Science can make blind mice see again and deaf mice hear — now scent-deprived mice can sniff their surroundings and smell for the first time, after a new gene therapy. It may be a while before this treatment percolates up to humans, but it’s a sign that gene therapy could restore smell in this rare but disorder.
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.
Until the naked mole rats yield their secrets, humanity will still have to worry about treating and controlling cancer. And to that end, one company may have figured out a novel way to prevent the spread of a highly dangerous form of brain cancer, through the use of pulsing electric fields.
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.