Tag: implants

  1. My obligatory "Cyberpunk is passe'" post.

    30 May 2011

    In the past couple of weeks it's become something of a fad to post about the genre of cyberpunk becoming somewhat passe'. We now live in the twenty-first century, where much of the fiction that my generation grew up reading was ostensibly set. We don't have flying cars or jetpacks. We don't really have food pills, either, but the nutrient and protein shakes that you can buy in the cold case of just about every convenience store these days (or the frankly awful tasting energy drinks that are popular with the younger set) aren't that far off. We do have …

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  2. Programmable nanoprocessors and neural prosthetics?

    17 February 2011

    A dream many of us over the years had involve having head computers of one kind or another implanted. Augmentations of our existing capabilities, replacements for damaged sectors, direct neural interface with other computers, encrypted partitions for carrying data, brand new functionality - you name it, chances are there's a geek out there who'd love to beta test it. One of the problems at the moment, however, is a distinct lack of space inside the cranium. When you get right down to it there isn't a whole lot of wiggle room inside your skull. Layering circuitry on the surface of the …

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  3. Deep brain stimulation, or, "That's funny..."

    10 April 2010

    Marvin Minsky once said that the human mind operates at only one tenth of its full capacity because the rest is taken up by the operating system's overhead. I always thought that was kind of a funny statement. When you get right down to it, nobody's really sure how the brain functions, or even how the mind operates inside of the 2.8 pounds of matter behind your eyes. People have variously been stabbed in the head (ye gods), lost a full quarter of brain mass in accidents, and even had entire hemispheres surgically excised and gone on to live …

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  4. Biodegradable surgical implants and surreptitious DNA archival.

    04 March 2010

    After badly breaking a load-bearing part of your body it's not uncommon for an orthopedic surgeon to install a couple of after-market bits of hardware to hold the bones together while they knit. This usually takes the form of a couple of titanium alloy screws, though plates, rods, and tubes are not unknown. The downside of using something made out of metal to put things back together is that the screw holes left behind after the implants are removed require additional time to heal. Plus, the holes further compromise the structural integrity of the bone until they fill in. In …

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  5. Synthetic neurons on the horizon?

    16 July 2009

    Implants in the human brain can be called primitive when considered in light of the organ they are meant to interface with. While the state of the art in technology uses minute electrical impulses to communicate with groups of neurons within the brain, the brain itself goes far beyond mere patterns of electrical impulses. Modern science has confirmed the existence of several score of neurotransmitters, and there are probably more that haven’t been identified yet. I’m willing to bet that there are other mechanisms underlying the operation of the brain that I don’t even know about because …

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  6. Holy shit, he finally pulled it off!

    16 May 2007

    College professor and performance artist Stelarc has been talking about performing an experiment for years, namely, finding a plastic surgeon who would fabricate for him a third ear out of his own flesh. The problem, he said when I spoke to him about it a number of years ago, was finding a plastic surgeon who would have no trouble designing and implanting the prosthesis, when in fact plastic surgeons make all sorts of modifications to people every day, such as increasing and decreasing the sizes of breasts.

    He's finally pulled it off. It's now protruding from the inside of his …

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