Researchers have developed artificial cells that can respond to external chemical forces, just like real ones do. This exciting step could get us closer to using synthetic biological structures in real-world situations, such as targeted drug delivery
"Imagine a patient controlling the movement of his or her prosthetic limb simply by thinking of commands. It may sound like science fiction but will soon become a reality thanks to the EU-funded DeTOP project. A consortium of engineers, neuroscientists and clinicians has made great strides in further developing the technology behind more natural and functional prostheses."
Researchers learned that the extra digit wasn't dead weight, but fully-integrated into the subject's body, including dedicated areas in the brain for motor control. Polydactyl subjects were even able to perform tasks that would normally require both hands to accomplish.
Polydactyly, a condition where one is born with an extra finger, has significant benefits when it comes to motor skill and control. fMRI neuroimaging reveals those with extra fingers are able to move the digits independently of other fingers. The findings could help with the development of new prost...
It's important to remember that the tools are not the end but the means, that there needs to be more benefit than "because we can" to the technology we choose to integrate with. More is not automatically equal to better. Our bodies ARE hackable, but they are complex systems, not isolated components. We need to develop a thorough understanding of all the implications of the changes we propose before we wholeheartedly embrace them. Is it a short-lived novelty or a truly worthwhile upgrade? Is the utility worth the price? There's always a price.