if, covertly this has already been carried out on a human, and if there was an ability to overcome connecting the spinal cord, on the basis that scientist's can, and it just hasn't been made available to the general public, one would be able to mix in society without any one realising, not possible when you look like robocop

And dont discount the possibility of cures etc not being hidden, as drug companies will always prefer the more profitable option, and that's not always the cure.

[edit on 21-2-2009 by Denied]

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:37 PM
reply to post by sty

As long as the body wasn't C-3PO like... I'm thinking more... Terminator style...

anyway, I won't further derail this... sorry OP

I've seen the videos before with the monkey transplant... Its pretty wild stuff...

There's not an ethical committee in the world that would allow us to continue those experiments today... They could do so much more scientific study back in the day...

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:39 PM

Originally posted by Denied

However this procedure, would work with today's technology, only the spinal cord issue to overcome if you wanted full movement.

And this might not even be a problem with all the possibilities in stem cell research and treatment...


posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:52 PM
reply to post by Denied

unfortunately you are right - the goal of the corporation is profit - NOT charity !

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:57 PM
Brains age like any other organ. At the very least senility would set in after a period.

Also that sounds like a disgusting experiment. We are out of balance with nature. What happened to dying gracefully?


posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by rizla

I posted some news on the subject this week : stem cells were used to create "everlasting" neurons. The obtained neurons were able to create synapses with the existing neurons. So the brain can be fixed..

posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 02:02 PM
Here's something that ties into this topic, that i was reading today.

What caught my interest was the statement, Turtles never die of old age.

Here's two paragraph's explaining some information about this.

Today's catch is a 16-year-old female that has been caught and X-rayed five times since she first reproduced in 1996. Some of the turtles that show up at the shed are much older; although tagged as adults in the 1950s, they are still healthy and fertile. They're also the key to Congdon's groundbreaking discovery: Blanding's and perhaps also Midland Painted turtles don't senesce—deteriorate physically—as they grow old. They simply don't age. And Congdon says the females actually produce more eggs as they grow older: "They're crankin' compared to the young ones." When they do die, the cause is often an attack—hit by a car or mauled by a raccoon—or one of a number of infectious diseases that kill these turtles at all ages in seemingly equal proportions. While certain ailments, such as cancer and heart disease, strike older humans more often than they do younger ones, Congdon's animals don't seem to become more vulnerable to disease as they grow older.

The findings are turning the discussion of aging in mammals upside down. "His work is a sharp challenge to a theory that has been taken at face value—that senescence is inevitable," says Caleb Finch, professor of biological sciences and gerontology at the University of Southern California. "Here you have a vertebrate turtle that shows no increase in mortality and no loss of reproductive capacity at ages where mammals, including humans, will shut down totally." Other species with long life spans include sharks, tarantulas, and rockfish, and human gerontologists are starting to pay close attention. As Huber Warner, associate director of the Biology of Aging Program at the National Institute of Aging, says, "If we knew what regulates life span in turtles, that might be useful in figuring out how humans age and how to intervene."

The complete article can be found on this link.

Some animal's never die of old age, they succumb to disease, environmental conditions, and injury, but wont technically die of old age, fuelling the idea that there might exist the elusive "immortal gene" which with a little tinkering, with today's genealogy research, could be introduced into humans.

Here is some more info i found from another source.

There is an Emerging Area of Aging Research: Long-lived Animals with "Negligible Senescence". Scientists have found that in some animals their aging process is so slow that it is either nonexistent or too slow to be measured reliably in the laboratory. Negligible Senescence is what Caleb Finch, a scientist at USC studying this process, has decided to call this slow-aging or non-aging process. The animals, that exhibit Negligible Senescence, don’t have a finite life span like other animals. Which means they don’t have a maximum age of life where they would die of old age. They also seem to resist the diseases of old age. They have a life expectancy, or live to an age to which they die of disease, predators, or starvation- but not old age. In this sense, these animals can be considered immortal.

Apparently its all to do with Telomerase.

A German research group found that lobsters produce lots of telomerase and show few signs of aging during their long lives. Telomerase prevents the decay of Telomeres, which caps on the end of chromosomes. Normally, human cells divide about 75 times over a lifetime. Each time a cell divides, the telemere erodes. When this happens, the cell can no longer divide and eventually dies. These scientists believe telomerase has some kind of anti-aging property by protecting cells.


Knowing that scientist's know all this now, and have probably known for a long while, i truly believe that combining all the research and technology from all these different fields, extending life greatly, or even immortality is possible, but this kind of thing is obviously not conducive to today's already over populated, and still rapidly growing population.

Why would you want to live forever? Why don't we just die gracefully? I hear you say...

I can understand that point of view, but what intrigues me is the possibility of what we are able to do, and the lengths people will go to, to achieve their goals, however selfish, regardless of what is considered right, breaking the laws of nature, that are viewed as forbidden.

[edit on 22-2-2009 by Denied]

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