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How would a head transplant be done?

It’s either the stuff of science fiction or the stuff of horror, but either way, according to an Italian neuroscientist, the first head transplant between humans is set to take place within the next year and a half.

A paper published in the June issue of Surgical Neurology International by Dr. Sergio Canavero announced that by the end of 2017, a Russian computer scientist will be the first human to have his head removed from his body and attached to a “donor body.”

The idea of attaching a person's head to another person's body is obviously going to set off all kinds of ethical and moral discussions. Doctors, researchers and religious leaders -- including the Russian Orthodox Church -- are all beginning to come forward with warnings about trying a surgery that many say is hundreds of years in the future, if doable at all.  

Here’s a look at what the procedure involves and what other doctors and religious leaders think of the prospect of putting a man’s head on another man’s body.

What is a head transplant?

A head transplant is where a living head and brain is attached to another person’s donor body.

How does Canavero’s human head transplant work?

Here’s how Canavero proposed to do it:

• Both the donor body and the head and brain to be attached to the body are cooled to between 54.6 and 59 degrees F. This is done to try to keep brain cells alive a bit longer when they are deprived of oxygen during the procedure.

• Next, the tissue around the neck is cut to reveal the major blood vessels.

• The blood vessels are linked using tiny tubes.

• The spinal cord on the donor body and the spinal cord on the body of the head to be transplanted are both severed with a knife sharpened to provide a clean, precise cut.

• This is when the head is removed.

• The two ends of the spinal cords are fused with the help of a chemical called polyethylene glycol. The chemical prompts growth of spinal cord cells.

• The muscles and blood supply are connected to the new body.

What happens if everything goes as expected?

If the head is transplanted and the patient survives the surgery, he is put into a medically-induced coma for the next month.

Here’s Dr. Canavero’s explanation.

What’s the best outcome to expect?

Dr. Canavero says he expects patients will be able to move, feel their face and speak – in the same voice – as soon as they are awakened from the coma. Walking, he believes, would come within a year.

Has a head transplant been tried before?

Not on humans, but it has been done on animals – dogs, monkeys and rats.

>>Who is Valery Spiridonov? 5 things to know about Russian volunteer for first human head transplant

How successful were those attempts?

Successful in that they were completed, not successful in that the animals died rather quickly after surgery.

Does Dr. Canavero have support in the medical community?

No, he doesn’t. Most doctors who have commented on the surgery say they don’t believe it can be done. Dr. Jerry Silver, who witnessed a head transplant on a rhesus monkey, told CBS News it was “bad science,” at best.

"I remember that the head would wake up, the facial expressions looked like terrible pain and confusion and anxiety in the animal. The head will stay alive, but not very long," the Case Western Reserve University neurologist said. "It was just awful. I don't think it should ever be done again.”

Silver says science is “ light years away from what they're talking about. ... to severe a head and even contemplate the possibility of gluing axons back properly across the lesion to their neighbors is pure and utter fantasy in my opinion."

Dr Chad Gordon, professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery and neurological surgery at Johns Hopkins University, told BuzzFeed that, “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,” he continued. “If he’s saying two, and he’s promising a living, breathing, talking, moving human being? He’s lying.”

Dr Arthur Caplan told Forbes: “I think the most likely result is insanity or severe mental disability.”

According to the Mirror, the Russian Orthodox Church has warned that the man whose head is to be transplanted would be blending souls and “going against God”.

When and where will the first human head transplant take place?

The first head transplant will likely take place before the end of 2017 in Harbin Medical University in China. 

Is there a head donor lined up?

Amazingly, there is. According to Canavero there was “folders” full of people willing to be the first to have his or her head transplanted onto another body. The person chosen is a 30-year-old Russian scientist named Valery Spiridonov. Spiridonov has Werdnig-Hoffman disease – a condition that causes muscle-wasting.

 According to reports, Spiridonov has begun efforts to crowdfund the money required for his procedure. 

Who is Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's chief of staff

Huma Abedin, considered by many to the be closest aide to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, issued a public statement Sunday that she would be separating from her husband, Anthony Weiner, following revelations that he had sent explicit photos of himself to a woman he said he had never met, but considered a friend.

