Revolutionary prostates, and the threat of a new epidemic

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These prostheses break the mold with their third toe, sharp and bold skins

Traditionally, prosthetic designers have looked to the human body for inspiration. Prosthetics were seen as substitutes for missing body parts; Hyper-realistic bionic legs and arms were the holy grail.

But we’re seeing a movement in alternative prostheses that charge convention for not even testing. Instead of creating devices that look like a “normal” arm or leg, a new wave of designers. They are creating fantastic prosthetics that spin like tentacles, light up, or shoot sparkles. Read the full story.

– Joanna Thompson

Joanna’s story is from the latest issue of the MIT Technology Review, which is about design. Subscribe to read the whole thing when it comes out later this month.

We don’t need to panic about bird flu just yet.

How worried should we be about bird flu? Some have warned that avian flu will be the next deadly pandemic. Others said the risk is no different than it was a few years ago.

It cannot be denied that virus outbreaks have had a significant impact on birds in recent months and that the current outbreak is far worse than any we have seen before. But although we have seen a small number of cases in humans, there is no evidence that it poses a greater threat to humans now than in the past. Read the full story.

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