Thursday, May 8

the advantage of prosthetics

Prosthetics are not just useful, they are saving lives. Winter the dolphin can't swim without his new tail, his real one was lost to a crab trap, and Mocha had her leg blown off by a land mine. Molly the pony would have been put down after a pitbull mauled her leg except for her surgical team that decided she should have a try at a prosthetic.

And technology for prosthetics is coming along well. The DARPA project is creating limbs that are controlled by thought alone as they will wire the limb right into the nervous system. Thanks for the idea Luke Skywalker! And check out the I-Limb, that looks realistic and has touch sensation, although apparently a German company has an even more advanced arm called the Fluidhand.

Prosthetic technology has gone so far in that there are debates over whether the artificial limbs give an "unfair" advantage over real ones. The IAAF will not allow Oscar Pistorius to run in the Olympics because he has an unfair advantage with his "cheetas".

One statement by Elio Locatelli of Italy, the director of development for the IAAF, who urges Pistorius to concentrate on the Paralympics because "It affects the purity of sport". So how "pure" are the Olympics anyways?! I say "Good on ya Oscar!" You're the definition of an Olympian to me.


soon we may be able to regrow our own limbs:

Today's permanent wound will be tomorrow's bad memory. Blow off our fingers, and we'll grow them back.
Further down the road, other possibilities will emerge. If we can restore a soldier's original muscle strength, we can probably add to it.

from "Rearming America: The military's plan to regrow body parts".

Or will we want to? Perhaps the Luke Skywalker/Six Million Dollar Man approach is a better choice?

No comments: