According to a recently published study, high-voltage taser shocks can impair a person’s memory and cognition abilities for up to an hour after they’re administered. In a randomized control trial, volunteer participants were subjected to Taser shocks and tested for cognitive impairment. Some showed short-term declines in cognitive functioning comparable to dementia, raising serious questions about the ability of police suspects to understand their rights at the point of arrest. Check out the full study here.
Next up, a panel of scientists released a report this week recommending that the US Food and Drug Administration approve testing for a controversial in-vitro fertilization procedure that creates a human embryo with genetic material gathered from two mothers and one father. In other words, they’re saying we should allow doctors to make babies with three genetic parents. If this procedure ever wins approval from the FDA, it could lead to some really interesting parenting situations. Can you imagine growing up with three genetic parents?
And finally, a DARPA-funded research team has created a novel neural-recording device that can be implanted into the brain through blood vessels, potentially eliminating the need for invasive surgery and the risks associated with traditionally applied brain implants. The creators are calling this new device a “stentrode”, because it’s essentially a mixture of a stent — which is a blood-vessel repair tool that kinda looks like a tiny Chinese finger trap — and an electrode, which is a device that reads electrical signals. In theory, this device could be a boon for brain controlled prosthetic limbs, since a stentrode could theoretically pick up the movement signals directly from your melon and send them to an accompanying bionic limb. Pretty sweet, right?