People who suffer from lower limb paralysis may one day walk again thanks to the EU-funded project, MINDWALKER.
For lower limb disabled people, the lack of mobility often leads to limited participation in social life. Of course, they can use wheelchairs to move around. But their mobility is fairly limited.
To help them perform their usual daily activities in the most autonomous and natural manner, the EU-funded research project MINDWALKER, launched in 2010, has developed an intelligent exoskeleton.
This project is a clever mix of mechanics, electronics, brain activity measurement devices, computer technology, and virtual reality training. It has created a functional prototype of a lower limb exoskeleton that could be activated either through brain waves detected by dry electrodes directly placed on the head in a little cap, by upper body muscle activity measurements (when a person walks, at the same time they move their arms and their shoulders) or by luminous signals.
All these functions were combined to develop an integrated system. This system has been successfully tested in May 2013 on patients in Italy. It is an exoskeleton capable of supporting the weight of an adult, ensuring walking stability and enabling different walking abilities.
The prototype exoskeleton now requires extra research initiatives beyond the scope of the MINDWALKER project in order to become fully exploitable.
The deepest parts of the ocean were once assumed to be pristine, but recent discoveries of chemicals and radioactive products at the bottom of underwater trenches has shown that humanity’s footprint extends to the furthest reaches of the earth – and it could affect the balance of oxygen in the oceans and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Re-engineering immune cells and modifying yeast to produce drugs are just two of the tantalising applications of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, says Professor Toni Cathomen, director of the Institute for Cell and Gene Therapy at the University of Freiburg, Germany.
Smartphones are changing the game for entrepreneurs and innovators, cutting out the need for expensive equipment and enabling them to place technologies such as virtual reality how-to manuals and broadband service for aircraft passengers directly into our pockets.
The plight of a growing number of female migrants remains undocumented as studies focus primarily on men, despite the fact that women are often more vulnerable, dealing with unwanted pregnancies, sexual assault and associated illness and mental health problems.
Toxins have been found in creatures living more than 6 km down.
Smartphones are changing the way we innovate.
Re-engineering immune cells and modifying yeast to produce drugs are just two potential applications, says Prof. Toni Cathomen.