Yeah but I'm sure those men chose to have auto-mail, and knew of the pain they would suffer from it.Putting it on a helpless cat, that makes it in so much pain that it almost dies is extremly cruel.
I thought this was insane when I first read it, humans have so many nerves, it can't be done. Then I remembered we have something called MICRO SURGERY and we can re-attach severed limbs. <slaps self on forehead> DUH!
In the anime, Den's automail is attached with straps, but I don't know if that would work with a cat. Mine would go nuts if there was anything around her body. I love cats and I hate the thought of kitties in pain, but once everything heals up the cat should be OK.
Joined: 12-October 07
From: UK, studying the tea ritual of the natives
Member No.: 52,145
Really interesting discussion here, glad I stumbled upon it The reason I dismissed automail as pure SF is its weight and (supposedly) predominantly martial nature. The name "automail" and the fact that Ed ordered sturdy, battle resistant automail expressly for the sake of joining the millitary mislead me into thinking that automail is more of a weapon than a prosthetic device. But now I see it's not bogus after all But in real life I guess the metal casing would be replaced by plastic coverings, that both replicate the appearance of human limbs better, and are also much lighter...
FMA's entry on TV Tropes' Better Than It Sounds page:
Military specialist searches for a magic rock recipe to get his brother out of a can. In one version of the story, the rock is their father, in the other version the rock is us. Or: Children see a Thing Man Was Not Meant To Know, run around country looking for another one.
Joined: 1-March 07
Member No.: 45,133
I third (fourth?) the request for a source.
This scenario is still very different from microsurgical nerve repair. In such microsurgery operations, the surgeons simply reattach one end of the neural axon to the other end (via simply suturing the two ends together or with an enjoining tube). There, you're simply joining axon to axon. With automail, though, you're joining a severed end of an axon to something mechanical. A cell repairing a gap in its length is far more expectable than it spontaneously fusing to a piece of metal. However, there are nerves that carry signals via physical contact (versus across a synapse), and perhaps such an analogue may be worked out.
An electrical signal is propagated down the axon until it reaches its end at the synapse. Neurotransmitters get released and bind to the cell to which it's signaling. Then, they unbind and are taken back into the first cell.
Mechanical synapses? Huh?
The problem here now becomes how do you have the automail:
1) bind neurotransmitters, and 2) release those neurotransmitters (as well as degrade them, as in the case with acetylcholine) so that they may be recycled.
Furthermore, you also need to get those axons to target automail instead of muscle tissue. While the axon was previously guided to the correct target via cell signaling mechanisms, it will have to be guided and (more importantly) maintained at the right location artificially.
So basically, in order to have effective automail, it would most likely have to meet the following conditions:
1) Has to express the correct cellular markers to attract and retain axons to form a permanent synapse, 2) Has to effectively detect neurotransmitters (likely by binding), 3) Has to effectively degrade acetylcholine (motor nerves use it, which must be degraded into acetate and choline before endocytosis can happen), and 4) Has to provide an adequate extracellular environment so as to maintain the neuron, synapse, and integrity of acetylcholine and other substrates.
Personally, I think we have a ways to go.
And why yes, I am a biology major. And yes, I think too much.
Joined: 26-March 07
From: Tornado Alley
Member No.: 45,709
I'm not sure it came up yet, but a bionic arm that can perform 25 joint motions(real arm can do 30)was invented. The wearer could play the piano, if they so wished. It's not on the market yet, but the team is considering implanting electrodes directly on nerves—or in the brain itself—to achieve more natural neural control by 2009. It's mind-controlled. The scientists made it look like a human arm(skin covering), and kept it under seven pounds. It was costly, for sure($55 million), but heck, it's a big step forward.