The photos, printed in the New York Post,  showed Weiner sitting on a bed, wearing only underwear and taking a photo of himself as his 4-year-old son slept nearby.

The news pushed the otherwise behind-the-scenes Abedin into an unwelcomed spotlight as people debated why she had stayed with a man who had twice before been caught doing the same thing.

Here's a few things we know about the woman many call Hillary Clinton's "other daughter."

Her early life

Huma Mahmood Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Mich. on July 28, 1976. Her mother is Pakistani and her father was Indian. Her family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when she was 2 years old. There, her father, an Islamic and Middle East scholar, founded an institute that was to foster understanding of religious practices and philosophies between the East and West. He died when Abedin was 17 years old.

Her mother, a sociology professor, worked to create a private women’s college. It was one of the first in the country.

How she met the Clintons

She returned to the United States to attend college at George Washington University. It was from GWU that Abedin first met Bill and Hillary Clinton when she was awarded an internship at the White House in 1996. She wanted to be in the press room at the White House, but, instead, ended up assigned to then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

Her career

From 1996 to 2008, after her time in the White House, she was an assistant editor of the Journal Of Muslim Minority Affairs. She is a practicing Muslim.

In 2000, she also worked with Hillary Clinton, signing on as her personal advisor and aide during her campaign for U.S. senator from New York. Clinton won the seat. In 2008, Abedin worked as “body woman” and traveling chief of staff for Clinton’s unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for president.

In 2009, Abedin was appointed deputy chief of staff at the State Department when Clinton became secretary of state. She was allowed to work under an arrangement labeled “special government employee,” at the same time for a consulting firm called Teneo, and as a paid consultant to the Clinton Foundation. She worked from her home in New York City.

She left the State Department in 2013 when Secretary Clinton did, but continued her work at the Clinton Foundation and also set up Zain Endeavors, her own private consulting firm.

In 2015, Abedin became vice chairwoman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Her personal life

In 2010, Abedin married Anthony Weiner, a U.S. Representative from New York, and  was included in Time magazine's "40 under 40" list of a "new generation of civic leaders" and "rising stars of American politics.”

In 2011, she gave birth to the couple’s son, Jordan.

Her husband’s troubles

Anthony Weiner was a New York City Councilmember before being elected to Congress in 1998. He was reelected to his seat, and,  in time, earned a reputation for having a temper and being hard on his staff. 

In May, 2011, Weiner posted a link to a sexually explicit photograph of himself using his public Twitter account, thinking he was sending it as a direct message to a woman. Instead, he posted it on the social media outlet. He denied he had sent the post for several days, saying his account had been hacked, before admitting it and resigning from the Congress the next month.

A second sexting scandal for Weiner became public when he ran for mayor of New York City in 2013. Using the alias “Carlos Danger,” it was discovered that Weiner had sent explicit photos of himself to a woman named Sydney Leathers.

A third sexting incident was reported on Aug. 27, 2013 when the New York Post published a photo Weiner allegedly sent  to another woman of himself in briefs sitting on a bed with his 4-year-old son asleep next to him.

Abedin made a public announcement that day, saying she was separating from her husband.  "After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”

Abedin under fire

Of late, Abedin has had issues connected to her work with Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. In June of  2012, five Republican members of Congress charged in a letter that Abedin "has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations." The letter, signed by Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas J. Rooney of Florida, and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, was discounted by many in Congress and by media outlets.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization, requested Abedin’s emails and employment records in 2015. In October of 2015, the State Department said it would be able to hand over 69 pages of emails in response to the Freedom of Information Act request made by Judicial Watch. Those emails became part of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government business.

Abedin also testified that month before the House Select Committee on Benghazi – a committee investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

In February of 2016, the State Department issued a subpoena to the Clinton Foundation for records relating to Abedin’s work there. 

European Commission orders Apple to pay $14.5B

Apple is being forced to pay roughly $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland in what's regarded as Europe's biggest tax penalty.

