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Comment Re:Adverse Events (Score 1) 160

I doubt this technology will work in the spinal cord. Getting nerves to grow in the peripheral nervous system is pretty easy - they do it on their own. Damaged peripheral nerve axons regrow at a rate of about 1 mm/day, so if you damage a nerve in your armpit it will take weeks to regrow all the way down to your fingertips. Getting nerves to grow in the central nervous system (brain + spinal cord) is tricky. The molecular signaling in the central nervous system actively inhibits regrowth of damaged nerve axons, but we are learning how to experimentally manipulate that signaling to allow some axons to regrow after injury. Someday we hope to therapeutically manipulate that signaling, to help patients with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, etc.

The nervous system is hugely complex, as you suggested. It is incomprehensibly complex. It is absolutely, beautifully complex. That's why I love it so much.

Comment Adverse Events (Score 5, Interesting) 160

I am a doctor. In fact, I am a neurologist (IAAN). This article is fascinating, and I hope they keep working on this technology and get it working. That being said, I would never plug one of these things into my own amputated limb. Going to medical school and doing residency have turned me into something of a Luddite. Medical technology is cool, but every treatment has potential benefits and toxicities. The adverse event I would worry about most with this technology is neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat. What if you plugged this device into some amputee's limb and gave them excruciating pain? I would rather have a metal hook for a hand.

Comment Re:Nofollow Karma (Score 1) 1259

I guess you'd have to make a separate karma for story submission then.

Isn't the concept of karma what motivates most story submission anyway? Story submitters want Google karma (a.k.a pagerank). I have submitted about half a dozen stories, and that was always my motivation. Taking away some of this incentive for those who abuse the system might help the problem. I think it should be retroactive as well. Once your submission karma is poor enough, the nofollow should be added to all of your past stories.

I see two problems with the scheme. First, it would require adding a layer of complexity to slashcode. Second, it would not solve the problem of people submitting stories about their own blog who merely want ad revenue from page views.

All human relationships depend on trust. Mechanisms for evaluating and developing trust need to change as the scale of the relationship changes. The "Wild West" days of Slashdot story submission may be coming to a close because the huge scale necessitates developing a new mechanism for evaluating and developing trust. We can all shed a tear and have a moment of silence for the innocence of Slashdot's youth, but I think it's time to acknowledge that we have outgrown the old method.

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Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato