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Swiss researchers use a wireless BCI to help a spinal injury patient walk more naturally


Ever year, more than a million people in North America suffer some form of spinal cord injury (SCI), with an annual cost of more than $7 billion to treat and rehabilitate those patients. The medical community has made incredible gains toward mitigating, if not reversing, the effects of paralysis in the last quarter-century including advances in pharmacology, stem cell technologies, neuromodulation, and external prosthetics. Electrical stimulation of the spinal cord has already shown especially promising results in helping spinal injury patients rehabilitate, improving not just extremity function but spasticity, bladder and blood pressure control as well. Now, in a study published in Nature Tuesday, SCI therapy startup Onward Medical, announced that it has helped improve a formerly-paraplegic man's walking gait through the use of an implanted brain computer interface (BCI) and novel "digital bridge" that spans the gap where the spine was severed. We've been zapping paraplegic patients' spines with low-voltage jolts as part of their physical rehabilitation for years in a process known as Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES).

Elon Musk's brain implant company Neuralink says the FDA has approved human trials


Neuralink has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the launch of its first clinical study in humans. "We are excited to share that we have received the FDA's approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!" Neuralink's official Twitter account wrote on Thursday.(opens in a new tab) "This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people." The neurotechnology company isn't recruiting test subjects just yet, and hasn't released any information on exactly what the clinical trial will involve. Even so, fans of Neuralink founder Elon Musk are already chomping(opens in a new tab) at(opens in a new tab) the(opens in a new tab) bit(opens in a new tab) to implant questionable experimental technology in their grey matter. Neuralink aims to develop implantable devices that will let people control computers with their brain, as well as restore vision or mobility to people with disabilities.

Elon Musk's Brain Implant Firm Says U.S. Has Approved Human Tests

TIME - Tech

Neuralink Corp., Elon Musk's brain-implant company, said it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to conduct human clinical trials. "This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people," the company said Thursday in a tweet. The FDA and Neuralink did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Musk's startup is developing a small device that will link the brain to a computer, consisting of electrode-laced wires. Placing the device requires drilling into the skull. The approval "is really a big deal," said Cristin Welle, a former FDA official and an associate professor of neurosurgery and physiology at the University of Colorado.

Elon Musk's Neuralink brain implant firm cleared for human trials

Al Jazeera

United States regulators have given approval for Elon Musk's start-up Neuralink to test its brain implants on people. Neuralink said on Thursday that it received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first human clinical study of implants which are intended to let the brain interface directly with computers. "We are excited to share that we have received the FDA's approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study," Neuralink said in a post on Twitter – which is owned by Musk. Neuralink prototypes, which are the size of a coin, have so far been implanted in the skulls of monkeys, demonstrations by the startup showed. With the help of a surgical robot, a piece of the skull is replaced with a Neuralink disk, and its wispy wires are strategically inserted into the brain, an early demonstration showed.

Elon Musk's brain implant company Neuralink approved for in-human study

The Guardian

Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain-implant company, said on Thursday it had received a green light from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to kickstart its first in-human clinical study, a critical milestone after earlier struggles to gain approval. Musk has predicted on at least four occasions since 2019 that his medical device company would begin human trials for a brain implant to treat severe conditions such as paralysis and blindness. Yet the company, founded in 2016, only sought FDA approval in early 2022 – and the agency rejected the application, seven current and former employees told Reuters in March. The FDA had pointed out several concerns to Neuralink that needed to be addressed before sanctioning human trials, according to the employees. Major issues involved the lithium battery of the device, the possibility of the implant's wires migrating within the brain and the challenge of safely extracting the device without damaging brain tissue.

Neuralink receives FDA clearance to begin human trials of its brain-computer interface


Turns out Elon Musk's FDA prediction was only off by about a month. After reportedly denying the company's overtures in March, the FDA approved Neuralink's application to begin human trials of its prototype Link brain-computer interface (BCI) on Thursday. Founded in 2016, Neuralink aims to commercialize BCIs in wide-ranging medical and therapeutic applications -- from stroke and spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation, to neural prosthetic controls, to the capacity "to rewind memories or download them into robots," Neuralink CEO Elon Musk promised in 2020. BCIs essentially translate the analog electrical impulses of your brain (monitoring it using hair-thin electrodes delicately threaded into that grey matter) into the digital 1's and 0's that computers understand. Since that BCI needs to be surgically installed in a patient's noggin, the FDA -- which regulates such technologies -- requires that companies conduct rigorous safety testing before giving its approval for commercial use.

Scientists use AI to discover new antibiotic to treat deadly superbug

The Guardian

Scientists using artificial intelligence have discovered a new antibiotic that can kill a deadly superbug. According to a new study published on Thursday in the science journal Nature Chemical Biology, a group of scientists from McMaster University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered a new antibiotic that can be used to kill a deadly hospital superbug. The superbug in question is Acinetobacter baumannii, which the World Health Organization has classified as a "critical" threat among its "priority pathogens" – a group of bacteria families that pose the "greatest threat" to human health. According to the WHO, the bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to resist treatment and can pass along genetic material that allows other bacteria to become drug-resistant as well. A baumannii poses a threat to hospitals, nursing homes and patients who require ventilators and blood catheters, as well as those who have open wounds from surgeries.

Latest version of ChatGPT passes radiology board-style exam, highlights AI's 'growing potential,' study finds

FOX News

A professor says AI chatbot software, such as ChatGPT, could restructure postsecondary education by replacing some textbooks and promoting critical thinking. The latest version of ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot from OpenAI, is smart enough to pass a radiology board-style exam, a new study from the University of Toronto found. GPT-4, which launched officially on March 13, 2023, correctly answered 81% of the 150 multiple-choice questions on the exam. Despite the chatbot's high accuracy, the study -- published in Radiology, a journal of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) -- also detected some concerning inaccuracies. CHATGPT FOUND TO GIVE BETTER MEDICAL ADVICE THAN REAL DOCTORS IN BLIND STUDY: 'THIS WILL BE A GAME CHANGER' "A radiologist is doing three things when interpreting medical images: looking for findings, using advanced reasoning to understand the meaning of the findings, and then communicating those findings to patients and other physicians," explained lead author Rajesh Bhayana, M.D., an abdominal radiologist and technology lead at University Medical Imaging Toronto, Toronto General Hospital in Toronto, Canada, in a statement to Fox News Digital.

Do YOU notice anything unusual in this video? If not, you might suffer from inattentional blindness

Daily Mail - Science & tech

For many of us, hazard perception was one of the more fun and less nerve-wracking parts of the driving test. But if spotting the unexpected doesn't fall within your skillset, scientists warn you may experience'inattentional blindness'. Researchers at New York University (NYU) have recreated the classic'invisible gorilla test' from over 20 years ago in an effort to understand our capabilities. More than 1,500 participants were shown unsuspecting footage of six people throwing two basketballs between them. While viewers were asked to simply count how many times those wearing white pass the ball, this was not the real test at all.

Robots can help people be more 'creative' as long as they do this: study

FOX News

Kurt "CyberGuy" Knutsson explains whether robot security guards are better or worse for society. A new study is suggesting that robots with more "charismatic" voices – as opposed to flat, matter-of-fact ones – can help people be more creative. Scientists from Denmark found that students who are given a task by a robot with a voice programmed to be more "engaging" and "inspiring" performed better. These students were also more creative than students who received instructions from an identical robot with a flat voice, according to the findings from researchers in Denmark as published by Frontiers in Communication, a peer-reviewed, open-access science journal. Increasingly, social robots are being used for support in educational settings, as SWNS, the British news service, noted.