Magens Bay --San Thomas

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Device Under Our Skin

Do you remember Bionics Women TV series around 2007? It was a story about a woman who is saved from death after receiving experimental a medical implant. Well, it is no longer a fiction. In fact, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Bionic Brains and Beyond by Daniel H. Wilson, a recently 8 year has won The National Spelling Bee, only half way she was discovered to have received a new experimental neural implant to prevent her from her seizures and helped her focus. The bonus point –make her a phenomenon at memorization.

Amazing! As Wilson said in his article, “We are fast approaching a milestone in the eons-long relationship between human beings and their technology. Families once gathered around the radio like it was a warm fireplace. Then boom boxes leapt onto our shoulders. The Sony Walkman climbed into our pockets and sank its black foam tentacles into our ears. The newest tools are creeping still closer: They will soon come inside and make themselves at home under our skin—some already have.”

Medical devices were invented to help the unfortunates to re-gain their abilities they once had – be running, walking, reaching, or even to prevent epileptic seizures by implanting a medical device that can be trained to recognize when epileptic seizures are about to occur and then deliver stimulation to the brain to stop the incipient frenzy of brain activity. –Isn’t this impressive?  The article mentioned that over 200,000 people are using the so called, cochlear implants, that can treat people with Parkinson’s disease. –“Cochlear implants can deliver sound collected from an external microphone directly to the auditory nerve and into the brain.”

Image from
Neural implants, aka brain implants, are medical devices designed to placed under the skull, on the surface of the brain. It could be as small as an aspirin –but powerful enough to listen to our brain activities and then communicate directly to our brains. It was said in the article that that the procedure to do the implant is easier than one may think—the most it needs is an overnight stay, often an outpatient suffice.

The future of the technology may bring back the seniors who are over the age of 65 and those some 40 million people who have lost their physical and mental abilities through the natural again process--disabled and elderly would words in the past.

Here some of the questions the author has asked toward his conclusion, “  The sudden appearance of "super-abled" people could put new and unforeseen strains on our society. For example, what happens when mentally sharp, physically capable retirees return to the workforce by the millions? When your child is the only kid in her class without an implant and she has the lowest test scores to prove it, will you agree to put her under the knife? Will professional sports teams let superabled people play, or is that cheating? Would you hire one over a "regular" person? Should a person be required to reveal the presence of an implant? Or will that just open the door for discrimination?”

Any thoughts? Hope you would find this article amusing and meanwhile be thinking about his questions...

Until next stop,
Journey of Life


  1. Ick! No thanks. I mean, I would support anything that could give a normal life back to someone who was disabled, but just for the hell of it? Nooooooo thanks. Technology can go to far.

  2. I honestly think that is taking things a tad to far. It is ok to help someone regain what they have lost in an accident, but to alter people's brains to make them smarter for the hell of it. No, I don't think so!!


    1. Yes. This is beyond what I can handle as a human being.

  3. The bionic woman! LIndsey Wagner! I wanted to BE her! Well, not bionic but she was so cute! And then I could have been married to the bionic man! (Were they married?) I stil want to leap tall buildings....