Speed Reading — Head Transplants - Level 6 — 500 wpm

Now do this put-the-text-back-together activity.

This is the text (if you need help).

It is either science fiction or a plot from a horror movie, but a neurosurgeon said head transplants could be possible by the year 2030. Transplant surgery has come on leaps and bounds in the last few decades. Organ transplants are commonplace and this past decade has seen face transplants. The next decade could see whole heads being transplanted. Neurosurgeon Bruce Mathew explained why he believes this is possible. He was actually working with author Michael J Lee 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."

Doctor Matthew, 63, has performed over 10,000 operations. He claims that head transplants would only be possible if the head was accompanied by the whole of its spinal cord. Advancements in nerve and spinal cord surgery, robotics and stem cell transplants mean it could be possible to attach an entire spinal cord and head to another body before 2030. Dr Matthew continued: "The thought of keeping the spinal cord in one piece has always been totally daunting, but now with modern technology you can do most things." Matthew also believes that consciousness would also move with the head and spinal cord from one body to another. The technology could treat spinal cord injuries and diseases like muscular dystrophy.

Comprehension questions
  1. What kind of movie did the article liken head transplants to?
  2. How did the article say head transplants had come on?
  3. Who was the neurosurgeon working with when he came up with his idea?
  4. What did the neurosurgeon originally want to do with Michael J Lee?
  5. What did the doctor say had to be transplanted with the head?
  6. How many operations has the doctor performed?
  7. What kind of surgery has there been advances in?
  8. What did the doctor say about keeping the spinal cord in one piece?
  9. What did the doctor say allows us to do most things?
  10. What disease did the doctor say the new technology could treat?

Back to the head transplants lesson.

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