Sunday, 2 September 2012

Superhuman!

With all eyes watching their sportsmen and women competing over the last week and the following week, it is incredible to see people overcome physical adversity to become some of the greatest athletes in the world.

The people we usually see competing in the Paralympics are those who may have lost limbs, yet they are able to run and compete just like "able-bodied" people. And this is due to the brilliant development of prosthetics.

The word prosthetics derives from the Greek word PrĂ³sthesis meaning addition. The science behind prosthesis is called biomechatronics. Although you may think that prosthetic limbs are fairly modern, you'd be wrong. Prosthetics have been found as far back as Ancient Egypt! However the prosthetic limbs of now and the future, are that the wearer can merely think 'I want to wiggle my finger' and the finger wiggles. This would occur by use of the wearer's nervous and muscular systems to iniate the movement.

So with the world of prosthetics gaining momentum, and developing such incredible methods to replace a person's missing limb/s, soon we may not even be able to recognise prosthetics at all!

Explorer fact: apparently the first prosthetic was found on a 3,000 year old mummy. It was a wooden toe!

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