• Question: Could we ever remove someones brain from a dead body and put it into someone elses head instead to save there lives? would it change who they were by making them someone who was the owner of the brain before??? wouldn't it be like when u save a person from died by donating something like a kidney a heart or blood? :D

    Asked by eliskabonich01 to David, Jonathan, Pete, Sam on 8 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 8 Jul 2012:

      That’s a really good question. It’s not possible for us to transplant brains from one body to another at the moment, and I’m not sure if it ever will be. Part of the problem is that nerve tissue doesn’t heal very well, so if you severed the spinal cord in order to move the brain, it would never heal back – which is why damage to you spine can be so devastating. The other issue is that the bundle of nerves coming out from a brain are very complex, therefore it might be impossible to reconnect them back in precisely the same way.

      But we can still ask philosophical questions, like the ones you mentioned! We are, essentially, our brains (although I’m sure many people would disagree with me), which means that if it was possible to transplant (for example) my brain into Prof Brian Cox’s body, then I would still be me, but I’d look like Brian Cox! I think that would be weird for everyone involved though, and somehow I don’t think Wonders of the Universe would be quite as good… 😉