Tiny Robot Hand Could Revolutionize Surgery in Utero
A £10m project is underway to develop a mechanical set of pincers to perform risky procedures.
What's the Latest?
£10m has been invested in a project that hopes to construct a tiny surgical hand that can perform surgery on fetuses (or foetuses, if you're The Guardian). The goal is to transform the way procedures are done in utero and curb the number of children born with conditions such as spina bifida, which is when a baby is born with an underdeveloped or unfused spine. If successful, a wide range of new surgeries could become possible and multiple diseases would become treatable with little risk to the unborn child and mother.
What's the Big Idea?
The robot hand is currently in the research stage at University College London (UCL) and KU Leuven in Belgium with funding from both the Wellcome Trust and the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council. Although treating spina bifida is a primary concern for researchers (the condition affects about one in 1,000 babies and can lead to serious neurological disorders), the device could also treat twin-to-twin-tranfusion syndrome and other fetal disorders. As procedures in the womb are both risky and difficult, the researchers are dedicated to creating the best possible tools for the job.
Read more at The Guardian
Photo credit: Zffoto/Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.
- Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
- Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
- Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.