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Human electricity

Be your own generator
  [vote for,

Some researchers claim that soon pig organs will be available as implants for humans (see link). That will provide replacement for organs that do plain chemistry like liver or kidney but it won't help people who actually lost a limb. A big problem is still to provide power to artificial limbs or sensors. The idea is to invest effort into R&D on electric eels so their electric organs can be implanted into humans. For example a person who lost a hand could have the eel organ implanted into the lower arm where it can supply power to motors and sensors for an artificial hand.

If prices come down far enough such an implant could be used for novel purposes too, e.g. it is often frustrating if you want to flip a bird but the recipient cannot see it in the dark. However, with an electric organ in your hand and flashing LED crystals implanted under your finger nails the gesture becomes clear.

kbecker, Dec 24 2003

Organs from pigs http://www.ncbi.nlm...21809&dopt=Abstract
This ain't new, but the more recent links are all for subscribers only. It's that hot. [kbecker, Oct 04 2004]


       kbecker - what?   

       could you write that so simple folk like me can understand!   

       in my present state, I think its garbage...
po, Dec 24 2003

       [po] what is your present state? I hope it is not one that will soon require a liver transplant.
In simple words: To eliminate dependency on batteries build a biological generator into a human. Use it to power artificial limbs or other things that need electric power. The pig link was included to avoid scathing remarks about GM magic from [DrC] and others. Science isn't there yet, but it is close.
kbecker, Dec 24 2003

       you could use the personal generator to power a grill and eat the ribs of the pig you got your liver from. All we need now is a gland that secretes bbq sauce.
mattas8472, Jan 27 2004

       Alternatively, the technology DOES exist to implant a small fuel cell that runs on glucose dissolved in the bloodstream, which could be used to run artificial organs.
TerranFury, Jan 28 2004

       Won't these be dissolved by the immune system over time? I know that the immune system was an obstacle when human implantable microchips were being developed (the obstacle was more to make them non-toxic, I think).
Detly, Jan 28 2004

       If we're talking about trans-species transplants, with fish, then as a scuba diver I'd go for gills before electric batteries.
theircompetitor, Jan 28 2004

       Well, if that's up for auction, I'm gonna go for the dolphin penis - 14" and glowing neon blue.
Detly, Jan 28 2004

       somehow, I knew that this will happen.   

       But of course a dolphin is not a fish :)
theircompetitor, Jan 28 2004

       Excess glucose in the bloodstream is a cause of cellular damage in diabetics, so if that was the powersource for amputee prosthetics I personally would probably "pass".   

       As for electric eels and their ability to generate current, IIRC it is high-voltage and relatively low-amperage electricity, and it is only available in bursts. For an electric motor powering a limb you would need different electricity, and you would need it for more than just a few bursts an hour.   

       A better idea would be, oh, I don't know, using lightweight rechargeable batteries in the prosthetic, and as the amputee takes off their limb each night for sleep the limb could be placed on its recharging stand so that it'd be ready to go the next morning.   

       But the novelty-shock part has some merit... for those of us with little sisters. *evil grin*
justibone, Mar 12 2005


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