Vawter climbed 103 floors of a Chicago skyscraper on his bionic leg, but its designers are still working on improving it. To optimize it for everyday use, they have to make it even thinner and lighter. Its successor (the iLeg Air?) may meet the Armys stated goal for a bionic leg—10,000 steps without recharging.Vawter 用于仿生腿在芝加哥一栋高楼里向上爬了103个阶梯,但是仿生腿的设计者们依然在尝试提升它的性能。为了使它能限于于日常生活,设计者们必需让它轻巧更加厚。它的衍生品(充气仿生腿)可以符合陆军对于仿生腿的阶段性目标——行驶一万步不必电池。

6.Miniature Human Brains6.微型人脑Brain death is a bit of an inconvenience if youre a fan of living, and if youre looking to replace yours with a spare, youre out of luck. Sure, maybe well one day be able to plant brains into skulls, but the brains not just another organ. It contains all your thoughts and memories. They can plop a new brain in your head, but youll still be gone, so the idea of making artificial brains may seem absurd.如果你热衷存活,那么脑死亡是一件不幸福的事。而且,如果你想要空闲的大脑来更换,那你是意味著去找将近的。


But that hasnt stopped scientists from growing actual human brains in a lab. Starting with nothing but stem cells, scientists in Austria this year managed to create brains equivalent to those in nine-week-old fetuses. These miniature brains are the size of peas and are incapable of thought—so far. The one thing keeping the brains from growing beyond this stage and becoming fully functional is that they have no blood supply.但是这并没制止科学家在实验室发展人造大脑。今年奥地利的科学家仅有从干细胞开始,顺利地建构出有等同于9个周大的婴儿的大脑。目前,这些大脑只有豌豆大小,也无法思维。

制止这些试验品发育成具备几乎功能的大脑的因素是它们没血液供给。But that hasnt stopped scientists from growing actual human brains in a lab. Starting with nothing but stem cells, scientists in Austria this year managed to create brains equivalent to those in nine-week-old fetuses. These miniature brains are the size of peas and are incapable of thought—so far. The one thing keeping the brains from growing beyond this stage and becoming fully functional is that they have no blood supply.尽管这些大脑没转入任何人的身体,但是他们给科学院研究脑科疾病获取了原材料。5.3-D Printed Ears5.3-D 打印机耳朵Weve had the technology to artificially restore hearing for decades, but internal implants do nothing for the visible parts of the ear. Youd think those big flaps (“pinnae”) on either side of your head would be easy to replicate, since theyre just skin and cartilage rather than complex organs. In reality, scientists have never done a good job with fake ears. Traditional replacements look and feel like plastic toys.我们发展出有人工记录声音的技术早已有几十年了,但是人工植入器官在耳朵这一领域没任何转变。

你有可能指出生长在头两边的肉块不易更换,因为它们只是皮和软骨,而不是简单的器官。事实上,科学家在制作骗耳上并没做到得十分出众。传统的替代耳朵看上去或感觉一起都像塑料玩具。But researchers this year came up with a new method that makes flexible, realistic ears out of real cells. Those cells come from rats and cows, and they form a collagen gel that can take the shape of any mold. When placed in a mold of a human ear—a mold assembled using a 3-D printer—the gel forms an ear in less than an hour. The artificial ear then just needs a few days growing in nutrients before its ready to be implanted in a subject.但是今年,研究者明确提出一种新的方法,这种方法可以通过知道细胞制作出有有弹性现实的耳朵。


在重制到对象之前,人造耳朵只必须在营养成分中生长培育几天。These artificial ears will be a huge benefit to those who suffer injuries or who have microtia, a condition that keeps the ears from ever developing.这些人造耳朵对那些遭到过耳朵损害或者耳朵衰退发育即患上小耳畸形的人来讲是极大的福音。4.Noses That Smell Diseases4.言疾病的鼻子Scientists may be working hard at making organs that match the bodys capabilities, but why stop there?科学家们在彰显人体器官原本能力方面投放很深,但是为何要仅限于此呢?When researchers at the University of Illinois set out to create a device that identifies chemicals by their scent, they didnt settle for the sensitivity of the human nose. Instead, they created an artificial nose that uses the smell of bacteria to identify and diagnose specific diseases.当伊利诺伊大学的研究员著手创建一种靠嗅觉来辨别化学物质的装置时,他们并不符合于提升人类鼻子的灵敏度。

