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Paro the Therapeutic Robot Baby Seal 52

Mike writes "Paro is a therapeutic baby seal robot that is exploring new dimensions in animal therapy. Created to act as a companion for hospital patients and the elderly, the adorable baby harp seal bot aims to increase relaxation and decrease stress. Paro can sense and respond to its immediate environment through five integrated sensors that detect touch, light, sound, temperature, and posture, and it is even capable of learning and responding to a name."

Submission + - DNA Origami might allow for drug delivery. ( 1

esinclair writes: As reported in Nature News, researchers have designed a method which allows DNA strands to be formed into cubes and other designs by oligonucleotides. The uses of this DNA Origami are still being developed. One possibility for them is to be used as a drug delivery system. The fact that scientists have also come up with a method to lock these structures and use "keys" to unlock them would conceivably allow for a controlled delivery system.

Comment Cancer isn't the worst fate. (Score 3, Insightful) 261

I understand the FDA's desire for caution if caution truly represents its motives but there are also other considerations. Encouraging widespread use of a substance with possible long term effects is not a good idea. However, for many of the people adult stem-cell therapy could help, getting cancer twenty years down the road, or even five, isn't an issue if they die waiting for approval of the treatment. Unfortunately, many people including my Mom, are inflicted with diseases stem-cell therapy has been proven to cure, or effectively treat. Many of these ailments such as ALS or Multiple Sclerosis progress quickly and kill or deteriorate people's quality of life at an aggressive rate. Within a period of six months a twenty-two year old male can go from perfect health to a hospital bed in which he cannot move, talk, breathe or eat on his own. Within six months his only form of communication becomes blinking. Many of the people with these illnesses cannot work or live their life and as their conditions endure they suffer waiting for the final blow. Would it not be more in people's interest to give them the choice. If they don't want to risk getting cancer from a treatment they do not have to get it and can use alternative methods until more research is available. But for those who could benefit and cancer is a less dangerous risk than their original illness or for people who are willing to take the risk for reasons of their own shouldn't they be able to? I just wonder what happened to the allowance for personal responsibility.

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