Researchers are working on an effort to produce a bionic hand that not only moves like a normal hand, but restores a sense of touch and temperature. Look for human trials to begin within three years. R.C.J.
Fewer and fewer soldiers are being killed in combat today, due to the increased use of body armor. An unfortunate side effect, however, is that body armor does not protect extremities. Consequently, a larger percentage of those surviving attacks become amputees. Now the Department of Defense is funding efforts to improve prosthetic hands by directly interfacing them to the nervous system. If successful, future bionic hands could even restore a sense of touch. Recently this cooperative effort between medical and bioengineering researchers was outlined at the 95th annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, where they described an effort to produce a bionic hand that moves like a normal hand.