We have long dreamed of creating an artificial human. Alchemists in the Middle Ages claimed to conjure one called a homunculus. Mary Shelley scared everyone with Frankenstein’s monster in 1818. And the 1970s brought us the Bionic Man and Bionic Woman. Now, medical advances are making the ambition seem achievable. Around the world, experts are creating a host of body parts and implants for victims of accident or disease. No one is yet seriously suggesting that we put them all together, but, nevertheless, the possibility is fast drawing near.
Technology developed in Australia will use a tiny video camera to capture images and then translate them into electrical impulses. In turn these will stimulate electrodes in a patient’s retina. The first bionic eye implantation is planned to take place in Melbourne in 2013. (We posted about a bionic sight contact lens recently as well)
Muscle – 2015
Artificial human muscles were first tested in January, when experts in California made a dead man blink. The system (Epam) uses electrodes and silicon polymers. It could provide synthetic muscles for many parts of the body.
Synthetic Skin – Now Whole Limbs – 2010 Blood – 2012 Pancreas 2014 Heart – 2015 Brain 2018
Source: John Naish, The Times Eureka, April 2010