This Week in Devices [9/6/2013]: Prosthetics, Social Genes, and Video Games

Every week MD+DI curates content from all over the Web to share some of the most interesting articles, longreads, and videos with the medical device community.

This week: A look at innovations in prosthetics. How our social environment affects our genes. Using video games to train elderly brains.
 
 
The Bionic Body
 
A look at the explosion in innovation in prosthetics and artificial organs [Smithsonian Mag]
 
Bertolt Meyer pulls off his left forearm and gives it to me. It’s smooth and black, and the hand has a clear silicone cover, like an iPhone case. Beneath the rubbery skin are skeletal robotic fingers of the sort you might see in a sci-fi movie—the “cool factor,” Meyer calls it.
 
 
The Social Life of Genes
 
It's not just genes, it's about how genes express themselves – an examination into the social science of genetics and how our environment affects us. [Pacific Standard]
 
It was as if Jason Schwartzman, coming to work one day to learn the big office stud had quit, morphed into Arnold Schwarzenegger by close of business.
 
Training Old Brains with Video Games
 
New research published this week in the journal Nature has shown that video games can improve memory in the elderly [NYTimes]
 
Brain scientists have discovered that swerving around cars while simultaneously picking out road signs in a video game can improve the short-term memory and long-term focus of older adults. Some people as old as 80, the researchers say, begin to show neurological patterns of people in their 20s.
 

-Chris Wiltz, Associate Editor, MD+DI
Christopher.Wiltz@ubm.com