Cyborg technology could end human disability by 2064

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Neural interfaces and prosthetics will do away with human disabilities.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it and that is exactly what Hugh Herr has done.  At the age of 17, Herr was an accomplished mountaineer, but during an ice-climbing expedition he lost his way in a blizzard and was stranded on a mountainside for three days. By the time rescuers found him, both of his legs were frostbitten and had to be amputated below the knee. Once his scars healed, Herr spent months in rehab rooms trying out prosthetic legs, but he found them unacceptable: How could he climb with such clunky things? Surely, he thought, medical technologists could build replacement parts that wouldn’t slow him down.

 

 

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Education better equips the brain to recover from traumatic injury

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Higher levels of education correlate with cognitive reserve.

Having a little education goes a long way toward ensuring you’ll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

 

 

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The startling rise in disability in the US: 14 million Americans can’t work

Every month, 14 million Americans get a disability check.

The number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed in the past thirty years. Medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled, but disability is still on the rise. Fourteen million people now get a disability check from the government every month.

 

 

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Natural Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury Uncovered

Now improvement can be seen by 6 months

A study led by researchers in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine shows unexpected and extensive natural recovery after spinal cord injury in primates.

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In Breakthrough, Nerve Connections Are Regenerated After Spinal Cord Injury

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New research points the way toward a potential therapy to induce regeneration of nerve connections following spinal cord injury.

Researchers for the first time have induced robust regeneration of nerve connections that control voluntary movement after spinal cord injury, showing the potential for new therapeutic approaches to paralysis and other motor function impairments.

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Prosthesis With Information at Its Fingertips: Hand Prosthesis That Eases Phantom Pain

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Pressure sensors between thumb and index finger regulate the power of the artificial hand.

The pain of losing a body part is twofold, as patients not only suffer from wound pain. Often they are also affected by so called phantom pain. Unlike bodily wounds which will eventually heal, phantom pain often lasts for years and sometimes a lifetime.

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Physical Disabilities Increasing Among Middle-Aged Americans

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Disabilities among middle-aged increasing

Physical disabilities that limit mobility are increasing among middle-age Americans, a new study reports, and experts say the trend could have serious long-term consequences for the U.S. health-care system.  Researchers from the Rand Corp., a nonprofit research group, analyzed data from the annual National Health Interview Survey, covering 1997 to 2007, and found that more than 40 percent of respondents 50 to 64 years old reported difficulty with at least one of nine physical functions.

 

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Artificial Foot Recycles Energy for Easier Walking

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Developers say that an artificial foot that recycles energy otherwise wasted in between steps could make it easier for amputees to walk.

An artificial foot that recycles energy otherwise wasted in between steps could make it easier for amputees to walk, its developers say.

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Neurons Developed from Stem Cells Successfully Wired With Other Brain Regions in Animals

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This is a single stem cell-derived neuron that has migrated away from the transplantation site in the cortex and grown into a mature neuron.

Transplanted neurons grown from embryonic stem cells can fully integrate into the brains of young animals, according to new research in the Jan. 20 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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How Do Salamanders Grow a New Leg? Protein Mechanisms Behind Limb Regeneration

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A female wild-type axolotl

The most comprehensive study to date of the proteins in a species of salamander that can regrow appendages may provide important clues to how similar regeneration could be induced in humans.

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Organ Regeneration In Zebrafish: Unraveling The Mechanisms

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Unlike humans, zebrafish are able to regenerate amputated appendages.

The search for the holy grail of regenerative medicine — the ability to “grow back” a perfect body part when one is lost to injury or disease — has been under way for years, yet the steps involved in this seemingly magic process are still poorly understood.

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Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Walking Ability In Rats With Neck Injuries

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Illustration of rat with spinal injury. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California

The first human embryonic stem cell treatment approved by the FDA for human testing has been shown to restore limb function in rats with neck spinal cord injuries — a finding that could expand the clinical trial to include people with cervical damage.

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