Agriculture
Fast-flying fungal spores
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Amphibians
Salamanders
Salamanders and Newts
Bullfrogs
Animals
Glimpses of a Legendary Woodpecker
Sleepless at Sea
Assembling the Tree of Life
Behavior
Contemplating thought
Memory by Hypnosis
Sugar-pill medicine
Birds
Crows
Songbirds
Cardinals
Chemistry and Materials
Revving Up Green Machines
Mother-of-Pearl on Ice
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Computers
Getting in Touch with Touch
The Shape of the Internet
Nonstop Robot
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Battling Mastodons
Downsized Dinosaurs
Supersight for a Dino King
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Quick Quake Alerts
Arctic Algae Show Climate Change
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Environment
Will Climate Change Depose Monarchs?
Shrimpy Invaders
Improving the Camel
Finding the Past
Stonehenge Settlement
Oldest Writing in the New World
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Fish
Salmon
Perches
Swordfish
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
How Super Are Superfruits?
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Play for Science
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Human Body
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Taste Messenger
Invertebrates
Bees
Krill
Bedbugs
Mammals
Horses
Asiatic Bears
Orangutans
Parents
Children and Media
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Physics
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Plants
Springing forward
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Getting the dirt on carbon
Reptiles
Caimans
Anacondas
Boa Constrictors
Space and Astronomy
A Smashing Display
No Fat Stars
A Family in Space
Technology and Engineering
Reach for the Sky
Dancing with Robots
Supersuits for Superheroes
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Problems with Prepositions
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Charged cars that would charge
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Recipe for a Hurricane
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Add your Article

A New Touch

Many people who have artificial arms or legs find these devices clumsy and difficult to operate. What’s missing is the ability to think about making a movement, then having that movement happen.

Now, researchers from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and their coworkers have moved a step closer toward this goal. They have developed a technique that could eventually allow people to feel heat and other sensations through their new limbs.

In your body, the nervous system carries messages from your brain to your muscles, telling them what to do. When you want to open your fist, for example, the nerve cells in your hand receive electrical signals that make the finger muscles move.

After the amputation of a hand, however, people also lose the hand’s nerve cells—and the ability to move the limb just by thinking about it or to feel anything.

To restore nerve-activated movement, the scientists started by identifying the nerves that once led to the lost limb. They then redirected these nerves to muscles in the patient’s chest.

As a result, when the patient thought about moving her arm, the message from her brain ended up in her chest muscles instead of in her hand. The muscles twitched, and a device on the skin picked up the muscles’ signal and sent an electrical pulse to the artificial arm, which then moved.

In a recent study, the first woman to have the procedure reported that moving her artificial arm felt natural.

Scientists also went a step farther. Surgeons rewired sensory nerves that originally went to the hand to a patch of skin that covers the chest muscles. When they later pressed on various parts of this area, the patient felt tingling sensations in what seemed to be individual fingers and the palm of her missing hand.

The patient was also able to feel cold, heat, and vibrations in the lost limb when the scientists applied those sensations to the skin on her chest.

“The fact that they were able to provide this degree of use [with the artificial arm] and the potential for sensory control is really quite wonderful,” comments Gregory A. Clark, a bioengineer at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Next, the group plans to work on developing artificial limbs that will allow their users to feel things. One possibility would be to put sensors on the artificial fingers that would deliver sensations to another part of the body.

Then, it wouldn’t matter if the hand holding a cup of hot cocoa were real or artificial. The cup would still feel hot.—E. Sohn

A New Touch
A New Touch








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™