4. Monkeying around with brain chips

A study published in Nature this week demonstrated a new device that shows a lot of potential in addressing paraplegia. Researchers used a “brain-spine interface” to grant two partially paralyzed monkeys the ability to walk again. A quick physiology review: the connection between the brain and the spinal cord is what allows the brain to signal movement commands to the rest of the body. The device creates an interface for those signals to be interpreted and relayed to the body, bridging the connection problem caused by a spinal cord injury. The scientists say many of the components they use have already been, or are in approval for human use, so we could see a human clinical trial within the next decade. No monkey business, we promise.

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