Implanting clunky electrodes or other devices inside people's heads could someday give way to smoother, silkier neuromedicine. Scientists say that they have successfully measured the electrical activity of cat brains by using a silk-silicon surface mesh, according to Technology Review.
Electrode implants which zap areas of the brain have mysteriously helped ease the symptoms of crippling diseases such as depression and Parkinson's. Now brain scans could help predict who exactly might benefit from deep brain stimulation (DBS), based on seeing which interconnected regions of the brain "light up" at the same time, New Scientist reports.
When Matthew Schiefer, a neural engineer at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, first managed to stimulate the leg of an unconscious volunteer by wrapping an electrode around a nerve bundle, he knew he was on to something. Now, four years later, Schiefer has created a new kind of nerve-activating electrical interface that could allow people with paralyzed limbs to activate their legs with the push of a button.
Getting a cardiac map of the electrical activity coursing through a live, beating heart has proven impossible until now. For the first time, researchers have monitored the pulsing hearts of living pigs in real time, by wrapping a flexible array of silicon-based sensors around the heart. This could lead to minimally invasive treatments of arrhythmic hearts with erratic beats.
Lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid cars, laptops and cell phones have occasionally undergone recalls and false scares concerning the possibility of exploding. Stanford University scientists have created lithium-sulfide electrodes that could create batteries that last four times longer and avoid any risk of possible explosions, Technology Review reports.
Human skin is apparently a very energy-efficient conduit for transmitting data. A recent experiment achieved a rate of 10 megabits per second, which may put my Internet connection to shame. The experiment used small, flexible electrodes and took place at Korea University in Seoul, New Scientist reports.
Graphene may brighten the future more literally than we had originally anticipated, besides merely revolutionizing electronics and Silicon Valley. Swedish and American researchers have transformed the one-atom-thick carbon material into a new, inexpensive lighting component that could give organic light diodes (OLEDs) a run for their money.
Future humans may look back on this mind-controlled stabbing robot as a forerunner to battle mechs and Gundams. But the one-armed stabber failed to win out in the latest Robo-One competition held in Toyama, Japan over the weekend.
Is that person gesticulating on the street corner insane? Or just an early adopter of the latest interface tech?
By Taylor Newman
Posted 08.31.2009 at 5:23 pm 0 Comments
Neuroscientists have developed a fingerless glove that automatically translates hand motions into text by way of electrode sensors. Michael Linderman and his colleagues published the results of the first phase of their research project in last Wednesday's PLoS ONE. In this phase, six volunteers, using a digital pen, wrote the numerals 0 to 9 fifty times while wearing the prototype glove, which recorded the electrical activity of eight muscles in their hand and forearms.
I remember seeing a demonstration of a seemingly magic process at an engineering open house decades ago, in which a soft metal bit carved detailed shapes into far harder metals. It's called electrochemical machining (ECM), and it's so simple in principle that you can do it at home with a drill press, a battery charger and a pump for a garden fountain.
Dolphins are elegant swimmers, but waterlily leaf beetle larvae take first place for the simplest stroke. The insect just arches its back to manipulate a basic physics principle that lets it glide across water. Now engineers have borrowed this technique to make a tiny boat that could autonomously patrol water reservoirs for months on just a watch battery.
How a radical new implant that zaps patients back to life is upending our understanding of the brain
By Gregory Mone
Posted 01.11.2007 at 3:00 am 2 Comments
For six years after a brutal beating, a 38-year-old man lay in a minimally conscious state, effectively unable to communicate. Then, with the permission of his family, a team of neuroscientists at New York"Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation attempted a last-resort experimental treatment known as deep brain stimulation, or DBS. Using brain scans as a guide, they implanted tiny electrodes deep in the man's head and wired them to a pacemaker-like device beneath his collarbone.
Watches are hopping on the tactile bandwagon. With six electrodes in its sapphire face, the Tissot T-Touch puts smart functions at your fingertips: thermometer, altimeter, chronograph, compass, alarm, and weather. We'd like to see a larger LCD, but smarts and good looks make this watch appropriate for the office or the Appalachian Trail.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.