Valery Spiridonov, a 31-year-old Russian graphic artist, looks on during a press conference on "Autopilot system for wheelchairs" on August 3, 2016 in Moscow.
Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero became famous around the world when he enlarged on plans, long cherished, to remove the heads of two people. One would be alive, with an ailing body (a paraplegic, say), the other newly dead or doomed (perhaps the braindead victim of an accident). Last summer, Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero introduced to the stage a man named Valery Spiridonov. AValery Spiridonov has severe muscular atrophy and has been a wheelchair user all his life. Spiridonov has volunteered, whenever Canavero is ready, to be a test patient: the first guy to go under the microtomic knife. / AFP / YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)