Rebuilding Our Bodies

We now have the ability to rebuild our bodies; at least in a limited sense, but that limitation is shrinking rapidly.

Prosthetic Replacements
Artificial replacement limbs and dentures have been used for thousands of years.
Roman Capua Leg – [wikipedia.org]
Prosthetic replacements have dramatically improved their functionality and their human-like appearance with increases in technological capability. And the field of neuroprosthetics is now introducing devices that can replace or repair functionality that has been lost in damaged human neural pathways.

Organ Transplants
Skin grafts may have been the first successful transplants. Today we can transplant: heart, lungs, kidney, liver, pancreas, hand, cornea, bone and more.

Artificial Organs
In addition to transplanting existing human organs from a dead body to a live one, the list of artificial organ replacements is constantly growing and now includes: heart, pancreas, lungs, eye, ear, bladder, and many smaller parts of other organs and limbs like valves and joints.

Enhanced Design
Prosthetic enhancement is already being done, with the replacment device adding new capabilities that the original did not have.

Cyborgs
Cyborg stands for cybernetic organism, or an organism that has both natural organic and artificial components. In 1998 Prof. Kevin Warwick had a silicon chip surgically implanted in his arm. The chip sent out a signal which activated programming to open doors and turn on lights as he moved around. In 2002 another chip was implanted into the nerve fibers in his arm. His Project Cyborg is working to develop more complex control of objects using the nervous system impulses that the chip intercepts and transmits.

“I Cyborg” – [amazon.com]

Humans have limited capabilities. Humans sense the world in a restricted way, vision being the best of the senses. Humans understand the world in only 3 dimensions and communicate in a very slow, serial fashion called speech. But can this be improved on? Can we use technology to upgrade humans?

The possibility exists to enhance human capabilities. To harness the ever increasing abilities of machine intelligence, to enable extra sensory input and to communicate in a much richer way, using thought alone. Kevin Warwick has taken the first steps on this path, using himself as a guinea pig test subject receiving, by surgical operation, technological implants connected to his central nervous system.

5 Responses to “ Rebuilding Our Bodies ”

  1. Invention: Intelligent fingertip ‘eye’

    Electronic aids that help blind and partially sighted people navigate and interact with their environment – such as ultrasound canes and voice-enabled GPS devices – are becoming more widely available. But a new device could take such interaction to the next level.

    George Stetten, a bioengineer at the University of Pittsburgh, has come up with the idea of a tiny video camera that sits at the end of a finger (see image, right) and connects to a portable computer that can analyse the footage and flag up objects of interest.


  2. Monkey’s Thoughts Used to Control Walking Robot Halfway Across the World

    The New York Times today reports on an awesome experiment in which thoughts were extracted from a monkey in the US and used to control a walking robot in Japan. An electrode array implanted into the monkey’s brain was able to monitor roughly 300 neurons in the monkey’s brain that are correlated with the motor signals that cause the monkey to walk. While the monkey was walking, the signals from these neurons were translated by software and relayed to the robot in Japan, causing the robot to walk.

  3. UT to develop fracture putty for traumatic leg injuries
    “Success on even a small part of the project has the potential to revolutionize orthopedic medicine. It could give people with serious leg injuries an opportunity to regain full use of limbs that now require amputations or the use of permanent implants,” Ferrari said. “We’re creating a living material that can be applied to crushed bones. The putty will solidify inside the body and provide support while the new bone grows.”

  4. […] repair and even augment our bodies with both artificial and transplanted body components. (see Rebuilding Our Bodies) Science and technology are rapidly pushing forward to a point where it will become possible for […]

  5. […] ALSO: Printing Body Tissue Rebuilding Our Bodies Sensitive Synthetic Skin Skintronics TF Skin Flexible LED Tatoos Drexler Spacesuit Share and […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.