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Medicine Science

Woman's Voice Restored After Larynx Transplant 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the wonder-if-she-sounds-like-herself dept.
mvar writes "A woman in the US is able to speak for the first time in 11 years after a pioneering voicebox transplant. Brenda Jensen said the operation, which took place in California, was a miracle which had restored her life. Thirteen days after the surgery she said her first words: 'Good morning, I want to go home.' It is the first time a larynx and windpipe have been transplanted at the same time (image) and only the second time a larynx has ever been transplanted. In October, surgeons at the University of California Davis Medical Center removed the larynx, thyroid gland and 6cm of the trachea from a donor body. In an 18-hour operation, this was transplanted into Ms. Jensen's throat and the team connected it to her blood supply and nerves. Thirteen days later, she was able to speak her first croaky words and is now able to talk easily for long periods of time."
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Woman's Voice Restored After Larynx Transplant

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  • That's awesome (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Nihn (1863500) on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:14PM (#34957272)
    It's nice to see some nice news here on slashdot...now we get to see how many days goes by before Microsoft, Google, or Time/Warner decide they own the copyright for the word and/or use of the Voice Box ©. Or maybe Apple will make it the iVoice ©. Or you can use it for a monthly fee, and comes with celebrity voice DLC so you can sound like your favorite singer....
  • when you receive a donor liver, kidney, lung, etc. from a donor, it's invisible. but a donor's voice?

    it's just so personal

    you open your mouth, and out comes the voice of someone else, who is dead

    creepy!

    of course its still a wonderful gift, but its just a creepy wonderful gift, that's all i'm saying

  • by Kilrah_il (1692978) on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:34PM (#34957560)

    Talking needs both the suitable anatomy and the right "circuitry" (i.e. brain connection). While we may be able to implant a suitable larynx, the animal lacks the suitable brain connection for two reasons:
    1) There was no evolutionary push to develop it, since there was no suitable anatomy (assuming the anatomy and neuroanatomy develop together).
    2) There was no push for the brain circuits to develop in the animal's life, in the same way that a deaf person will not be able to hear properly, even with a hearing aid implantation (a cochlear implant), if he didn't hear anything in the first few years of his life.

  • Re:Loving family. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:49PM (#34957758)

    Complaining? After 11 years with only her thoughts to occupy herself, this woman probably rivals the meekest nerd recluse in terms of outgoing personality / speech habits. Lots of time for introspection basically counteracts shallow thought and expression.

    OTOH being mute that long might do things to the brain I can't even comprehend. Would be a fun topic to research :).

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