Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a crucial diagnostic tool and an all-around cool technology that creates three-dimensional views of living tissues without being invasive or harming living tissues. But MRI is also limited; while telescopes see further and further into the cosmos and microscopes see smaller and smaller bodies, MRI can only go so small. But now, by blending atomic force microscopy with MRI's 3-D capabilities, MIT researchers are making a 3-D microscope 100 times more powerful than hospital MRI machines.
A team of 30 Spanish doctors announced Friday they had completed the world's first full-face transplant.
In a 22-hour-long operation on March 20, a man injured in a shooting accident received the entire face -- skin, muscles, cheekbones, lips and teeth -- of a donor.
The man, whose name was not released, has since seen himself in the mirror and was calm and satisfied, the BBC reports.
What if you could go to sleep with a vision problem and wake up with a crystal-clear view of the world? A Spanish optometrist not only says this is possible, but he actually wants you to sleep in your contacts. His patented contact lenses, designed to achieve the same effect of corneal reshaping surgery, can correct vision defects like myopia (nearsightedness) and stigmatism – and now hyperopia (farsightedness) – without taking sharp instruments or lasers to your eyes.
It's no secret that obesity is a growing problem for Americans. Our kids are growing larger, our rates of diabetes and heart disease show no signs of retreating, and our military is worried that the next generation of warfighters will be too big and sluggish to get the job done. But Boston-based Gelesis has engineered a complex obesity solution that works by a simple mechanism: take a pill, become full, eat less.
Finally, something to wear with your smart bio-watch: bio-sensing briefs with a strip of thick-film amperometric sensors printed right into the waistband. Why sensors in your skivvies? Aside from finally getting a clear measurement of the peak foot-pound force created by a Level 5 Atomic Wedgie, a small strip of biosensors pressed directly against your skin could monitor the body for a variety of biomarkers and other indicators, alerting the wearer that something is amiss.
According to Megadeth there are 99 ways to die, but many of those -- blood clots, dehydration, heart attacks -- can be hard to detect except with a thorough medical examination. But since we can't spend all of our time under doctor's observation, a team of European researchers, including Fraunhofer Institute scientists, is developing a lab-on-a-chip wristwatch that monitors various bio-indicators of bodily disaster, warning wearers of impending doom before problems become life-threatening.
Robots can be much more helpful than people. We're not talking about Roxxxy or that 'bot that serves up kebabs, but a robot therapist developed at MIT that has improved upper body motor skills in chronic stroke survivors even if the stroke occurred years previously. And -- to address the concerns of the day -- it did so without significantly increasing health care costs, and could in fact drastically reduce the cost per patient in the future.
More and more implantable devices, like pacemakers or defibrillators, are turning to wireless signals as a means to communicate with external devices, but in doing so they open themselves to security breaches. Several solutions are in the works that tackle this problem by upping device defenses, but by piling on security measures, yet another risk emerges: that at a critical time an authorized physician might not be able to access the device.
So Microsoft Research proposes putting a new technological spin on an old, time-tested security protocol: protect every device with a password, then tattoo the password right onto the patient in invisible UV ink.
While three-dimensional printing has come a long way, engineers still struggle with fabricating objects smaller than a quarter. In those small structures, the upper layers crush and distort the weak lower ones. To solve this problem, researchers at the University of Illinois have come up with a novel solution: print out a flat sheet, and then fold it, origami style, into the desired shape.
The brain is a difficult place to wander around without a map. But while the human brain, with its billions of neurons, is far too vast a frontier for us to map using current means, researchers have been building a cell-by-cell detailed map of the neural pathways in the brains of fruit flies, shedding light on how the neurons in our own brains connect and function.