The Reading / Listening - Head Transplants - Level 5

A neurosurgeon said head transplants could be possible by the year 2030. Transplant surgery has become like science fiction. Organ transplants and face transplants are now common. The next decade could see whole heads being transplanted. The neurosurgeon explained why he believes this is possible. He was working with an author on a science fiction novel. He said: "Initially, our intention was just to brainstorm an idea and it seemed rather silly, but then I realised, it actually isn't. If you transplant the brain and spinal cord together, it's not impossible."



The neurosurgeon has performed over 10,000 operations. He said head transplants would only be possible if the head was accompanied by its spinal cord. Advances in spinal cord surgery, robotics and stem cell transplants mean this could be possible before 2030. The neurosurgeon said: "Keeping the spinal cord in one piece has always been totally daunting." He also believes that consciousness could move with the head and spinal cord from one body to another. The technology could treat spinal cord injuries and diseases like muscular dystrophy.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Head Transplants - Level 4 or  Head Transplants - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10607168/frankenstein-like-head-transplants-happen-by-2030/
  • https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/human-head-transplant-spinal-cord-nhs-chrysalis-bruce-mathew-canavero-neurosurgeon-a9256841.html
  • https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/human-head-transplants-just-decade-21147648


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. possible by the
  2. science
  3. face transplants are
  4. The neurosurgeon explained
  5. He was working with
  6. brainstorm
  7. it seemed rather
  8. transplant the brain and
  1. an idea
  2. spinal cord together
  3. an author
  4. fiction
  5. silly
  6. year 2030
  7. why
  8. now common

Paragraph 2

  1. The neurosurgeon has performed
  2. the head was accompanied by
  3. advances in spinal cord
  4. Keeping the spinal cord in
  5. always been totally
  6. the head and spinal
  7. treat spinal cord
  8. diseases like
  1. cord
  2. daunting
  3. muscular dystrophy
  4. surgery
  5. its spinal cord
  6. injuries
  7. over 10,000 operations
  8. one piece

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A neurosurgeon said head transplants could (1) ___________________ the year 2030. Transplant surgery has (2) ___________________ fiction. Organ transplants and face transplants (3) ___________________. The next decade could see whole heads being transplanted. The neurosurgeon explained why he believes this is possible. He (4) ___________________ an author on a science fiction novel. He said: "Initially, (5) ___________________ just to brainstorm an idea and it (6) ___________________, but then I realised, it actually isn't. If you transplant the brain and spinal cord together, it's not impossible."

The neurosurgeon (7) ___________________ 10,000 operations. He said head transplants would only be possible if the head (8) ___________________ its spinal cord. Advances in spinal cord surgery, robotics and stem cell transplants mean this could (9) ___________________ 2030. The neurosurgeon said: "Keeping the spinal cord in one piece has always (10) ___________________." He also believes that consciousness could move with the head and spinal cord from one (11) ___________________. The technology could treat spinal cord injuries (12) ___________________ muscular dystrophy.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Aneurosurgeonsaidheadtransplantscouldbepossiblebytheyear2030
.Transplantsurgeryhasbecomelikesciencefiction.Organtransplantsa
ndfacetransplantsarenowcommon.Thenextdecadecouldseewholeh
eadsbeingtransplanted.Theneurosurgeonexplainedwhyhebelievest
hisispossible.Hewasworkingwithanauthoronasciencefictionnovel.H
esaid:"Initially,ourintentionwasjusttobrainstormanideaanditseeme
drathersilly,butthenIrealised,itactuallyisn't.Ifyoutransplantthebrai
nandspinalcordtogether,it'snotimpossible."Theneurosurgeonhaspe
rformedover10,000operations.Hesaidheadtransplantswouldonlybe
possibleiftheheadwasaccompaniedbyitsspinalcord.Advancesinspin
alcordsurgery,roboticsandstemcelltransplantsmeanthiscouldbepos
siblebefore2030.Theneurosurgeonsaid:"Keepingthespinalcordinon
epiecehasalwaysbeentotallydaunting."Healsobelievesthatconsciou
snesscouldmovewiththeheadandspinalcordfromonebodytoanother.
Thetechnologycouldtreatspinalcordinjuriesanddiseaseslikemuscula
rdystrophy.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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