Meet Claudia Mitchell, the first woman with a bionic arm.

 In 2006 she was outfitted with the arm to replace the arm she lost in a motorcycle accident. Her prosthesis, a prototype developed by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is one of the most advanced prosthetic arms developed to date.

Mitchell, who lives in Ellicott City, was the fourth person- and first woman- to receive a “bionic” arm, which allows her to control parts of the device by her thoughts alone. The device works by detecting the movements of a chest muscle that has been rewired to the stumps of nerves that once went to her now-missing limb. 

She hopes to upgrade to a prosthesis, still under development, that will allow her also to “feel” with an artificial hand. 

A while after the initial surgery, surgeons took the first step by rewiring the skin above her left breast so that when the area is stimulated by impulses from the bionic arm, the skin sends a message to the region of her brain that feels “hand.” 

Future arms will be able to perform even more precise movements, but even the first-generation device “has changed my life dramatically,” she said. “I use it to help with cooking, for holding a laundry basket, for folding clothes — all kinds of daily tasks.” 

Technology like this gives hope for the future because it is a great example how science can actually improve the quality of people’s life!

You can see a video of her using her bionic arm here:




(via cognitivedissonance)

Cell phones generate electromagnetic fields (EMF), and emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR). They share this feature with all modern electronics that run on alternating current (AC) power (from the power grid and the outlets in your walls) or that utilize wireless communication. Different devices radiate different levels of EMF, with different characteristics. …

The many potential negative health effects from EMF exposure (including many cancers and Alzheimer’s disease) can take decades to develop. So we won’t know the results of this experiment for many years—possibly decades. But by then, it may be too late for billions of people. …the entire power grid is an EMF-generation network that reaches almost every individual in America and 75% of the global population. Today, early in the 21st century, we find ourselves fully immersed in a soup of electromagnetic radiation on a nearly continuous basis. …

While cancer is one of the primary classes of negative health effects studied by researchers, EMF exposure has been shown to increase risk for many other types of negative health outcomes. In fact, levels of EMF thousands of times lower than current safety standards have been shown to significantly increase risk for neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease) and male infertility associated with damaged sperm cells. In one study, those who lived within 50 meters of a high voltage power line were significantly more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease when compared to those living 600 meters or more away. The increased risk was 24% after one year, 50% after 5 years, and 100% after 10 years. Other research demonstrates that using a cell phone between two and four hours a day leads to 40% lower sperm counts than found in men who do not use cell phones, and the surviving sperm cells demonstrate lower levels of motility and viability.

EMF exposure (as with many environmental pollutants) not only affects people, but all of nature. In fact, negative effects have been demonstrated across a wide variety of plant and animal life. EMF, even at very low levels, can interrupt the ability of birds and bees to navigate. Numerous studies link this effect with the phenomena of avian tower fatalities (in which birds die from collisions with power line and communications towers). These same navigational effects have been linked to colony collapse disorder (CCD), which is devastating the global population of honey bees (in one study, placement of a single active cell phone in front of a hive led to the rapid and complete demise of the entire colony). And a mystery illness affecting trees around Europe has been linked to WiFi radiation in the environment. …

[M]odern technology (the source of the humanmade electromagnetic fields discussed here) has fueled a remarkable degree of innovation, productivity, and improvement in the quality of life. If tomorrow the power grid went down, all cell phone networks would cease operation, millions of computers around the world wouldn’t turn on, and the night would be illuminated only by candlelight and the moon—we’d have a lot less EMF exposure, but at the cost of the complete collapse of modern society.

EMF isn’t just a by-product of modern society. EMF, and our ability to harness it for technological purposes, is the cornerstone of modern society. Sanitation, food production and storage, health care—these are just some of the essential social systems that rely on power and wireless communication. We have evolved a society that is fundamentally reliant upon a set of technologies that generate forms and levels of electromagnetic radiation not seen on this planet prior to the 19th century.

As a result of the central role these devices play in modern life, individuals are understandably predisposed to resist information that may challenge the safety of activities that result in EMF exposures. People simply cannot bear the thought of restricting their time with— much less giving up—these beloved gadgets. This gives industry a huge advantage because there is a large segment of the public that would rather not know.

