While "Avatar" remains science-fiction, the fundamental components behind a remote consciousness that drives the film's escapades continue to progress and already have practical uses in medicine. "Now the highest-grossing film ever, 'Avatar,' has captivated millions of viewers with its picturesque scenery, extraterrestrial battles, and nature-loving, blue-skinned aliens. The premise of the film is that humans can enter the world of these 10-foot aliens, called the Na'vi, by way of half-human, half-Na'vi hybrids. A high-tech interfacing mechanism allows a human to remain inert while controlling one of these avatar hybrids just by thinking. Not only does the human manipulate the avatar's movements and speech, but he or she also experiences life -- every sensation, feeling and emotion -- through the eyes of the hybrid, as if consciousness were transferred. Scientists say we are many decades, even centuries, away from making this kind of sophisticated interaction possible, if it can be done at all. But the fundamentals of components required to create this complicated system of mind-controlled avatars are already in the works, and have useful applications in medicine."