Revolutionary prostheses and new pandemic concerns

Revolutionary prostheses and new pandemic concerns

Revolutionary prostheses and new pandemic concerns

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These prostheses break the mold with third thumbs, spikes and superhero skins


Traditionally, prosthetic designers have looked to the human body for inspiration. Prostheses were seen as replacements for missing body parts; the hyper-realistic bionic legs and arms were the holy grail.

But we are now seeing a movement in alternative prosthetics, a form of assistive technology that goes against convention by not trying to blend in. Instead of making devices that mimic the look of a “normal” arm or leg, a new wave of designers are creating fantastical prosthetics that could wiggle like a tentacle, light up, or even shoot glitter. Read the full story.

—Joanna Thompson

Joanna’s story is taken from the latest print issue of MIT Technology Review, which is all about design. Sign up for a subscription to read the full article when it comes out later this month.

We don’t need to panic about a bird flu pandemic – yet

How worried should we be about bird flu? Some have warned that bird flu will be the next deadly pandemic. Others said the risk is no different than it was a few years ago.

There is no denying that virus outbreaks have had a huge impact on birds in recent months and the current outbreak is much worse than what we have seen in the past. But although we have seen a small number of cases in humans, there is no evidence that it poses a greater threat to humans today than in the past. Read the full story.


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