Archive for Biomedical Engineering

The bionic man named Rex and the man he is modeled after

Rex the bionic man has fully-functional artificial organs

A recent Channel 4 documentary titled How to Build a Bionic Man demonstrated the most advanced synthetic organs, limbs, and blood, through the construction of a 6.5-foot tall bionic man named Rex (short for ‘robotic exoskeleton’). The program featured the social psychologist Bertolt Meyer and Rex — the first complete bionic man created by Shadow Robot Company’s Richard Walker and […]

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What are stem cells? An easy to understand introduction

introduction to stem cells

Most of us have heard about stem cells. Research in this field is very promising, though the use of stem cells is also plagued by controversy. What are stem cells anyway? Basically, stem cells are cells that have the potential to develop into different types of cells (e.g. blood cells, heart cells, brain cells). They also have the ability to […]

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Nobel Prize winner believes human cloning possible within 50 years

human cloning babies

Human cloning has always been a touchy issue for many, with its multitude of ethical implications. Sir John Gurdon, however, believes that people will be able to overcome their worries about this technology in the near future if the technique (whether therapeutic cloning to create tissues and organs or reproductive cloning to produce offspring) becomes medically useful, with human cloning […]

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What experts 100 years ago thought the future would be like

Futurism

Over a hundred years ago, The Ladies’ Home Journal published what then-futurists thought would happen within the next century. Some of them are spot on, some have not happened yet, and some are outright opposite our current situation. What they got right 1. Population of the USA: “There will probably be 350M-500M people in America and its possessions.” 2. Heaters […]

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Pacemakers can be powered by heartbeat but can also be hacked

pacemaker

First, the good news. A study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012 discussed an experimental device that can harness the energy from a beating heart to power a pacemaker. The device uses piezoelectricity generated from the motion of the heart. The lead author of the study is M. Amin Karami, Ph.D., a research fellow in the Department […]

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Woman loses legs, turns herself into a real-life mermaid

mermaid tail prosthesis

Losing their limbs is one of the biggest fears for many people. Such a tragedy would reduce some folks into life-long bitterness and anger. But not Nadya Vessey! This sporty Auckland lady is living life to the fullest. A medical condition prevented Vessey’s legs from developing normally. At age 7, one of her legs had to be amputated. She began […]

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True Skin: a short cyberpunk film

This short film by Stephan Zlotescu and the production firm N1ON is really impressive. Here, being a man-machine hybrid is the norm and natural humans (those who never got any enhancements) are seen as freaks and pitiful since they get old, get sick, and die. The protagonist is a cyborg who is on the run and hiding in Bangkok after […]

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Sight: a short futuristic film

This is an interesting short movie about life in the (near) future. From hobbies to simple household chores, to dating and instantaneous information access. The main character’s creepy way of smiling adds to the discomforting end. Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.  

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Artificial retina uses brain communication code to restore vision

pnas201207035 1..6

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have cracked a mouse’s retinal neural code and integrated this information with a prosthetic device to restore vision of blind mice. They have also deciphered the code for a monkey’s retina and since monkeys and humans have almost identical retinas, they hope to begin human trials in as short as one to two years. […]

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Obesity vaccine stimulates the immune system to slim down the body

obese woman

Researchers are developing an obesity vaccine that increases metabolism to slim down the patient. Don’t get excited yet, my mouse potato comrades. This is still in the animal trial stage. How does it work? The obesity vaccine uses a modified form of somatostatin, a kind of peptide protein molecule. Somatostatin suppresses growth hormones that speed up the body’s metabolism and […]

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