Category Archives: medicine

Once More With Feeling–Or Maybe Twice More

How many times have you wished you could replay a scene from your life? Maybe your happiest memory, or a moment you don’t remember clearly enough, or perhaps a conversation with a crush, which almost certainly contained clues if only … Continue reading

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The Tricorder Will See You Now

If you feel faint on the Starship Enterprise or your head starts spinning around, Bones McCoy would crinkle his brow in concern, take a step back, and scan you with the medical tricorder, a handheld device with a detachable scanner, … Continue reading

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Wired for Bliss

In Larry Niven’s Known Space stories, humanity has advanced to the point of producing pleasure by tinkering with the brain, rendering other vices obsolete. “Wireheads” have electronic brain implants, “drouds,” that tickle their brains’ pleasure centers. Not surprisingly, people become … Continue reading

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Are You Being Controlled By Mind Parasites?

If something you can’t quite explain stops you from reading this post, you might be in trouble. One of the science fiction books that has stuck with me most over the years is Colin Wilson’s The Mind Parasites. Working like … Continue reading

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No Light? No Problem.

Any superhero worth his or her salt has night vision: Doctor Mid-Nite, Wolverine, Peter Parker, Superman, Catwoman. Regular humans have desired this power for quite some time—night-vision devices have been around since World War II. But most of them look … Continue reading

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These Walls Have Ears

In season 5, episode 10 of Fringe, the Observers, hot on the trail of Walter and the gang, use an “LQ-7 unit” in Nina’s office to reconstruct the conversation she had a few minutes earlier. The Observers stick sensors to … Continue reading

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Exoskeletons, Cyborgs, and Prosthetics—Oh My!

Ellen Ripley’s power-loader, Matt Damon’s Elysium exoskeleton, and Iron Man’s get-up aren’t just fiction anymore. Italy’s Perceptual Robotics Laboratory has created a “body extender” that allows wearers to curl 100 pounds in each hand. Someone who calls himself Hacksmith has … Continue reading

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Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

British neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote Awakenings in 1973, detailing his experiences giving a drug called L-Dopa (Levodopa, now commonly used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s by increasing the brain’s supply of dopamine) to catatonic patients. The book was later … Continue reading

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