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Biotech Science Technology

Building the Bionic Man 129

nk497 writes "Will we soon be upgrading body parts like the components inside our PCs? 'Human enhancement' technologies are quickly evolving, making it easier to treat health conditions — and make us more powerful. Neural implants are already being used to restore vision, but in the future it could be used to give us better than 20/20 eyesight. Bionic arms will extend beyond prostheses, and be used to help boost our strength — handy for working in a warehouse and for soldiers. 'We use tools all the time to enhance our natural functions, and physical interaction is increasingly usurped by the virtual connections afforded by computers, smartphones and the internet,' said one researcher. 'So connecting these tools directly from the brain is perhaps not so far-fetched.'"
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Building the Bionic Man

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  • by Mitsoid ( 837831 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @11:40AM (#38877565)
    Yeah.. Insurance would never cover this...

    The cost of a few days in a hospital, the cutting-edge new technology... Costs of therapy to adjust to a new limb...

    will probably cost a few million dollars per limb...

    So yeah... 1% of the country could ever afford it if the wealth gap keeps growing like it is
  • by james_van ( 2241758 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @11:41AM (#38877585)
    the interfacing between the brain and a computer is still a sticking point. granted, science is currently making some good progress, but we're still a ways out. once that gets solved reliably, things should get fun. especially if the interface has standardized connections and a publicly available API - realistically, you'd be able to by "bolt-on", disposable prosthetics at best buy someday (but snobs like me will buy them from newegg)
  • by RogueWarrior65 ( 678876 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @11:41AM (#38877599)

    All of this science-fiction turned reality is only as good as the power source. Jet packs, Aliens-style power loaders, autonomous humanoid robots, exoskeletons, electric cars. All useless without the über battery and we humans have been failing on that for decades.

  • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @11:47AM (#38877675)

    Kids shows and cartoons have been covering this for like 50 years too.

    So if something has been consistently featured in kids shows or cartoons then it's entirely reasonable to expect it to show up in real life and totally not worthy of comment when it does? That's great! I'm looking forward to being able to buy my flying car soon, which i will use to commute to a wizard school where i can learn magic. Remind me to stay away from japan though. I'd like to avoid the tentacle monsters and i can always just import the cool mecha.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @11:51AM (#38877739)

    Bionic arms will extend beyond prostheses, and be used to help boost our strength — handy for working in a warehouse and for soldiers.

    Oh, really? As far as I can recall, how often does a factory worker get sidelined permanently because of an arm injury, or chronic arm pain, or a ruptured joint in an arm. If you get my drift... Call me when they have the bionic spine replacement to support the enhanced strength of the bionic arm--that would allow the arm to actually be useful.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @11:54AM (#38877793) Homepage

    You pay your taxes so they can waste a trillion dollars doing nothing useful in Iraq apart from depose some old man who'd have been dead in 10 years anyway, but you have to take out insurance to cover hospital costs if you're ill else you can go die in an alley for all they care. I'm so glad I live in europe. Why you think your system of governence should be exported around the world beats the hell out of me.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller