Spinal Stimulation Gets Paralyzed Patients Moving

Implanted electrodes can reach where the brain cannot

11 min read
Spinal Stimulation Gets Paralyzed Patients Moving
Photo: Greg Ruffing

Video: Eliza Strickland & Celia Gorman. Footage: University of Louisville; Grégoire Courtine, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
Spinal stimulation: In both animal and human experiments, researchers are using electricity to restore function to paralyzed lower limbs.

Dustin Shillcox fully embraced the vast landscape of his native Wyoming. He loved snowmobiling, waterskiing, and riding four-wheelers near his hometown of Green River. But on 26 August 2010, when he was 26 years old, that active lifestyle was ripped away. While Shillcox was driving a work van back to the family store, a tire blew out, flipping the vehicle over the median and ejecting Shillcox, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt. He broke his back, sternum, elbow, and four ribs, and his lungs collapsed.

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A pair of hands holding a small handheld with a screen, mini joystick, and two buttons.

The original Pong arcade game weighed 68 kilograms. Now you can have an infinite number of Pong versions in your hand.

James Provost

There is currently a lot of interest in AI tools designed to help programmers write software. GitHub’s Copilot and Amazon’s CodeWhisperer apply deep-learning techniques originally developed for generating natural-language text by adapting it to generate source code. The idea is that programmers can use these tools as a kind of auto-complete on steroids, using prompts to produce chunks of code that developers can integrate into their software.

Looking at these tools, I wondered: Could we take the next step and take the human programmer out of the loop? Could a working program be written and deployed on demand with just the touch of a button?

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When Breathing Sciences Lead to a Mobile Life-Support Device

The compact unit is equipped with an innovative ventilator that recovers oxygen exhaled by the patient

5 min read
A soldier carrying a MOVES SLC portable life support unit walks over to an injured person on the ground.

Thornhill Medical's mobile life-support device, called MOVES SLC, has been used by military medical teams for five years. The unit can be slung across the shoulder and includes a circle-circuit ventilator and oxygen concentrator that eliminate the need to carry heavy, dangerous high pressure O2 cylinders.

Thornhill Medical

This is a sponsored article brought to you by LEMO.

A bomb explodes — medical devices set to action.

It is only in war that both sides of human ingenuity coexist so brutally. On the one side, it innovates to wound and kill, on the other it heals and saves lives. Side by side, but viscerally opposed.

Dr. Joe Fisher is devoted to the light side of human ingenuity, medicine. His research at Toronto’s University Health Network has made major breakthroughs in understanding the absorption and use of oxygen by the body. Then, based on the results, he developed new, highly efficient methods of delivering oxygen to patients.

In 2004, together with other physicians and engineers, he created a company to develop solutions based on his innovations. He named it after the Toronto neighborhood where he still lives — Thornhill Medical.

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