How Can We Become More Than Human?

Video highlights from Breakthrough

The scientific breakthroughs helping us survive and thrive

Chances are you either are, or you know, a cyborg: a person who is aided or enhanced by embedded technology, such as artificial limbs or pacemakers.

But advances in science are taking us beyond replacement parts and into a new realm that is changing the nature of the human body and the human mind.

The Deaf Could Feel Sound

Designed by a team of entrepreneurs from Qatar University, the VibroHear bracelet vibrates and flashes green or red LED lights, the intensity and colour of which depend on the volume and closeness of sound.

Other researchers are in the early stages of developing airflow-detecting sensors that would produce a synthetic puff of air into hearing aids, to help the deaf identify different sounds more accurately.

A Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton

The 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil was kicked off – literally – by a paraplegic. More than $14 million and 150 scientists were needed to build the revolutionary prostheses.

While the kick-off was mainly ceremonial, the long-term aim of the project is to bring together neuroscience, engineering and medicine to build brain-controlled devices that can change the lives of paralysed patients.

Controlling Computers Through The Power Of Thought

Scientists have developed a wireless transmitter could give paralyzed people a practical way to control TVs, computers, or wheelchairs with their thoughts.

The implant can transmit the equivalent of around 200 DVDs worth of date per day and works about as fast as a home internet connection.

For more revolutionary science and remarkable discoveries, check out Breakthrough – Tuesdays at 9.00pm from 17 November on National Geographic Channel

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