Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tech Tuesday; Medtech Mdition

Further proof that we're getting darn close to TL 9

First, some heartening news for anyone who has or knows someone with prosthetics. This prosthetic hand can feel. And this one? This one can be controlled by thought. Combine the two, and you've got an arm, controlled directly by nerve stimulation, that can feel. The tech is in it's infancy, but it is functional. No longer theoretical, it has been used. Ironing out the kinks to a useable degree is significantly easier than getting the tech to the point where that becomes an option.

Continuing on the TL9 medical trend, some scientists have supposedly managed to get blood cells and such to function as stem cells. And then there are these goggles that make cancer glow for easier removal. Other scientists have learned how to fix damaged-but-not-completely-severed spinal cords

And then of course, there's NASA asking medical companies to build a Pocket Medigun ala Star Trek. That one's still pretty much all theoretical, but at least people are thinking about it (although there's the Tricorder X Project, which like the other X projects (best known is the robot x project, to make autonomous robot vehicles) aims to push technology ahead. In this case, the goal is a pocket sized medical sensor suite for routine diagnostic work, to free up specialists to do things actually requiring a specialist. There's been some talk of trying to develop something that can either be built into a phone case, or just a straight-up phone app for any sufficiently advanced smartphone.

Medical advancements can take a long time, so it's unlikely we'll see many or any of these anytime soon, but it's still nice to see how far we've come. Also, like Sci-Fi Friday, this may or may not become an actual recurring thing. It will probably be more of a "Whenever I wind up with sufficient material collected, posted on Tuesdays" kind of deal.

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