My Cyborg Ear: How a Surgeon and Titanium Cured My Lifelong Deafness

I've never been able to hear well. As a child, I was in and out of the hospital as doctors struggled to treat chronic ear infections that left me in throbbing pain and, eventually, relative silence. By the time I went to college, I had only one half-functioning ear drum and no hope of regaining the hearing I'd lost… » 7/11/14 10:00am 7/11/14 10:00am

Watch a Paralyzed Man Move His Hand With the Power of Thought

For the first time ever, a paralyzed man has moved his hand using his mind—and some pretty badass technology. The announcement came just days after a paralyzed woman kicked the first ball at the World Cup in Brazil with the help of an exoskeleton. Paralysis, it seems, is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. » 6/25/14 5:40pm 6/25/14 5:40pm

How a Doctor Is Fighting Cancer With Items Found at Walmart

The New York Times Magazine offers up a healthy dose of inspiration this weekend with the story of David Walmer, a renegade doctor who's been saving lives in Haiti. When he realized a few years ago how cervical cancer was killing many of his patients, Walmer decided to get creative about solving the problem. Oddly… » 5/25/14 11:00am 5/25/14 11:00am

This Tiny Metal Pill Is the Smallest Pacemaker Ever Implanted

The world is one step closer to a future where tiny ship-like vessels travel through our veins and fix our health problems. Recently, doctors across the United States implanted the world's smallest pacemaker into cardiac patients. The device is roughly the size of a large vitamin and is attached directly to the heart… » 5/05/14 2:06pm 5/05/14 2:06pm

Mad Scientists Just Built an Edible Battery Out of Cuttlefish Ink

A few years ago, a whole new crop of crazy medical devices started popping up—things like little robots that could crawl through your veins and clear blocked arteries. Scientists lauded the promise of ingestible electronics, but there was one big problem. How are we going to power these devices? » 12/18/13 12:20pm 12/18/13 12:20pm

Scary-Sounding Mind-Controlled Drones Actually Aim to Do Good

There's something uncanny about drones, those autonomous airplanes that kill insurgents and civilians—but mostly civilians—and anger the pants off of many liberty-loving Americans. But drones aren't all bad. Outside of warzones, drones have been helping everyone from farmers to journalists and now they're helping… » 6/05/13 4:42pm 6/05/13 4:42pm

How Smartphones Are Trying to Replace Your Doctor (But Can't Yet)

For most of time medicine was a guessing game. Doctors, or witch doctors, or shaman would inspect a patient, stir a potion and hope it would work. With some notable exceptions, modern medicine isn't so different. The data collection—blood pressure, heart rate, weight, reflexes—is largely rudimentary. We're getting by,… » 6/04/13 11:00am 6/04/13 11:00am

DARPA's Crazy Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Have Gotten Even Better

We've known for a few years now that DARPA-funded prosthetics research is yielding some pretty incredible technology. We're not talking incredible in the robotic cheetah sense. We're talking incredible in The Incredibles sense of the term. Specifically, DARPA is literally building superheroic technology that enables… » 5/31/13 12:11pm 5/31/13 12:11pm

Scientists Create Diode Propulsion Engine for Bloodstream-Swimming…

Science fiction edges ever closer to reality as researchers at NC State University devise a form of propulsion that can accelerate microbots through the human bloodstream. The challenge: not only finding a way to create this engine on such a tiny scale, but to provide power to it. The solution? Diode propulsion, using… » 3/15/07 1:37pm 3/15/07 1:37pm

Ultrasound Stethoscope for Docs on the Go

Regular stethoscopes are all well and good if you're working in a quiet country hospital where the only sounds audible are the quiet churning of some old Amish woman making butter on the front porch, but if you're out in the field and you need to hear someone's heartbeat it's a different story. Have you ever tried to… » 11/28/06 3:31pm 11/28/06 3:31pm