When “Mike” spotted a newspaper advert for a clinic making prosthetic fingers in the 90s, he thought it was a scam. But the ex-yakuza member had booked himself a consultation within the hour. For almost a decade, a stumpy pinkie on his left hand had marked out his previous allegiance to the criminal world, preventing him from leading a normal life. A fake little finger, he thought, sounded outlandish, but it was worth a shot. It might allow him to disguise his past—and help shield against Japanese society’s prejudiced view of ex-yakuza members in search of redemption. [more inside]
Veterinarians at Iowa State University have successfully implanted prosthetic legs in Vincent, a three-year-old cat.
Photographer Shoots Powerful (and Sexy) Nude Portraits of Amputee Veterans. More Michael Stokes photography. NSFW.
"The limb, developed by Professor Hubert Egger of the FH Upper Austria (University of Applied Sciences), allows wearers to tell which surface they are walking on and dramatically improves amputee's balance and coordination. The development could wipe out the phenomenon of phantom pain, where amputees can experience severe discomfort as the brain receives no neural feedback from their missing limb." [more inside]
If you saw her catwalking like no one was watching, you'd see she was a model. But if you've seen the Channel 4 advert/short, you have seen Viktoria Modesta as a Prototype. [more inside]
Notice that cute girl on campus? Like to know her better? Why not give her a hand?
In pain and forced to use a wheelchair, a young woman opts to amputate her clubfeet. "New prosthetics have made active life possible for many with injuries and congenital defects." [Via]
Louisburg High School junior Mason Wilde had some free time on his hands after giving up football. The perfect project soon fell into his lap: Nine-year-old Matthew, who was born with a condition called limb difference, has only a thumb on his right hand. Wilde modified the free Robohand plans to fit the young boy. Then, using the 3D printer at the Johnson County Library, he created a prosthetic hand that can even hold a pencil. [more inside]
The Alternative Limb Project provides highly detailed prosthetics that either blend in with the body or stand out as unique pieces of art. The Project's custom prosthetic limbs — such as the flowered leg and the snake arm — are created by special-effects artist Sophie de Oliveira Barata (you can see her in her London studio here). Per the project's website, an alternative-style limb can help to "break down social barriers, delight the eye and provide an unusual talking point."
What do 3D printing, jelly, liver transplants, chainmail, dental fillings, ferrofluids, and the Six Million Dollar man have to tell us about our future? Materials scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik lets us know in this Royal Institution lecture.
Nearly a decade ago, Sun Jifa lost his hands in a fishing-related explosion (he was building a bomb for blast-fishing). He soon realized that he couldn't afford the prosthetic hands recommended by the hospital. Undeterred, he decided to build his own bionic hands. Eight years later...
Beavis and Butthead in Real Life. [SLBuzzFeed]
“Henrik's work speaks to the idea that there is no such thing as a soul or a self that's independent of the brain.”
Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion: Out-of-body experiences are just part of Ehrsson's repertoire. He has convinced people that they have swapped bodies with another person, gained a third arm, shrunk to the size of a doll or grown to giant proportions. [ . . . ] But Ehrsson's unorthodox apparatus amount to more than cheap trickery. They are part of his quest to understand how people come to experience a sense of self, located within their own bodies. The feeling of body ownership is so ingrained that few people ever think about it — and those scientists and philosophers who do have assumed that it was unassailable. [ . . . ] Ehrsson's work also intrigues neuroscientists and philosophers because it turns a slippery, metaphysical construct — the self — into something that scientists can dissect.
"Every day in the U.S., about 500 people lose a limb. About 1,800 amputation surgeries are performed each year in Oklahoma. More than 1,600 of those — about 90 percent — are lower body amputations. So every day in Oklahoma, four people lose part or all of a leg." (Nationally, the most common procedure is toe amputation.) "These are the stories of four people living in Oklahoma — a mother, a senior, a Marine and a student — all living life on at least one prosthetic leg": Standing Tall [more inside]
"One day a little boy came up, he must have been about four and he saw me taking off my (prosthetic) legs and he started with the 'why' questions, you know, 'why haven't you got any legs', etc. And I said 'have you heard of The Little Mermaid?' and he said 'yes' and I said 'I'm a mermaid' and he got this look on his face and he said 'wow that's cool' and ran off to tell his dad.Weta Digital are the special effects team behind the costumes, weapons and creatures of the Lord of the Rings movies, Avatar and even a sonic screwdriver prop that could be making an appearance on the next season of Doctor Who. In 2009, they created a fully functional mermaid tail pro bono for Nadya Vessey, an Auckland woman who is a double leg amputee. Video News Report: 1, 2.
I'll have to turn up to that beach again sometime with my tail - just in case he's there."
Interesting developments in med-tech: gene testing machines for doctors, a plan to engineer stem cells to kill HIV, a new way to repair damaged nerves, the next generation of retinal implants, and the first bionic fingers up for sale. (Bonus for those uninterested in medicine: the newest take on a Minority Report-style interface, courtesy of MIT.)
Practical gene therapy treatment emerges. Prosthetics that feel. Circumventing paralysis with brain implants.
"Get me a robot arm that looks like the Terminator." Slidell, LA boy recounts fight with 'Godzilla' gator [more inside]
Compelling (if somewhat brief) videoblog featuring an artist describing his job, crafting & painting glass eyes for folks in need of prosthetics.
"If you think amputation gives hiim an advantage, have the operation yourself and we'll see you at the track."
With the help of Ossur's prosthetic feet, Oscar Pistorius is differently abled. Video. Walk Tall should be the next LiveStrong. (via)
Come quick! I'm being eaten by a bear! In 1977, Cynthia Dusel-Bacon, a 31-year old geologist working for the US Geological Survey, lost both arms after an encounter with a hungry black bear during a field trip in Alaska. Not only she survived her ordeal, but she resumed her work as a USGS scientist. She can also tell you a few things about living a life without arms (she calls it "a multi-media approach"): how to chop carrots, undress, wash the dishes, read, and use a mouse.
"I showed them everything from a simple hook to a nonfunctioning artificial hand to a $50,000 bionic arm," Agris says. "They all picked the bionic arm." 7 Iraqi men recieve tattoo removal and a bionic arm.
World's first brain prosthesis revealed. Well, first hippocampus replacement at least. If this is not a dead end for science (which I doubt), I am gonna get my soul fully digitalized in 2020, then spreading it on the whole net with some new version of a code-red virus. :-)
"Paul Morgan is a man who desperately wants to lead a normal life again. When the accident first happened, the technology was not available for that to happen. While the technology is now available for Paul to lead a better life, the financial burden would be much more than he could afford. That is why Paul has come up with the idea to chop off his feet live on the internet". This is the first time reading a web page has actually made me nauseous.
Shake a leg! I like it that the guys who built the bombs, now have to build the legs the bombs blew off.
Rat-mind-control-robot. Where'd these rat's sign up? I want my cyborgian arm!