>> Read more trending stories

After a multi-year investigation, the European Commission ruled the technology giant received unfair and illegal tax breaks in Ireland, where its European headquarters are located.

The $14.5 billion fee represents more than a decade of tax breaks. In 2003, the Irish government was charging Apple 1 percent on its European profits. In 2014, the tax rate fell all the way to 0.005 percent.

According to the commission, Ireland will have to be the one to recover the back taxes. But both Apple and Ireland are expected to appeal the ruling.

The European Commission said the amount Apple is forced to pay Ireland could go down, if other countries – including the U.S. – are willing to tax the technology company more.

It's unlikely the U.S. will go for that, since American officials are warning the commission it's exercising more power than it has, and arguing taxes are a national government issue.

A recent report by the U.S. Treasury Department said these European Commission investigations could hurt the U.S. government's ability to tax American companies.

The European Commission has argued that "profits should be taxed where profits are made."

In recent years, the commission has brought similar cases against Starbucks in the Netherlands, Anheuser-Busch InBev in Belgium and Amazon in Luxembourg.

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Man volunteers for first human head transplant

It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but apparently science fiction could become science fact as early as next year.

A Russian man named Valery Spiridonov has volunteered to undergo the first human head transplant, having his head surgically transplanted to a donor body, The Atlantic reported.

>>READ MORE: 5 things to know about the man who has volunteered for the first human head transplant

Italian neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero announced his plans last year to do the surgery by 2017.

Spiridonov has Werdnig-Hoffman disease, CBS News reported. It is a rare genetic disorder that breaks down muscles. It also kills nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Spiridonov is in a wheelchair and can only feed himself, type and control the chair with a joystick.

>> Read more trending stories  

According to The Atlantic, a surgeon in China has already performed the surgery on a mouse and a monkey with success.

Dr. Xiaoping Ren has teamed up with Canavero for Spiridonov's procedure, which will cost between $10 million and $100 million and will use 80 surgeons.

>>READ MORE: How would the first human head transplant be performed?

But many are questioning the plan, calling it junk science and saying it's raising false hope, The Atlantic reported.

Canavero says the surgery could have a 90 percent or more success rate, CBS News reported.

Read more here.

7 things to know now: Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner separate; radio signals from space; Gene Wilder

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Are they out there: A radio signal from a star some 94 light years from Earth is giving those looking for extraterrestrial intelligence something to look at. According  to astronomer Douglas Vakoch, president of METI International, "The signal from HD 164595 is intriguing, because it comes from the vicinity of a sun-like star, and if it's artificial, its strength is great enough that it was clearly made by a civilization with capabilities beyond those of humankind.” However, some say the evidence is a little lacking. 

2. The White House on Kaepernick: The White House has weighed-in on Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. Press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that while the administration disagrees with Kaepernick’s method of protest, they defend his right to express his views. “In general, what I can say is that I certainly don’t share the views that Mr. Kaepernick expressed after the game in explaining his reasoning for his actions,” Earnest said. “But we surely all acknowledge and even defend his right to express those views in the settings that he chooses. Even as objectionable as we find his perspective, he certainly is entitled to express them.”  

3. Wilder dies: Actor Gene Wilder, forever Willy Wonka to generations of fans, died Monday of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Wilder, 83, starred in a series of iconic comedies including “The Producers,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “Blazing Saddles.” Mel Brooks, who produced many of the films Wilder appeared in, said Monday, "He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship.”  

4. Splitting up: Huma Abedin, a longtime Hillary Clinton confidant, announced that she is separating from her husband, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, after it was revealed that he sexted a woman while his 4-year-old son slept in the bed next to him.  According to sources close to Abedin,  she was “furious and sickened” at the photo of Weiner, clad only in underwear sending a photo of  himself to a woman while the couple’s son lay next to him on the bed. Weiner resigned his  seat in Congress in 2010 after he accidentally posted sexually suggestive photos of himself. According to the woman whom Weiner sent the photos to, the two had been exchanging photos for about a year. 

