medical

Disney-themed bionics include Iron Man and Star Wars prosthetic hands

Disney-themed bionics include Iron Man and Star Wars prosthetic hands

Remember that awesome video back in March where Robert Downey Jr. brought a custom 3D-printed Iron Man prosthetic arm to a 7-year-old boy? Well, it turns out that affordable kid-friendly bionic limbs are much closer to reality than expected. The startup Open Bionics (which, to be clear, was not involved in the prosthetic delivered by Downey Jr.) has teamed up with Disney to make bionic hands designed after characters from Iron Man, Frozen, and Star Wars.

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DARPA ElectRX plans to treat disease with magnets, sound, electricity, and lasers

DARPA ElectRX plans to treat disease with magnets, sound, electricity, and lasers

Traditionally in medicine if you have a disease process or malady, your doctor gives you medications. Doctors of the future may have a new method of treating all sorts of conditions that doesn't require pharmaceuticals. DARPA has a new biomedical program that aims to treat people using electricity, magnets, sound waves, and lasers called ElectRX.

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DARPA ElectRx program underway: seven teams selected

DARPA ElectRx program underway: seven teams selected

DARPA's ElectRx self-healing program is now underway, with the research entity having selected seven research teams who will work toward the goal of using electricity to heal wounded soldiers. DARPA describes this as being a “closed-loop system” that heals via “modulating the activity of peripheral nerves,” with the targeted diseases including everything from inflammation and achy joints to PTSD.

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Non-invasive brain-to-brain interface lets wearers share thoughts

Non-invasive brain-to-brain interface lets wearers share thoughts

Scientist Andrea Stocco and his team over at the University of Washington Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences have cooked up a system that sounds like it is straight out of science fiction. The researchers have come up with a brain interface system that allows two human users to share their thoughts. No invasive cutting or inserting of sensors into the brain is required.

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First human head transplant scheduled for December 2017

First human head transplant scheduled for December 2017

Earlier this year, we heard about the head transplanting ambitions of Dr. Sergio Canavero, an Italian doctor who sought a volunteer for his procedure called HEAVEN. In April he found that volunteer, a Russian man named Valery Spiridonov, and now we have a timeframe for when he is expected to go under the knife — December 2017. The surgery is estimated to take a full 36 or so hours to complete.

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Smart-Drive MX2 turns normal wheelchairs into power chairs

Smart-Drive MX2 turns normal wheelchairs into power chairs

In the world of medical equipment, there is a huge gulf between the price and portability of a normal standard wheelchair and a powered wheelchair designed to help people get around with less effort. Many people can't afford to pay for a normal power wheelchair and insurance doesn't always help and they are hard to transport. A new device has debuted called the Smart-Drive MX2 and it is an electric drive unit to attach to a normal wheelchair.

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DARPA shows off robotic prosthetic arm that can feel

DARPA shows off robotic prosthetic arm that can feel

DARPA is at the leading edge of many different research fields and makes some incredible breakthroughs that have a way of becoming common products over the years. One of DARPA's latest breakthroughs is a prosthetic limb that allows the wearer to feel what they are holding or touching. The ability to feel was added to a mind-controlled robotic prosthetic arm that was first announced back in July.

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DARPA’s new prosthetic limb lets paralyzed man feel objects

DARPA’s new prosthetic limb lets paralyzed man feel objects

Prosthetic limbs have become nearly science fiction-like in their sophistication, allowing the human mind to control robotic arms and hands in a way similar to how one controls their own limbs. DARPA is counted among the research entities developing this technology, and it has recently taken it a step further, using neurotechnology to enable a paralyzed individual to "feel" objects through a prosthesis. The prosthetic is sensitive enough that sensations touching each finger could be discerned individually.

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Scientists test algae for potential cure for blindness

Scientists test algae for potential cure for blindness

It may sound far out, but tests are about begin to see if a protein from algae could help cure blindness in humans. Found in dirt and water, the single-cell green algae is known as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and its eyespot, used to find sunlight for photosynthesis, contains the protein channelrhodopsin-2. This protein is sensitive to light in a way similar to the human eye, and scientists as the company RetroSense have been given FDA approval for clinical trials to inject it into the retina of the blind, with the hope it could one day lead to a cure.

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Scientists plan to reanimate 30,000 year old Siberian virus

Scientists plan to reanimate 30,000 year old Siberian virus

Scientist have announced a plan to reanimate an ancient giant virus that was discovered in the frozen wastes of Siberia. The virus is called Mollivirus sibericum and is the fourth pre-historic virus to be discovered since 2003. It is the second ancient virus to be discovered by this team. The scientists say that they plan to determine if the virus could cause harm animals or humans before waking it.

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Google to work with Sanofi on diabetes research

Google to work with Sanofi on diabetes research

Leading diabetes medication makers Sanofi will be working with Google in the near future on the monitoring and treatment of the condition. In the near future this Google Live Sciences division will be split off into its own company under Alphabet. For now, it's still inside Google. Google Live Sciences is currently led by Andrew Conrad who suggests that this Sanofi partnership is just one of many made in the recent past to grow Google Life Science's involvement in medication, software, medical devices, and computing infrastructure.

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9-year-old gets ‘awesome’ gesture-controlled bionic arm

9-year-old gets ‘awesome’ gesture-controlled bionic arm

Josh Cathcart is a nine-year-old boy who was born missing a portion of his right arm, something that resulted in bullying and made life harder for him. Those troubles have been greatly minimized thanks to a new bionic arm from Touch Bionics, making him the first kid in the United Kingdom to get one of the company’s i-limb quantum prosthetics. The arm is functional, allowing him to grip items as small as LEGOs and do things for himself that he previously had trouble doing. This is said to be the first prosthetic hand able to alter its grip using gestures.

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