Severely Disabled People Control Tablet Computer via Brain Implant

A team of researchers in the U.S. has given three quadriplegic people the ability to use an off-the-shelf tablet computer with impressive ease. The researchers used a BrainGate2 neural interface that relies on an intracortical electrode array implant to allow direct communication between the brain and the tablet. The high-end system connected to the tablet via good-old Bluetooth so that the user was able to control a cursor with traditional point-and-click usability. The patients were able to do all sorts of things, like emailing relatives, web browsing, selecting music to listen to, and just about anything else that anyone else can do on a tablet. Two of the patients even chatted directly w

Canadian-made robot helps remove brain tumour

A team of Calgary surgeons has successfully used a robot to remove a tumour from a young woman's brain. The surgical robotic system, called NeuroArm, helped surgeons remove the tumour from 21-year-old Paige Nickason. "I had to have the tumour removed anyway so I was happy to help by being a part of this historical surgery," Nickason said in a statement from her hospital room less then 24 hours after her May 12 operation. The system was developed by a team of scientists led by Dr. Garnette Sutherland, a neurosurgeon with Calgary Health Region and a professor of neurosurgery in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary. The machine is being dubbed the world's first MRI-compatible ro

First dynamic spine brace characterises spine deformities

Spine deformities, such as idiopathic scoliosis and kyphosis (also known as “hunchback”), are characterised by an abnormal curvature in the spine. The children with these spinal deformities are typically advised to wear a spine brace that fits around the torso and hips to correct the abnormal curve. Bracing has been shown to prevent progression of the abnormal curve and avoid surgery. The underlying technology for bracing has not fundamentally changed in the last 50 years. While bracing can stop the progression of abnormal spine curves in adolescents, current braces impose a number of limitations due to their rigid, static, and sensor-less designs. In addition, users find them uncomfortable

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