5. Generic EpiPen: The drugmaker Mylan announced Monday that it would offer a generic version of its EpiPen after controversy erupted when the company raised the price of the life-saving device to more than $600. The generic device will be "identical" to the branded product as far as how it is made and used, according to Mylan. The company says it will launch the generic version in "several weeks." It will cost $300 for a  two-pack carton.  

And one more

Mark David Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon will remain behind bars after he was denied parole for the ninth time. Chapman, 61, killed the former Beatle in front of Lennon’s New York City apartment on Dec. 8, 1980. “Your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate that seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for the law,” the parole board wrote. Chapman has apologized for murdering Lennon. He has his next chance at parole in 2018.  

In case you missed it

Which colors do you see?

More than 300 reindeer found dead in Norway after lightning storm

The bodies of more than 300 wild reindeer were found scattered across a small area in central Norway.

Officials believe they were all killed in a single lightning storm.

>> Read more trending stories  

A spokesman for the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate told local media he discovered the carcasses during a routine inspection of a remote hunting area last week.

He told The Local, "We've heard about animals being struck by lightning and killed, but I don't remember hearing about lightning killing animals on this scale before."

The Norwegian Environment Agency said in a press release at least 70 of the reindeer were calves, and five of the animals had to be euthanized. 

Officials say they believe the death toll was so high because the reindeer may have huddled together out of fear during the storm, which isn't an uncommon thing for animals to do during bad weather.

Back in 2014, a single lightning bolt killed 45 head of cattle on a ranch in Montana after they tried to take cover under some trees.

Twenty-one head of cattle in South Dakota were found dead in May after a lightning bolt struck the metal feeder they had crowded around during a storm.

Norwegian Nature Inspectorate officials collected samples from the reindeers' bodies to determine exactly how they died. It's unclear if they were killed by a single lightning bolt or by multiple strikes.

 

7 things to know now: Anthony Weiner sexting claims; Beyonce owns VMAs; Juan Gabriel dead

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Sexting accusations again: Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), allegedly sent explicit photos of himself to a woman, the New York Post reported late Sunday. Weiner, who resign his seat in Congress following a sexting scandal in 2011, said the woman in question has been a friend of his for “some time” though the two had never met. One of the photos posted by the Post and allegedly provided by the woman shows Weiner’s son sleeping in the background. Weiner’s wife is top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

2. Gabriel dies: Juan Gabriel, the Latin American music icon who sold more than 100 million records during his career, died Sunday. He was 66. According to officials, the singer died from natural causes. He performed at The Forum in Los Angeles on Friday night and was to perform on Sunday in El Paso, Texas.

3. Men arrested in Wade's cousin's death: Two men, brothers, have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin.  Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, were charged with shooting Nykea Aldridge in the head as she pushed her baby in a stroller. According to officials, Aldridge was not the intended target. Police also said a video of the shooting exists.

4. Could be a storm: A tropical depression that formed Sunday in the Florida straits could become a tropical storm in the next few hours. According to the National Hurricane Center, the depression is expected to get stronger as it moves westward into the Gulf of Mexico, then is predicted to turn east  and into Florida. As tropical systems are unpredictable, the NHC  warns everyone who lives along the Gulf Coast to monitor the storm.

5. No to the anthem: San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand when the National Anthem was played at an NFL pre-season game, says he will continue to keep his seat until “there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent.” Kaepernick has drawn criticism for refusing to stand for the anthem, but says his actions have a purpose. "No one's tried to quiet me and, to be honest, it's not something I'm going to be quiet about," he said. "I'm going to speak the truth when I'm asked about it."

And one more

Beyonce put on a 16-minute concert during Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, thrilling fans inside Madison Square Garden and millions watching at home. She topped off a night of eight award wins – which included one for best video -- with hits from her album “Lemonade.” Other highlights from the night included Brittney Spears “comeback” performance, and the presentation of Rihanna’s lifetime achievement award.

In case you missed it

A few questions to get you going on a Monday.

Woman survives nearly 30 days stranded in the mountains

A Czech woman was stranded in the New Zealand mountains for nearly 30 days before being rescued.

Pavlina Pižova  traveled to New Zealand with her partner in late July for a hike on the Routeburn Track. Only days into the journey, the pair got lost due to extreme snowfall and winter conditions.

