Brain Implant: Man Moves Paralyzed Hand With His Own Thoughts

Robotic suit gives shipyard workers super strength

Workers building the world’s biggest ships could soon don robotic exoskeletons to lug around 100-kilogram hunks of metal as if they’re nothing

"The exoskeleton fits anyone between 160 and 185 centimetres tall. Workers do not feel the weight of its 28-kilogram frame of carbon, aluminium alloy and steel, as the suit supports itself and is engineered to follow the wearer’s movements. With a 3-hour battery life, the exoskeleton allows users to walk at a normal pace and, in its prototype form, it can lift objects with a mass of up to 30 kilograms."

Nick Bostrom - Humanity’s biggest problems aren’t what you think they are

Oxford philosopher & transhumanist Nick Bostrom examines the future of humankind & asks whether we might alter the fundamental nature of humanity to solve our most intrinsic problems.

Electrical implants let paralysed patients stand again

Four paralysed individuals have voluntarily and independently moved their legs for the first time since injury, thanks to a spinal implant that delivers electrical stimulus.

”[…] The incredible results have been published in the journal Brain, and tell the story of four men — Kent Stephenson, Andrew Meas, Dustin Shillcox and Rob Summers — all of whom received their life changing injuries in vehicle accidents in their 20s. Now, you can fast forward in the embedded video to about 03.45 to watch Stephenson lift his legs in a series of remarkable clips. […]”

Tiny Gold Motors You Can Drive Inside Cells

They’re a step toward motors doctors could one day use to deliver targeted medicine to cells in the body.

An Artificial Hand with Real Feelings

A new nerve interface can simulate a sense of touch from 20 spots on a prosthetic hand.

”[…] Now researchers at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University have developed a new kind of interface that can convey a sense of touch from 20 spots on a prosthetic hand. It does this by directly stimulating nerve bundles - known as peripheral nerves - in the arms of patients; two people have so far been fitted with the interface. What’s more, the implants continue to work after 18 months, a noteworthy milestone given that electrical interfaces to nerve tissue can gradually degrade in performance.”

As the industrial age is drawing to a close, I think that we’re witnessing the dawn of the era of biological design. DNA, as digitised information, is accumulating in computer databases. Thanks to genetic engineering, and now the field of synthetic biology, we can manipulate DNA to an unprecedented extent, just as we can edit software in a computer. We can also transmit it as an electromagnetic wave at or near the speed of light and, via a “biological teleporter”, use it to recreate proteins, viruses and living cells at another location, changing forever how we view life.

J Craig Venter

American robotic arm wins James Dyson design and engineering award

Titan Arm has been announced today as the winner of the 2013 James Dyson award. Augmenting arm strength by 18 kilograms, Titan Arm can rehabilitate people with back injuries, allowing them to rebuild muscles and relearn motor control. Additionally, the exoskeleton technology can aid those who are required to lift heavy objects as part of their daily work.

World’s lightest and thinnest circuits pave the way for ‘imperceptible electronics’