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Advances in Human Augmentation: We Can Rebuild Him

By Olga Kharif - 2012-03-07T02:05:27Z

Photograph by Everett Collection

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Bionics Have Arrived

Jamie Sommers and Steve Austin were ahead of their time. The "bionics" made popular by the futuristic 1970s television shows "The Bionic Woman" and "The Six Million Dollar Man" may finally be coming into their own. Defense contractors, medical device companies and other technology vendors are racing to perfect a broadening array of artificial limbs, implantable vital-sign monitors and tools for alleviating chronic pain. Many of these approaches to so-called human augmentation have only recently been introduced and some have yet to win approval or gain widespread acceptance. Broadly, all represent efforts to harness machines and electronics to augment the human experience.