Sony was the first company on the market with a OLED TV in 2009. The problem with the TV was that it had a very small screen at 11-inches and a very big price tag. The TV was only on the market for a few years before Sony stopped producing it partly because of poor sales.
This week two scientists have received the Nobel Prize for their work on a study which has adult cells transformed back into embryo-like stem cells. This work may one day have us able to continue the work currently being done on stem cells (regrowing tissue in damaged organs, for example), with cells from adults rather than from embryos. John Gurdon, 79, of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, Britain and Shinya Yamanaka, 50, of Kyoto University in Japan will be sharing the $1.2 million included with the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Sony has squirted $640m into ailing Olympus, collaborating on imaging sensors for new digital cameras, and forming a new medical business for surgical cameras and more. The alliance will "combine Olympus’s lens and optical technologies, as well as the strength of its brand and R&D, with Sony’s broad range of technologies including digital imaging technologies and apply them in the rapidly growing medical market" the pair say [pdf link], in addition to Sony providing image sensors for future Olympus cameras, in exchange for lenses and mirror cells.
A neuroscientist has made a medical breakthrough by restoring vision to blind mice. The researcher has provided hope to millions of people around the world without sight. The researcher is Doctor Sheila Nirenberg, and her research has enabled the mice to see well enough to track squirrels and distinguish a baby's face. In a bid to grab Sheldon Cooper's heart, Nirenberg envisions a day when blind people will wear Geordi La Forge visors.
Large varieties of jellyfish swim the oceans all around the world. Researchers from Harvard and the California Institute of technology have created a bioengineered jellyfish that's able to swim. The jellyfish is made with a mixture of silicone and rat heart cells. The bioengineered jellyfish isn't a living organism; rather it's more akin to a robot with a muscular structure similar to that of a living jellyfish.
Needles are no fun. We can all agree on that. I don't think anyone goes to the doctor hoping to get a shot. Many people with needle anxiety put off going to the doctor as long as possible simply out of fear of needles. The smart folks at MIT have engineered a new device that can deliver medications without using a needle by creating a high-pressure jet of medicine.
Have you ever wished that you could move things with the power of your mind? Yeah, that isn't just a thing for science fiction writers anymore. An emerging technology company called BrainGate has revealed a robotic arm that can actually be controlled by brain waves. It requires the use of a sensor that contains 96 electrodes. The sensor is implanted into the motor cortex of the brain.
Doctors in the United States have made a surgical breakthrough that could one-day help millions of people around the world who have been paralyzed from automotive accidents or other spinal cord injuries. When people are paralyzed and lose the function of their legs and arms, nerve damage is typically the culprit. A team of US doctors were able to give a man who was paralyzed in a car accident four years ago limited use of his hands after rewiring nerves in his arms.
We have seen robotic exoskeletons in the past that are designed to help the disabled walk. Some devices of this type are also being studied to allow soldiers and other people who carry heavy loads to do so more comfortably. A rehabilitation center in California called Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is using a robotic exoskeleton called the ReWalk.
We have talked a bit about the new Facebook tool that allows users of the social network to sign up to become organ donors in their state. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered if the move by Google would result in an increase in organ donation registration. According to organ donor registries in 10 states the new Facebook tool has resulted in a significant increase in new donors.