Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero gestures as he

Source: , USA TODAY

Surgeons from China and Italy claimed that two studies published Wednesday add evidence to their ability to treat “irreversible” spinal-cord injuries and a related controversial aspiration to perform the world’s first human head transplant.

Xiaoping Ren and Sergio Canavero said the new work they published in a scientific journal showed that monkeys and dogs were able to walk again after their spinal cords were “fully transected” during surgery and then put back together again. The neurosurgeons described the results as medically “unprecedented.”

The highly experimental procedures took place at Harbin Medical University in China. Both studies were supported by video evidence and published in Surgical Neurology International, a peer-reviewed medical journal based in the United States.

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