Sunday, December 30, 2012

"60 Minutes" on December 30, 2012

First, Scott Pelley on prosthetics. More than 1300 Americans have lost limbs on the battlefield. The connection of a robotic limb to a human brain. A mind that is game. Jan Sherman, a Pittsburgh mother of two, who was on Wheel of Fortune in 1995. Jan Sherman suffered from a genetic disease. Andy Schwartz of University of Pittsburgh on "Revolutionizing Prosthetics." The holy grail was to connect the robot to the human brain. Elizabeth Tyler Cabarra was the surgeon who did the surgery on Jan Sherman. Two sensor arrays were placed on the surface of Jan Sherman's brain. Five months after the surgery, 60 Minutes came back. Dr. Jeffrey Ling is the program manager. Have stepped over a great threshhold: restoration of function. Brain's ability to adapt to new circumstances. Arms and legs are just tools to the brain. 57 year old Johnny Mathney lost an arm to cancer. Signals come from brain go from brain even though arm is not there.

IPBiz note. Although Pelley did not mention it, a more thorough discussion of control of artificial limbs appears in the January 2013 issue of Scientific American: D. Kacy Cullen, "Bionic Connections," Scientific American, Volume 308 Number 1, pp. 52-57.

Second, Lara Logan on Morten Storm, former Danish spy who claims to have played a crucial role in the controversial CIA drone strike that killed Anwar Al Awlaki.

Third, Jud Apotow done by Anderson Cooper.


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