忽略,他们发展出有一种假鼻子,依赖对细菌的气味来辨别和临床某些疾病。The result doesnt look much like a nose—its a bottle filled with liquid nutrient that cultivates bacteria. But give the “nose” a blood sample and let it sniff for a few days, and the bottles dots will change color to indicate what bacteria, if any, it identifies.产品看上去并不过于像一个鼻子,而是一个瓶子,装进了培育细菌的营养液体。但是给这个“鼻子”一个血液样本,让它腺上一段时间,这个瓶子的斑点不会转变颜色来回应它辨别出有的细菌种类。

3.Artificial Pancreas3.人工胰腺The pancreas produce insulin, and if yours dont, you need to inject yourself with the hormone manually. Diabetics are therefore trapped in a stressful routine of continually checking their blood sugar and then shooting insulin whenever the need arises.胰腺产生胰岛素,如果你的胰腺没这样做到,你必须人工静脉注射胰岛素。因此,糖尿病患者必需展开的日常事例是检查他们的血糖,并且在适当时静脉注射胰岛素。Artificial pancreas, however, knock insulin into your body automatically. The device looks much like a regular insulin pump, which slips you insulin continuously through your skin, but this one monitors your blood sugar at all times and adjusts itself accordingly. So even when the wearer sleeps, theres no danger of falling into shock if their sugar drops too low.但是人造胰腺需要自动获释胰岛素到你的身体里。




Unlike several items on this list, artificial pancreas arent still in some early development stage. The device very much exists and got FDA approval for sale this past September.不像这篇文章中其他的人造物品,人工胰腺并不正处于前期研究阶段,这个装置显然不存在,而且在今年9月份获得了FDA的销售许可2.Artificial Eyes2.人工眼睛As we pointed out earlier, weve long been able to restore hearing to the deaf, but restoring sight to the blind is a much more complicated matter. When people lose their sight, their retinas no longer send signals from their photoreceptors to their brains. To make an artificial eye, wed need to understand how the retina processes those signals, and thats a code scientists just havent been able to crack.我们前面早已认为,我们早已需要让聋子听见声音,但是让盲人看到画面是更加简单的事情。当人们丧失视力,他们的视网膜仍然把光感受器的信号发送给大脑。

为了生产人工眼睛,我们必须理解视网膜是如何获得这些信号,而这正是科学家仍未解决问题的关键之处。Not until recently anyway. But scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have at last managed to—at least with mice and monkeys. This produced artificial retinas, whose chips convert images into electronic signals and whose tiny projectors convert electronic signals into light.直到最近,Weill Cornell Medical College的科学家们最少在老鼠和猴子身上构建了这一点。这种人造视网膜,它的芯片可以将画面切换为电子信号,而它的微型投影机可以将电子信号转化成为投影光线。

These artificial eyes have indeed restored sight to blind mice. And the follow-up experiments on monkeys offer a lot of hope for eventual trials on humans because monkey and human retinas work similarly.这些人工眼睛,显然完全恢复了盲鼠的视力。猴子的视网膜工作原理和人类的十分相近,因此随后在猴子上展开的试验给了最后的人类试验以顺利的期望。1.Fingers That Store Digital Files1.手指存储器When Finnish programmer Jerry Jalava had a motorcycle accident in 2008, he faced a double tragedy. First, he lost his finger, an obvious problem for anyone who types for a living. Second, he had to deal with a medical team who thought they were comedians—learning of his profession, one surgeon joked that Jalava should go out and buy a “USB finger drive.”当芬兰程序员Jerry Jalava 2008年遇上车祸,他面对双重悲剧。


Rather than strangling the doctor (difficult, due to his injury) Jalava took the corny line as inspiration. He decided to go ahead and actually build a prosthetic finger that contains two gigabytes of digital storage. He can now jack his finger into a computer just by peeling back the nail to expose the USB plug. He can also remove the entire finger at any time and hand it to a friend to use.但是Jalava并没拒绝接受医生的建议(出于伤情的实际情况考虑到,拒绝接受很艰难),而是将这个建议作为自己的期望。他要求试一试,并且知道在植入的手指里放进两千兆字节的数字存储器。他现在只需将指甲剥掉,遮住USB插头,才可将手指放入电脑相连。

他也可以在任何时候替换成整个手指,并且赠予朋友用于。The next step? Jalava plans to upgrade the finger with an RFID tag and add wireless support. He also wants to add more memory, which seems pointless to us. If he needs more storage, he has nine other fingers he can chop off and replace with flash drives.下一步呢?Jalava想给手指拿着RFID标签以展开升级,并且减少无线反对功能。他想要扩展容量,方法大自然是很无厘头的。