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Cool to some, cruel to others

It?s important to recognize that consumer-friendly news reports about a promising new technology that?s years away can be somewhat torturous for people with conditions that need that technology now.Case in point: I know someone with a progressive and debilitating neurological disease who asked me the other day to contact a researcher she read about in Newsweek, who implanted a silicon chip into the brain of a person paralyzed from the neck down. The chip enabled the participant to direct a c

Alison McCook
It?s important to recognize that consumer-friendly news reports about a promising new technology that?s years away can be somewhat torturous for people with conditions that need that technology now.Case in point: I know someone with a progressive and debilitating neurological disease who asked me the other day to contact a researcher she read about in Newsweek, who implanted a silicon chip into the brain of a person paralyzed from the neck down. The chip enabled the participant to direct a computer to send email, and use a robotic hand. The article quotes the researcher, John Donoghue at Brown University in Rhode Island, who suggested the chip could eventually be used to control paralyzed arms and legs.The writer says that ?there?s a long way to go??the technology fills an entire lab, and implanting the chip requires ?extensive surgery.? Still, the article concludes that, ?for people suffering from spinal-cord injuries, the tiny...

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