Man Diagnosed 'Comatose' For 23 Years Was Actually Conscious All Along

In what can only be described as a harrowing instance of misdiagnosis, a Belgian man presumed comatose for 23 years after a near-fatal car crash was actually conscious and paralyzed the entire time. Rom Houben, whose real state was discovered three years ago but only now made public, could be one of many falsely diagnosed coma cases, raising serious questions about those diagnosed as "vegetative" and, even more frighteningly, the process by which vegetative people are removed from life support.

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Scientists Stun Nematode Worms With UV Phaser Straight Out Of Star Trek

Star Trek introduced the world to a wide range of fictional technology, most of which, like beaming or warp drive, will likely remain fiction. However, a team of scientists from the University of Canada has taken the phaser, the show's famous stun-laser, out of the TV and into reality. Unfortunately, right now it only works on worms.

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Anti-Paralysis Shot Improves Spinal Recovery Three Times As Fast

Purdue researchers tinkering with a nano-scale cancer drug delivery system may have discovered something just as good: an injection that repairs spinal cord damage far faster than any previous treatment. Synthetic “copolymer micelles” have been used for three decades as drug delivery vehicles in research, but it turns out they can directly treat spinal cord injuries when injected into the bloodstream shortly after an accident.

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Invention Awards: Robo-Legs

An exoskeleton that enables paraplegics to walk

Today's featured Invention Award winner: ReWalk, the lightweight, affordable, powered smart exoskeleton.

After breaking his neck in a 1997 fall, Israeli engineer Amit Goffer learned that he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He soon concluded that this mode of transportation was outdated and began work on the ReWalk, the only wearable exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to stand, amble, and even climb stairs.

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