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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
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Video: Paralyzed Woman Controls Robotic Arm With Her Thoughts
17 December 2012 12:23 pm
A 53-year-old woman paralyzed from the neck down by a genetic neurodegenerative condition has learned to manipulate a robotic arm with her thoughts, researchers report today in The Lancet. In the video above, she uses the arm to remove plastic cones stacked on a base and restack them one by one on another base. Surgeons had implanted two 4x4-millimeter grids of hair-thin electrodes in her brain to capture signals from regions involved in planning hand and arm movements. A computer translated those signals into commands to move the robotic arm, which has nearly the same movement capabilities as the real thing. Earlier this year, another research team reported that two tetraplegic patients had learned to grasp and manipulate objects using a brain-machine interface (BMI), as these sophisticated prosthetics are often called. This new study improves on that work by demonstrating even more fluid and natural movements—the best yet performed by a paralyzed human patient using a BMI. It also allowed the patient, Jan Scheuermann, to fulfill a long-sought goal: feeding herself a piece of chocolate.
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