Your cellphone is killing you (via kateoplis)

The LD50 (the dose required to kill half of the subjects in a test population) of marijuana’s active ingredient THC is in the neighborhood of 50-70 grams, which is pretty much impossible to achieve in any normal setting. Casual users need just 2-3 mg of THC to become intoxicated, and habitual tokers might need somewhere in the neighborhood of five to 10 times that amount. The University of Michigan’s Mind the Science Gap estimates this means someone would need to smoke around 5,000 times their average consumption to die from THC poisoning.

It’s easier to die from drinking too much water than smoking too much marijuana 

Follow policymic

(via policymic)

(Source: micdotcom)


In an unlikely corner of our solar system, scientists have discovered evidence of what they believe is a subterranean ocean. The water means a tiny moon orbiting Saturn could be one of the few places in the solar system with the right ingredients for life.

The moon Enceladus is only 300 miles wide—it would fit between New York City and Charlottesville, Va. It’s a mini-world with a bright, icy, frigid surface, and it is just one of an astounding 62 moons orbiting the ringed planet. But it is not just a static, boring ice ball. Fractures on the moon’s surface—evocatively named “tiger stripes”—emit jets of frozen water that help form one of the bands in Saturn’s rings.

Ocean as Large as Lake Superior Found on Enceladus, a Tiny Moon Orbiting Saturn


AsapSCIENCE Explores the Science Behind Laziness

Interesting. Though I’m a little worried this may end up being a moral hazard by emboldening the lazy to embrace their apathy by blaming it on their genes. Here’s hoping it inspires people to do the opposite and fight their genetics. But I worry nonetheless.


West Antarctic glaciers in ‘irreversible’ thaw, raising seas: study

(Reuters) - Vast glaciers in West Antarctica seem to be locked in an irreversible thaw linked to global warming that may push up sea levels for centuries, scientists said on Monday.

Six glaciers, eaten away from below by a warming of sea waters around the frozen continent, were flowing fast into the Amundsen Sea, according to the report based partly on satellite radar measurements from 1992 to 2011.

Evidence shows “a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat”, said lead author Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The coastal ends of the glaciers rest on bedrock below sea level, holding back a vast weight of ice and making them vulnerable to melt, he said. He likened the process to uncorking a full bottle of wine while it was lying on its side.

This part of Antarctica would be a major contributor to sea level rise in coming decades and centuries since the glaciers hold enough ice to raise sea levels by 1.2 meters (4 feet).

"It’s passed the point of no return," he told a telephone news conference.

(Continue Reading)

Where my climate change deniers at? 


The inventor of the Segway has created a “near-natural” advanced prosthetic limb

Since around World War II, the U.S. Army has been working with the same technology for prosthetic arms: basically a plastic arm tube with a hook at the end. It’s worked alright, but after years of development in other areas of science and recovery (including major strides in prosthetic legs), DARPA, the US Defense Department’s advanced research agency, decided it was time to do some major upgrades to their arm technology. It’s now been nearly eight years of testing, modeling, building, developing and programming but they’ve finally developed something that could dramatically change countless lives in America and around the world.

Meet the DEKA Arm, an extremely advanced prosthetic limb that gives the wearer “near-natural” control of the limb. Developed by DARPA and Dean Kamen, otherwise known as the guy who invented the Segway, the arm required years of development of new technologies that could work together to give the user a functioning and as-real-as-possible experience. 

Read more | Follow policymic 

(Source: micdotcom)


Four young women born with abnormal or missing vaginas were implanted with lab-grown versions made from their own cells, the latest success in creating replacement organs.

All four of the women are now sexually active and report normal vaginal function. Two of the four, who were born with a working uterus but no vagina, now menstruate normally. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine/Handout via Reuters)

Read more here: 

This is right up there with “3D printed skull successfully implanted” as amazing. 



Which house do you belong to? (via LISACommunity on Facebook)

Science is coming.

House Hubble, because “Behold your sky” is exactly the type of thing I would say to someone when pointing out stars or running a planetarium show. A Song of Ice-otopes and fire, anyone?