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Rerouting Working Nerves To Restore Hand Function

A paralyzed man with a spinal cord injury to the C7 vertebrae is able to move his fingers again. Surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine rerouted working nerves in the patient's upper arms to restore some hand function. Dr. Ida Fox discusses the procedure described in the Journal of Neurosurgery.
NPR

Stroke Victims Think, Robotic Arm Acts

Reporting in Nature, researchers write that two individuals, both paralyzed by stroke, made reach-and-grasp movements using a thought-controlled robotic arm. One participant was even able to a sip a drink by herself. Neuroengineer Dr. Leigh Hochberg discusses the paper and the ongoing trial.
NPR

The Itching Question That's More Than Skin Deep

Studies show that the power of suggestion can induce itchiness — but scientists don't know what this irritation is, what causes it, or why it feels so good to cure. Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, talks about how talking about the science of itches might have you scratching right now.
NPR

Trash Can May Be Greenest Option For Unused Drugs

Drug take-back programs are gaining popularity as a safe way to dispose of extra prescriptions. But a study from the University of Michigan suggests that chucking them in your household trash may be just as safe and more environmentally-friendly, thanks to reduced overall pollution.
NPR

Pennsylvania Doctors Worry Over Fracking 'Gag Rule'

A new law grants doctors access to information about trade-secret chemicals used in natural gas drilling. Doctors say they need the information to treat patients who may have been exposed to chemicals. But the law also says doctors can't tell anyone else — not even other doctors — about what's in the formulas.
NPR

New Brain Sensor Lets Amputees Move Robotic Limbs

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Leigh Hochberg, neurologist and engineer at Brown University and the VA Medical Center in Providence, R.I. Hochberg is the lead author of a new study that looks at how paralyzed people are able to move robotic arms with their thoughts, due to a microchip that is implanted in their brains that sends neural signals to a computer.

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