Joined: 1-March 07
Member No.: 45,133
QUOTE(ehxhfdl14 @ Nov 4 2007, 07:41 AM)
I'm not sure it came up yet, but a bionic arm that can perform 25 joint motions(real arm can do 30)was invented. The wearer could play the piano, if they wished. It's not on the market yet, but the team is considering implanting electrodes directly on nerves—or in the brain itself—to achieve more natural neural control by 2009. It's mind-controlled. The scientists made it look like a human arm(skin covering), and kept it under seven pounds. It was costly, for sure($55 million), but heck, it's a big step forward.
Joined: 5-November 06
From: A place just a little ways away
Member No.: 42,646
Now I didn't read entire discussion.
Experiencing extreme pain is not actually a 'surprise' since FMA already did told us the pain is unbearable. Beside, it's easy to imagine that too.
I think having automail in real world would be cool, but of course it's the person's right to chose if he/she want it or not. Especially because it's this painful.
But having it on animal, I'm not sure of that. It kinda sounds like I look down at the animal, but it's because we do not understand their language. Thus we don't know if they want it or not. And I'm glad the cat did manage to walk like nothing happened (?). It would be extremely cruel if the cat wouldn't be able to go after all the pains...
Newswise — Motorized prosthetic arms can help amputees regain some function, but these devices take time to learn to use and are limited in the number of movements they provide.
Todd A. Kuiken, M.D., Ph.D., a physiatrist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and professor at Northwestern University, has pioneered a technique known as targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), which allows a prosthetic arm to respond directly to the brain’s signals, making it much easier to use than traditional motorized prosthetics. This technique, still under development, allows wearers to open and close their artificial hands and bend and straighten their artificial elbows nearly as naturally as their own arms.
“The idea is that when you lose your arm, you lose the motors, the muscles and the structural elements of the bones,” Kuiken explained. “But the control information should still be there in the residual nerves.” He decided to take the residual nerves, which once carried the commands from the brain to produce arm, wrist and hand movements, and connect them to the chest muscles so that the signals can be used to move the artificial limb.
Nearly a dozen patients who have undergone TMR so far have motorized prosthetic arms that produce two arm movements: open and close hand and bend and straighten elbow. But in a new study from the Journal of Neurophysiology, published by The American Physiological Society, Kuiken and his colleagues demonstrate that TMR has the potential to provide an even greater number of arm and hand movements, beyond the four they’ve already achieved. The researchers have begun work with two U.S. Army medical centers to help soldiers who have lost limbs.
The study, entitled “Decoding a new neural-machine interface for control of artificial limbs,” was conducted by Ping Zhou, Madeleine M. Lowery, Kevin B. Englehart, He Huang, Guanglin Li, Levi Hargrove, Julius P.A. Dewald and Kuiken, all of Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Hargrove is also affiliated with the University of New Brunswick, Canada and Lowery is also affiliated with University College Dublin, Ireland.
Kuiken first got the idea for TMR when he was a graduate student during the 1980s. In his first patient, Kuiken took four nerves that had gone to the amputated arm and redirected them to the patient’s chest muscles. As a result, when the patient wants to close his hand – a hand that is no longer there – the impulse travels down the nerve, into his chest and causes the chest muscle to contract.
The next step was to use the muscle contraction in the chest to move the prosthetic arm. This was accomplished with the help of an electromyogram (EMG), which picks up the electrical signal that the muscle emits when it contracts.
The signal is directed to a microprocessor in the artificial arm which decodes the signal and tells the arm what to do. In their work thus far, Kuiken and his colleagues have programmed the processor in the prosthetic arm to recognize four signals to produce two arm movements: open and close hand and bend and straighten elbow.
The result? When the patient thinks ‘close hand’ the hand closes. Contrast this with current motorized prosthetic arm technology: The patient has to learn to use new muscle groups to move the prosthetic arm; can perform only one movement at a time; and must contract two muscles at once to achieve a new movement.
“It’s not very common to flex your chest muscle to close your hand or bend your wrist,” said Kuiken. “Quite frankly, most people with a unilateral shoulder disarticulation amputation don’t wear a prosthesis at all: It’s just too cumbersome.”
