Recently there's been increasing hope for people who have lost the use of their arms, as various research institutes have started developing prosthetic arms that can be controlled by thought alone
. So far, all of the systems have just allowed users to control a single arm – for many of the tasks that we perform on a daily basis, that's simply not enough. Now, however, scientists at North Carolina's Duke University have succeeded in getting two rhesus monkeys to control both
arms of animated digital avatars, using nothing but their mind.
We may sometimes joke that we lack the ability to make decisions, but the fact is that for people with certain types of brain damage, proper decision-making is indeed impossible. This isn’t so much about things like choosing between vanilla and chocolate, however. Instead, these individuals simply can’t decide on how to respond to everyday situations, so they either don’t respond, or they respond inappropriately. Help may be on the way, though, in the form of a brain-stimulating device that has been shown to work on monkeys.
In a world full of scary viruses Ebola surely ranks right up there amongst the scariest. It can cause fever, rashes, muscle pain, headache, followed by internal and external bleeding, with case fatality rates as high as 80 percent in humans. Currently there are no available vaccines or therapies to combat the virus. Now scientists report they have successfully prevented monkeys exposed to the virus from dying from hemorrhagic fever and suggest that such protection should be possible for humans.
When English chemist John Dalton first wrote about color blindness in 1798, he must have wondered how science would improve the quality of life for people living with the condition. Today, spectacles, contact lenses and revolutionary corrective eye surgery combat the effects of a myriad of vision disorders, yet people with color blindness still live in quiet acceptance of this common genetic disorder. Now researchers have delivered promising results by successfully treating two squirrel moneys with defective color perception using a gene therapy that could also safely eradicate color blindness in humans.