We live in a science fiction world

Mind-controlled ‘exoskeleton’ restores movement to totally paralyzed man

“For the first time, a quadriplegic patient was able to walk and control both arms using this neuro-prosthetic, which records, transmits and decodes brain signals in real time to control an exoskeleton,” said project chief Guillaume Charvet. The experiment was launched by the biomedical research center Clinatec in Grenoble, France.

So impressive! Hopefully developments of this kind will move ahead at a brisk pace.

Here’s another one:

Grand Rapids man one of the first to receive ‘bionic ear’

The vestibular implant is a device similar to the cochlear implant, which is used for people who have hearing loss. But it serves a different purpose — to restore balance when people have the lost the function of their inner ears.

Another really nice development.

A third noteworthy medical advance:

Boston Children’s Hospital researchers seem to have pinpointed the cause of multiple sclerosis

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have now pinpointed the specific helper T cells that cause MS, as well as a protein on their surface that marks them. As reported this week in PNAS, an antibody targeting this protein, CXCR6, both prevented and reversed MS in a mouse model.

Animal models can be iffy for many reasons, but if you click through you’ll see this looks quite promising.

And more more, the most science-fictiony of all:

After 5 Years Of Trials, Doctors Create Human Liver From Scratch

“It’s not like ‘wahoo’ and the next morning you think, ‘ah, I’m gonna make a human liver,’” says Dr. Alejandro Soto-Gutiérrez of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center.

It took five years of trial and error but using stem cells, genetic and tissue engineering, organ cultures and a team of experts in these areas, the researchers have come up with this.

This isn’t a viable, long-term organ suitable for, say, a liver transplant. Yet. But it’s hard not to see this as a pretty good step in that direction.

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