While TMR is more intuitive and natural, Kuiken and his team wanted to see if they could extract more of the wealth of information from the electrical signals produced by the nerves and chest muscles and harness it to provide a greater number of hand and arm movements.
In the study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, they placed between 79-128 electrodes from the EMG onto the chest muscles of five patients to see if they could identify the unique EMG patterns emitted with 16 different elbow, wrist, hand, thumb and finger movements they asked the patients to perform. The EMG signals from each of the 16 movements were analyzed using advanced signal processing techniques. The study found that the researchers could recognize the signals associated with the different arm movements with 95% accuracy.
The next step is to use this information to program these new moves into the microprocessor of the artificial arm, so that instead of just opening and closing a hand and bending and straightening an elbow, now the signals can produce various hand grasp patterns, such as the one needed to hold a baseball, pick up a pen or grasp a tool.
May benefit soldiers
Kuiken and his colleagues have begun to work with the military at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. to apply this technology to soldiers who have lost limbs.
“We’re excited to move forward in doing this surgery with our soldiers some day,” he said. “We’ve been able to demonstrate remarkable control of artificial limbs and it’s an exciting neural machine interface that provides a lot of hope.”
There are a couple of additional things to note in the work of Kuiken and his colleagues: They performed nerve transfer surgery 9-15 months after the injury that led to amputation, showing that these neural pathways remain intact, even when they have not been used for awhile.
Also, when the researchers touch these patients on their chests, the patients say it feels like they are being touched somewhere on their arm or hand -- the arm or hand that is no longer there. That’s not really surprising, because the brain receives an impulse from a nerve that used to go to the arm. The brain doesn’t know the nerve is now embedded in a different muscle, and interprets this touch as it always has.
Editor’s Notes: An audio version of this story will appear on Life Lines, the podcast of The American Physiological Society. You can find it on Nov. 12 at www.lifelines.tv.
Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease. The American Physiological Society (APS) has been an integral part of this scientific discovery process since it was established in 1887.
Joined: 21-November 05
Member No.: 26,707
Reply to the above article post:
Close, but still missing the elegance of automail in FMA. The scientist mentioned in the article connect nerve to existing muscle in chest, and the prosthetic arm "read" the chest muscle contraction. Unlike direct nerve connection hinted in FMA, their technology intrincally provide no mechanism available for signal feedback from arm to brain. The feeling of the arm's position and posture, a condition which prelude all fancy power of automail in FMA, will never be there unless they started investigate how to feed signal from arm to the nerve.
Will the automail in FMA ever come true in my lifetime? Ok, one can always dream.
...If all goes well, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives its approval, returning veterans could be wearing the new artificial limb by next year... ...a human arm has 22 degrees of freedom, not three. The Luke Arm prosthetic is agile because of the fine motor control imparted by the enormous amount of circuitry inside the arm, which enables 18 degrees of freedom... ...Deka engineers modeled the arm based on the weight of a statistically average female arm (about 3.6 kg), including all the electronics and the lithium battery... ...When a Deka engineer tests the arm via a linked exoskeleton, the arm can replicate almost every subtlety of human movement... ...neuroscientist Todd Kuiken has had recent successes in surgically rerouting amputees’ residual nerves—which connect the upper spinal cord to the 70 000 nerve fibers in the arm—to impart the ability to “feel” the stimulation of a phantom limb... With Kuiken’s surgery, a user can control the Luke arm with his or her own muscles, as if the arm were an extension of the person’s flesh...
Though I don't hope I will need it one day, all of these sound just wonderful.
Joined: 16-October 09
Member No.: 71,525
In my own opinion, I think that someday automails can help ..
I mean, they can be used for handicapped persons and set as replacement for their missing body parts (like Ed) but automails should be used wisely .. We can't also deny the fact that more handicapped person get depressed about their condition so we should help ...