A project from a couple of Masters students in mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University, FlexLegs is sort of like a cross between crutches and Oscar Pistorius's super-fast lower-leg prostheses. They promise to allow those with lower leg injuries to walk, run, tackle steps, and more. Say the creators: "If we can help a person with no legs to run, why can’t we help a person with an injured leg to walk?"
Hearing loss from weapons and explosive devices has been the No. 1 disability in this country’s modern military conflicts, saddling thousands of veterans with anything from tinnitus to deafness. Now a new generation of laser-based implants promises to restore their hearing — and that of civilians, too — with higher resolution than existing technology.
As fantasy teams across the nation crumbled in Week 1, football’s greatest current quarterback (yeah, that’s right) sat down for the first time in his NFL career, following a third procedure on his neck that may have ended his season. But before that, Peyton Manning apparently flew to Europe for an experimental stem cell treatment, according to Fox Sports.
Electrical impulses sent to a paralyzed man’s spinal cord allow him to walk again, researchers say. Rob Summers, 25, can voluntarily move his feet and hips and walk on a treadmill with support, in what could be a major breakthrough for the treatment of paralysis.
When I came into the office hobbling like Igor last week, thanks to a Muay Thai-related sprained ankle, any regular boss would’ve just offered a “get well soon.” Instead, my boss tells me we have some high-tech, ergonomically designed crutches left from Best of What’s New, and won’t I please take them for the holiday weekend? Sometimes it’s good to work at PopSci.
Future stitches could be made out of your own muscle cells, ensuring proper re-growth of injured muscle tissues.
Researchers in Massachusetts are implanting injured mice with microthreads coated with human muscle cells, reports Technology Review. The threads are made of the same proteins the human body uses to heal wounds, and when seeded with muscle cells, they act as a scaffold for the construction of healthy tissue.
Schwarzenegger's Terminator memorably thrashed and crawled onward towards its victims even after its robotic limbs had been mutilated by explosions and crashes. Now, a German research team is trying to bring that ability to the robots of today, looking at how three-legged dogs move in order to design robots that can recover from injury or damage.
Traumatic brain injuries affect as many as 20 percent of warfighters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the Pentagon's whiz kids at DARPA have turned to optogenetic brain implants that use light pulses to control brain cells, and hopefully reroute brain activity, Wired's Danger Room reports.
Sensors that can detect the biomechanics of a pitcher's fastball have usually required test subjects to perform their windup in the lab. But now three engineering students have created a smart compression shirt that could track pitching mechanics out on the mound, Ecouterre reports.
People who suffer massive blood loss automatically go into shock as a stopgap measure, but can eventually die if their bodies stay in shock for too long. Now a drug used to treat epilepsy could reverse all that and boost survival rates for horrifically injured people, especially wounded soldiers far from any extra blood supplies. New Scientist reports on a new study of the drug that involved porkers.
Ever since the first caveman ran through an adversary with a pointy stick, battlefield medicine has wrestled with the problem of blood loss from cutting and penetration. And while tourniquets can stop blood loss from an extremity, little can be done about large wounds to the chest and abdomen. That's where the TourniCath comes in.
Blasts from improvised explosives and RPGs can cause traumatic brain injuries among soldiers, which can leave permanent damage. Sounds like a challenge for the Pentagon's mad science lab DARPA, which has issued a call for a brain freeze device that could stop the after-effects of brain trauma in its tracks, Wired's Danger Room reports.
Elderly Monitors:They don't make sensors like they used to Julie Keefe for New York Times
Sensor-studded clothes, carpets, and homes could track the gait of grandma or grandpa and ensure that they're not in danger of falling. The U.S. National Institute on Aging has sponsored initial research into how such wireless monitoring could better monitor the health of a growing geriatric population. The European Union has also devoted $1.5 billion to studying technologies and services for the aged.
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.