Risky enough business?

I?m an obvious beneficiary of medical technology. Without the computer surgically embedded in my skull, I?d be totally deaf. The device, called a ?cochlear implant,? routes past my damaged inner ear by triggering my auditory nerves with sixteen tiny electrodes coiled up inside my cochlea. It?s not a cure, though, any more than glasses cure vision loss. It?s a prosthesis, a workaround. Compared to the extraordinary delicacy and precision of naturally evolved organs, it?s clumsy. It?s like

Michael Chorost
Feb 7, 2006
I?m an obvious beneficiary of medical technology. Without the computer surgically embedded in my skull, I?d be totally deaf. The device, called a ?cochlear implant,? routes past my damaged inner ear by triggering my auditory nerves with sixteen tiny electrodes coiled up inside my cochlea. It?s not a cure, though, any more than glasses cure vision loss. It?s a prosthesis, a workaround. Compared to the extraordinary delicacy and precision of naturally evolved organs, it?s clumsy. It?s like fixing a spider web with yarn. But someday scientists may learn to coax the body into repairing its own damaged parts instead of creating technological fixes that require a constant supply of batteries. That?s what makes stem-cell research so exciting. Forget prostheses. How about a cure? When I was offered the chance to attend this symposium I jumped at it, the way Moses would if offered a quick tour of the Promised Land....

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