Medical Devices that Plug into Your Nervous System

New medical devices which can plug directly into a patient's nervous system communicate to wireless health-monitoring hardware. New prostheses can also interact wirelessly with your brain.

What's the Latest Development?


Researchers have tested medical devices in animals which connect directly to the nervous system, transmitting data to external wireless health monitors without invasive procedures. Other advancements include bionic devices which, by plugging into the body's nerves, can receive orders from the brain and muscular system: "Once the device is inserted into the nerve, nerve fibres grow through it. Nerve signals associated with particular movements are then selected, and these signals transmitted wirelessly to a receiver in the prosthetic."

What's the Big Idea?

Developments in the world of prosthetics, which could allow wireless exchanges of sensory data between the brain and the outside world, could have far-reaching consequences. Swiss scientists currently working to coat prosthetic limbs with artificial skin, containing electronic sensors, would give amputees a sense of touch similar to what every human experiences. The research opens the door to a world where many more devices could be controlled simply by a person having a thought, from a washing machine, to a wheelchair, to an airplane.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

Sponsored
  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less