Posts Tagged ‘BioTech’

The only way we could think of to go beyond a top 10 list is…

a top 20 list!

Here are important developments in the field of biotechnology and medicine, which will help the sick or disabled return to full capacity and extend our lives. Some of these are in clinical trials while others are still strictly in the research phase.

  1. Decay Fighting Microbes
  2. Artificial Lymph Nodes
  3. Asthma Sensor
  4. Cancer Spit Test
  5. Biological Pacemaker
  6. Prosthetic Feedback
  7. Smart Contact Lens
  8. Speech Restorer
  9. Absorbable Heart Stent
  10. Muscle Stimulator
  11. Nerve Regenerator
  12. Stabilizing Insoles
  13. Smart Pill
  14. Autonomous Wheelchair
  15. Gastrointestinal Liner
  16. Liver Scanner
  17. Nanoscale Adhesive
  18. Portable Dialysis
  19. Walking Simulator
  20. Rocket Powered Arm

Popular Mechanics has the details on all these items plus a few cool images and diagrams.

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Six Future Mods For Our Minds And Bodies

Here’s some more future hotness in the pipeline for those of you that love this kind of stuff. These are ideas are actively being researched and will be part of our reality in the not too distant future.

  1. Injection molded custom organs
  2. Breed super rice to feed the world
  3. Replace suture kits with lasers
  4. Mind-meld with machines
  5. Stop blood loss with ultrasound
  6. Deploy tiny robo-docs

Go check out the article to see all the juicy details.

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Are we the only ones who excited by the phrase “neural interface brain implant” and think, “wow, the future is here!”? No? Anyone?

Ok then…

First, you need understand precisely what we’re talking about here.

Brown’s BrainGate Neural Interface System—conceived in 2000 with the help of a $4.25-million U.S. Defense Department grant—includes a baby aspirin–size brain sensor containing 100 electrodes, each thinner than a human hair, that connects to the surface of the motor cortex (the part of the brain that enables voluntary movement), registers electrical signals from nearby neurons, and transmits them through gold wires to a set of computers, processors and monitors. (ScientificAmerican.com in 2006 wrote about one patient’s experience using BrainGate during its first phase of trials.)

Then, you need to understand who this technology helps, and how.

The researchers designed BrainGate to assist those suffering from spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, brain stem stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and other motor neuron diseases. During the initial testing five years ago, patients suffering from paralysis demonstrated their ability to use brain signals sent from their motor cortex to control external devices such as computer screen cursors and robotic arms just by thinking about them.

Now the company got approval from the FDA to do a second trial with more patients, which will hopefully yield a ton of useful data. When this technology starts becoming mainstream many people who are suffering now will have some sort of relief. People like us on the other hand, will use it to change tv channels – with our minds. Such is the progress of technology.

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Here’s a whole bunch of “just around the corner” advances which will have an impact on health and medicine within the next 5 – 10 years. Some are already undergoing clinical trials.

The list:

  1. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) In TMS, magnetic pulses created by a metal coil attached to the scalp generate small electrical currents in the brain; these stimulate nerve cells in areas involved in depression—without harming surrounding gray matter.
  2. Stem Cell ScaffoldTo pinch-hit for missing tissue at an injury site, stem cells need a scaffold to grow on—but artificial materials such as plastic won’t do, since the body flags and rejects them as foreign sub­stances.
  3. Instant DiagnosisThe device he’s designed detects thousands of different biological molecules in a single exhalation, creating a snapshot of the breath’s contents that could signal the presence of illnesses, from cancer to cystic fibrosis.
  4. Pre-emptive Strike Against CancerDerived from acids in plants, CDDO-Im activates natural enzymes that remove toxic compounds from cells—compounds that might otherwise create DNA mutations that lead to cancer.
  5. Implantable Nanowire If Zhong Lin Wang has his way, routine blood-pressure checks at the doctor’s office will soon be a thing of the past. The Georgia Institute of Technology physicist has designed an implantable nanowire that measures pressure fluctuations constantly, enabling patients to track their vital stats from home.
  6. Superbug ZapperArizona State physicist K.T. Tsen has developed the ultimate multipurpose treatment tool: a superfast infrared laser that zaps bacteria and viruses without harming surrounding tissue.
  7. Targeted DeliveryTo help patients avoid side-effect doldrums, researchers at Philips’s pharmaceutical division are developing the medical equivalent of a targeted missile-delivery system.
  8. Bloodstream Bot – A mosquito-size robot developed by Oded Salomon, an engineer at Israel’s Technion Institute, may be able to pull off these surgical feats without making large incisions—so recuperation is much faster.
  9. EKG UntetheredWake up in the morning, stick a featherweight patch on your chest and tackle your day with the assurance that computers are keeping a constant eye on your ticker.
  10. Nano Cancer FightersThe particles have substances on their surfaces that make them home in on the cancer—one type contains a peptide that binds to proteins found in a tumor’s vessel linings.

Read the whole article for all the juicy details.

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