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Resource List:  Augmenting the body: Critical Technologies
Augmenting or upgrading the body via the attachment of prosthetic limbs, new organs, neuroprosthetic devices, and integrated computer circuitry is fundamental to so many of the ways technology is changing the way we view the world, the limitations we face, and the effects of major injury.

However, in order to do the most good, there are three critical issues we have got to overcome:

Anchoring to the Skeleton: The skeletal structure which comprises the scaffold of the body, is its source of rigidity, of strength. Prosthetic limbs anchored to this would really become part of the body, as opposed to the more usual attachment to soft tissue, in which the limbs stretch and pull, causing far more pain than necessary to those who are such equipped.

Eliminating Scar Tissue: Scar tissue is nasty. Aside from looking unsightly, or being a lasting cosmetic reminder of work, which serves to lower self-esteem, the scars caused when skin knits back together improperly, from a major wound or surgical procedure is forever weakened, not as strong as normal skin. It hurts to stretch and pull scar tissue; scarred muscles are always weaker than healthy, lowering strength just when it is most required.

To eliminate the body's tendency to scar, or repair scar tissue fully after the fact, would radically increase the opportunities to augment the body, or replace bad tissue, make cosmetic enhancements, and increase the power of prosthetics by leaps and bounds.

Preventing Rejection: The human immune system is powerful. Fighting dilligently day and night, it strives to remove or destroy anything foreign to the body. Bacteria, viruses, particles of dust, transplanted organs and implants.

Clearly sometimes the immune system just gets in the way. As it stands currently, every patient who has a transplanted organ, or a prosthetic implant, even a pacemaker, has to take powerful drugs for the rest of their life, to prevent their immune systems attacking and rejecting the organ or implant. These drugs reduce the power of the immune system, making the person more likely to contract disease, as the immune system can no-longer do its job.

Rather than suppressing the immune system, a better way, would be to make the system think the implants are supposed to be there, supposed to be part of the body. If this was to occur, drugs would no-longer be necessary, augmented people would be as healthy as anyone else, and medical costs would plummet.

Locally Hosted resource Anchoring to the Skeleton: Prosthetic limb breakthrough

July 2006, and researchers at University College London develop a means of attaching artificial / prosthetic limbs directly to the skeleton by means of pegs inspired by deer horns.

Locally Hosted resource First woman fitted with bionic arm

Ex-Marine Claudia Mitchell becomes the first woman to be fitted with the first prosthetic limb to anchor itself to the human nervous system, and draw off of sub-conscious thought. The brain goes to move a natural arm, but there is no natural arm to move. Instead, the artificial arm picks up on those same signals, and moves itself, exactly as the original would have done.

Locally Hosted resource First woman fitted with bionic, becomes first with a Haptic arm

The art of prosthetics has moved forwards once more, and Claudia has now become the first woman to be fitted with an artificial arm ? same arm ? that returns a sense of touch to her nervous system.

Locally Hosted resource Anchoring to the Skeleton: Infection-Proof Prosthetic Paw

A Belgian German Shepard dog called Storm, has become the first person to be fitted with a prosthetic implant which fits into the bone and sticks through the skin with no risk of infection to the animal.