A real-life company is implanting microchips in employees

After a semi-painless injection between the thumb and index finger, a microchip is implanted in another employee. A cyborg is now created, and this human/machine mashup runs off to buy a smoothie using his or her new sub-dermal implant.

If that sounds futuristic, it’s because we’re conditioned to this as a sort of science fiction trope: human gets implanted, its overlords are now in control. For a Swedish company, however, the practice of implanting microchips into its employees has become routine, popular even.

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3D printed implant replaces 75% of a man’s skull

The 3-D printing technology is ideal for implants custom-shaped to each patient’s anatomy.

For the first time ever a patient has received an implant made specifically for him using 3D printing technology.  the patient, an unidentified man, had 75% of his skull replaced with a 3-D printed implant made by Oxford Performance Materials, a Connecticut company.



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First ‘bionic eye’ implants will hit the U.S. market this year

The treatment involves electrodes implanted in the eyes of people whose retinas are damaged.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment that can restore (limited) eyesight to (some) blind people, last week.  It’s an exciting milestone, despite the caveats.



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Scientists restore sight to blind mice by regenerating optic nerve

lab mouse

Scientists restore vision to blind mice.

There are three blind men who have an inherited eye disorder that had destroyed the light-sensing cells of their retinas many years ago.  Now one of the blind men can walk around at night navigating by streetlight and headlights.  Another can read his own name.  And the third mean has been able to see his fiancée’s smile for the very first time.  All of this has been made possible by the retinal implants they have been fitted with.  The implants took over from the broken cells.  They sense incoming light by converting it into electrical impulses delivered to the brain.  They aren’t close to having 20/20 vision, but they have restored sight to people who have lived without it for years.

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U.S. military developing miniature drones that resemble birds and insects

drones 1

Researcher Dr Gregory Parker holds a small, winged drone that resembles an insect.

The U.S. military is developing these. innocent-looking devices that are actually some of the most sophisticated drones on the planet.   They resemble children’s toys that are left disgarded in closets around the world.  (Pics and video)


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‘Mussel Gel’ Can Repair Tissue and Bond Medical Implants


Mussel byssus enables mussel to surfaces even in water.

A new gel that the inventors say you can play with like Silly Putty, can repair torn skin, bond implants, or act as an adhesive for underwater machinery.  The invention, under development for several years, is now patent pending, and it’s all thanks to the biomimicry of a mussel’s byssus, the hair-size filaments that form a sticky foam enabling the mussel’s fierce attachment to rocks, substrates, and beds on the sea walls and floors.


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Medical Devices Powered by the Patient’s Own Heart


A single zinc oxide nanowire can be attached to a heart, where it produces electric current as it bends with every beat.

A tiny, nearly invisible nanowire can convert the energy of pulsing, flexing muscles inside a rat’s body into electric current, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have shown. Their nano generator could someday lead to medical implants and sensors powered by heartbeats or breathing.


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New Tiny Silk Brain Implants

Brain saving silk implants
Medical researchers have developed tiny electrodes from silk and thin sheets of metal that can be surgically implanted on the brain. They can gather data and send out electrical signals without causing damage to the patient:

“These implants have the potential to maximize the contact between electrodes and brain tissue, while minimizing damage to the brain,” said Dr. Walter Koroshetz of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, which helped pay for the study.

“They could provide a platform for a range of devices with applications in epilepsy, spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders.”

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Scientists Learning To Grow Custom-Size Bone Implants


Researchers use a bioreactor, left, to house and help cultivate material, right, that evolves into a bone.

If a lover breaks your heart, tissue engineers can’t fix it. But if sticks and stones break your bones, scientists may be able to grow custom-size replacements.  Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, has solved one of many problems on the way to successful bone implants: how to grow new bones in the anatomical shape of the original.

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