A 34-year-old quadriplegic patient is now able to move a bionic arm through thought alone, thanks to a neural implant. The researchers that performed the experimental technology reported their findings in Science, and were able to discern the activity of individual nerve cells when the patient imagined making different types of motions. The patient, who was catastrophically injured due to a gunshot wound almost a decade ago, is now able to grasp a bottle, play rock-paper-scissors and move a computer mouse, among other activities. He was also able to move the bionic arm with minimal direction (one day of therapy) from researchers. Though the technology is exciting, experts urged that neural implants and the prostheses appropriate for them, “still have a substantial way to go before becoming practical therapeutic interventions.”
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