Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Science's Little Helpers

In this day and age many technological innovations have been created to assist individuals who have certain disabilities. There are machines that can make those who cannot walk mobile. There are pieces that can help people who are hard of hearing, prosthetic limbs that serve in the place of those no longer there. There are even new gadgets in the work that could potentially replace tools that people are using today. When most people think of individuals with disabilities, scientists and professors are far from such thought. Thanks to such hi-tech support, individuals with disabilities no longer have to make their career take a back seat in the scientific field.

In a recent article published in Science magazine, readers are introduced to a couple of lives that have been made a bit more manageable thanks to the scientific breakthroughs. An interesting case is that of Scott Mackler, a neuroscientist who has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Although this illness has virtually incapacitated him, his mind is not and the machine he’s hooked up to allows him to communicate his thoughts. Although some of these cases have not completely worked out the bugs, it has certainly made strides from what technology proceeded it.

Personally I find it great that these individuals have been able to make the best of their situations. Back in the day when tragedy struck individuals they were often told that it would be difficult to live life normally. There were very few options in dealing with certain situations. After reading these accounts I certainly began to appreciate my scientific endeavors a lot more. This article also gives me a greater hope for the technology that is to come. I have no doubt that in the future, we will have perfect prosthetics, be able to restore sight to the blind, and help individuals plagued with skeletal/ muscular problems to be able to move freely and comfortably.

Posted by Charly Almonte (10)


  1. It is great we live in an age where a disability or a life altering disease is not the end for an individual who wants to seek a normal life. As technology advances, hopefully the effects of these illnesses and disabilities will become increasingly minimized to the point where they are almost unnoticeable. Additionally there is just as much emphasis on the biological cures to these handicaps. Between the advances in medicine and technology hopefully we can reduce both the number of these cases and the severity to which they effect the individual.

    Patrick Salome

  2. Great article! thanks to science, there are a lot of very smart individual with high potentials to contribute to science but they are limited due to their disabilities. I hope science and new technology will eliminate this type of disparity and allow every one to contribute.

    Posted by Anna Moreno

  3. This article reminds me of that guy you always see on the science channel who's paralyzed and unable to even speak, but who's an absolutely brilliant physicist. It's extremely promising to know that a persons full potential can still be achieved even if they are unfortunately struck with some horrible circumstance. I find it especially astounding that there is technology out there that can read brain waves and produce robotic speech for those who are unable to speak on their own or use sign language due to paralysis or other complications.

  4. I also think we are very lucky to live in a time where new technologies are being made and cures being found. I can not imagine how people would have felt years ago when little was known about how to solve or fix disabilities and diseases. I hope one day i can add the the discoveries being made but i just don't know how these scientists do what they do. It's amazing that they can find these cures, especially for a neuroscientist who is disabled but is still trying to find new discoveries.

    Posted by Kayla Perry

  5. You have an excellent view on this and such gratitude for technology. It is wonderful that technology is there to make life more simple foe those in need of assitance. As you have said, many advances have been made and all we need to do is hope that insurance is fair to everyone or that everyone who is in need of such technologies can have the benefit of recieving them. Sorry to put such a dank spirit on this great thing, but insurance ruins alot. These things do not come cheap and it would be excellent to get advanced to the point where the little necessitites are availible to everyone at reasonable costs.

    Posted by Amanda Hostetter


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