"As you can imagine, the last month was harrowing for me and my and my partner's families," she said at a news conference.

>> Read more trending stories  

Pižova's partner, Ondrej Petr, reportedly fell off the trail they were hiking and died. His body was recovered Friday.

Pižova continued on her own, hoping to find shelter.

"During this time, I was extremely cold, exhausted and my feet were frozen," she said.

The 33-year-old spent two days in the open before she found a warden's hut along Lake Mackenzie. She said there were avalanches outside and knew it was best to stay under cover.

Before the trip, the pair didn't tell anyone of their hiking plans and didn't take a personal locator beacon, which Pižova said was a mistake.

Authorities found Pižova on Wednesday. She thanked her rescuers at a news conference the following day.

Olympic discus thrower auctions his silver medal for a boy with cancer

An Olympic discus thrower has auctioned off his silver medal to raise money for a child's cancer treatment.

>> Watch the video from Newsy

Poland's Piotr Malachowski won silver at the Olympics this month. After his win, Malachowski auctioned off his medal on eBay to the highest bidder.

Malachowski says the mother of a 3-year-old boy named Olek wrote to him asking for help so her son, who has retinoblastoma, can get treatment.

Retinoblastoma is a form of malignant eye cancer that primarily affects children under 5 years old. It can affect one or both eyes and can be hereditary.

Reports say the total cost of Olek's surgery is $126,000, and Malachowski says the treatment can only be done in New York.

He told his followers on Facebook about Olek last week in hopes of raising funds for the boy's treatment. The discus thrower took silver in both the 2008 and 2016 Olympic games. >> Click here to see his Facebook postZdobycie medalu olimpijskiego to dla sportowca spełnienie życiowych marzeń. Oczywiście najcenniejszy jest ten złoty....Posted by Piotr Małachowski on Friday, August 19, 2016

According to ESPN, the medal auction had raised around $19,000 when it ended on Tuesday.

The discus thrower says the funds he gets from the the auction will go directly to Olek's treatment. The Olympian wrote: "In Rio, I fought for gold. Today, I appeal to all — let's fight together for something that is even more valuable. The health of this fantastic boy."

Malachowski isn't the only Olympian to auction off his medal for a cause. U.S. swimmer Anthony Ervin sold his to bolster aid relief efforts after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. And famed Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko sold his medal from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics for more than $1 million as part of a fundraising event for his children's charity.

>> Read more trending stories

In another Facebook post, Malachowski reported the goal for the fundraiser had been met.

Olek also has a page on the Polish charity site SiePomaga. As of Saturday morning, more than 12,000 people donated to the cause.

Driver distracted by 'Pokemon Go' kills pedestrian in Japan

A Japanese farmer playing "Pokemon Go" while driving struck a pair of pedestrians earlier this week, killing one in Japan's first reported death linked to the wildly popular augmented-reality game, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending stories

Keiji Goo, 39, was driving a small truck in Tokushima prefecture, on the island of Shikoku, Tuesday night when he struck two women as they were crossing the road, The Washington Post reported. Sachiko Nakanishi, 72, was killed and Kayoko Ikawa, 60, suffered a broken hip.

"I was playing 'Pokemon Go' while driving, so I didn't really see what was in front of me," Goo told police, according Japan's NHK.

Police arrested Goo on a negligent driving charge, Reuters reported. Authorities did not immediately say whether the man would face additional charges.

A spokesman for Niantic Inc., the company that developed "Pokemon Go" alongside the Pokemon Company, told Reuters a warning was added to the app to warn players against playing the game while driving.

It's not the first time the game, which has players attempting to find and battle virtual "Pocket Monsters" in real-time, has been linked to car accidents. According to the Post, Japanese authorities wrote 1,140 tickets for traffic violations related to the game in the month it's been out in the country – 95 percent of which were due to playing while driving.

A spokesman for Nintendo shared condolences for the family of Nakanishi while speaking with Reuters, adding that, "Pokemon Company and Niantic endeavor to create an environment where people can play the game safely and we will continue to do that."

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