Going “cordless”

For the generation that remembers what it was like to go from corded phones to cordless to mobiles, this news will come as a wake up call.

Researchers have been able to restore leg movement in paralyzed monkeys using “wireless” implant technology. The implant is in the brain of the animal, and transmits impulses to the spinal cord, caudal (lower) to the region that was damaged during an injury. So, the animal (and in future humans too) is part “computer”… something out of a science fiction book maybe? The moment I read this, it was like lightening struck… why didn’t this occur to us before? You bypass the need for a cord by using “cordless” technology. Of course, we would never have imagined cordless phones 40 years ago… but now— we can not imagine life without them. Watching technology evolve is fascinating, and immediately makes you realize in hindsight how limited we were before….

Of course, it will be some time before this becomes a medical option for many, mainly owing to the need for extensive quality check and experimentation prior to getting approvals. But it is reassuring to know that “thinking outside the box” once again has worked… this time in fixing the problem of a broken spinal cord!

Here is the original article in Nature:

Nature Volume:539,Pages:284–288Date published:(10 November 2016)DOI:doi:10.1038/nature20118

 

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