Can Assistive Technology Eliminate Disabilities?

Assistive technologies that enable an amputee to not only walk, but run and dance, are obviously incredible.  New prosthetic limbs simulate natural gait.  Brain-Computer Interfaces allow people who are completely paralyzed, “locked in,” to communicate. Enable Talk Gloves (only $75!) translate sign language to spoken words.  The recent trend of technological advancements is so remarkable—and accessible—that it may even, as one prominent roboticist boldly claims, largely eliminate disabilities during the 21st century. However, whether his Continue Reading →

Good Egg, Bad Egg

When you buy eggs, how long do you stand in the aisle, reading the labels and trying to decide which carton to get? For many of us, the choice is straightforward- the cheapest dozen, or the brand you’ve always bought. But for others, stories of the benefits of the organic choice, the perils of antibiotic use in livestock, and animal cruelty, have prompted a closer look at the labels on egg cartons. However, labels such Continue Reading →

Balancing the Risk in Medical Products

The New York Times recently reported a dramatic increase in complaints regarding artificial hips, widely used in hip replacements. The culprit is the metal-on-metal hip implant, used in an estimated one-third of hip replacements. Serious injuries result from the deterioration of the artificial hip, which often causes fragments to break off while in the body.  The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), the agency receiving the complaints, is responsible for allowing the device to enter the Continue Reading →