How 5 Security Technologies Fared After 9/11

Developed, deployed, and sometimes deep sixed

2 min read
Photo: Jonathan-Ernst/Reuters
Photo: Jonathan-Ernst/Reuters

The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 sparked a security mania in the United States that included a brassbound push for new surveillance technology—one that 10 years later has had mixed results. Radiation monitors for incoming cargo have been deployed en masse, but their utility remains dubious. Other technologies—such as the airline passenger imagers used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)—seem to work and have proliferated but leave some people feeling creeped out. Below, we compare five technologies pre-9/11 and today.

TECHNOLOGYPRE-9/11NOW
Advanced imaging

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A New Treatment for Arthritis: Vagus-Nerve Stimulation

Studies will soon show whether electroceuticals outperform pharmaceuticals

5 min read
A tablet computer, a smartphone, a grey belt with white stripes, a grey disc, and a small silver rectangle with a wire curled beside it.

Galvani’s system includes a nerve stimulator that attaches to the splenic nerve.

Galvani Bioelectronics

Monique Robroek once had such crippling arthritis that, even with the best available medications, she struggled to walk across a room. But thanks to an electronic implant fitted under her skin, she managed to wean herself off all her drugs and live pain-free for nearly a decade—until recently, when a viral illness made her rheumatoid arthritis (RA) flare up again.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

Robroek’s long remission is “very impressive” and rare among patients with RA, says her doctor Frieda Koopman, a rheumatologist at Amsterdam UMC, in the Netherlands. Robroek’s experience highlights the immense potential of so-called bioelectronic medicine, also known as electroceuticals, an emerging field of treatment for diseases that have traditionally been managed with pharmaceuticals alone.

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