The Cyborg Era Begins

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Science  07 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6137, pp. 1162-1165
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6137.1162

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Electronic components are invading the body. In the lab, cling wrap–like circuitry draped over the hearts of test animals can track the activity of each of the heart's four chambers and kill tissue that initiate potentially deadly arrhythmias. Other arrays penetrate brain tissue to monitor the abnormal nerve firing patterns in epilepsy or induce gene expression in the brain tissue of mice. One team has even made a 3D printed bionic ear able to pick up ultrasonic bleats that humans cannot hear. These early prototypes can't produce science-fiction cyborgs; most are used in medicine. But over time, expect devices that will make us better athletes and soldiers, or even improve our complexions.