Aired: February 5, 2011

Mysteries of the Brain

Brain injury is more common than you might think.  1.5 million people suffer an injury each year in this country alone.  Michael Friedlander is the director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, where they’re looking for ways to help the brain heal itself.  He studies individual nerve cells and says that by stimulating a damaged cell in just the right way, it might spring back to life – offering new hope for victims of traumatic brain injury. Also featured: What happens when you a computer to actual brain cells?  From a glove that interprets sign language to a better voice-controlled wheelchair, bioengineer Nathalia Peixoto (George Mason University) uses electrodes, prosthetic devices, and microchips to help improve people’s lives.

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