‘Pacemaker for the brain’ may help prevent seizures and treat movement disorders

Anyone who has ever been scolded for talking over someone knows that speaking and listening simultaneously is a hard thing to do. Conducting an intelligent conversation requires active listening, understanding the received knowledge, and crafting a meaningful response, which often requires blending the new information with one’s own experiences. On a microscopic scale, each neuron in the brain must do exactly this – listen to … Continue reading ‘Pacemaker for the brain’ may help prevent seizures and treat movement disorders

3D Printed Robot Plays Jingle Bells and More on the Piano

When looking for the perfect soundtrack to accompany your holiday celebrations, consider putting away the traditional albums and opting for this technologically savvy rendition of Jingle Bells instead.  The performer, the latest work from Josie Hughes and colleagues at the University of Cambridge, is none other than a robot hand designed to play the piano without moving its fingers.  While it may not be a … Continue reading 3D Printed Robot Plays Jingle Bells and More on the Piano

One Step Closer to Cyborgs: The development of artificial nerves

by Anqi Zhang figures by Daniel Utter Have you ever met anyone with only one leg or arm? I bet you have. An estimated 185,000 people undergo amputation procedures in the US every year, with the leading cause being vascular diseases. Thanks to the advances in medical devices, some of the functionalities of the lost limbs can be restored by artificial arms or legs, or … Continue reading One Step Closer to Cyborgs: The development of artificial nerves

From Seed to Organ: Growing a Liver

Over 17,000 Americans are currently waiting for liver transplants, with millions more living with chronic liver disease. There simply aren’t enough healthy organs to go around. So why not engineer them? Growing a liver “from scratch” by using its constituent cells could replace the need for whole organ transplants. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology generated hydrogels containing three different types of human cells, … Continue reading From Seed to Organ: Growing a Liver