Have you ever imagined a time when your natural body parts could be easily swapped out for bionic versions? That's not possible now, but science is getting us closer to realizing that scifi scenario. In The New York Daily News, Braden Goyette writes about a
According to The New York Daily News' Braden Goyette, a blind British man named Chris James can see again thanks to a digital chip that doctors installed beneath his retina. The success of the procedure is somewhat limited, however, With 1,500 pixels on a three millimeter surface, the chip is similar to a cell phone camera and offers an area about the size of a CD case held at arms' length. Furthermore, James can see basic shapes in grainy black and white, though doctors hope that his brain will adjust to the newly recovered sense and offer more resolution. Let's not get discouraged by the limitations, however. Remember: this is a blind man who can now see.
This medical miracle won worldwide attention last year when a video of a young woman hearing her voice for the first time went viral. Sarah Churman, the woman in the video, cried at the sound of her own voice, which she's been able to hear thanks to an advanced type of cochlear implant called Esteem. Cochlear implants, which have been around in various forms for decades, connect to the middle ear to help translate sound waves into electricity that the brain's aural nerves can interpret. While different types of hearing loss require different types of devices, it's now possible for some deaf people to hear with the help of one of these machines. There's also a fair amount of controversy in the deaf community over whether or not this is a good thing.