> Erin Popovich, " a native of Silverbow, Mont., won four gold medals and two silvers in the swimming competition at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. It was her third Paralympics competition.
Popovich, 23, has 10 gold medals from previous Paralympics in 2004 in Athens, Greece, and 2000 in Sydney, Australia. She also has won 11 gold medals in world championship competition.
Popovich won an ESPY in 2005 from ESPN as the nation’s top disabled female athlete. She was born with achondroplasia, a rare disease that severely restricts the growth of her arms and legs. Popovich, is 4 feet, 4 3/4 inches tall."
Me being short, I don't look at it as a disability. I look at it as an opportunity,'' she told the Coloradoan in an interview last summer. She competed in the S-7 disability class in Beijing.
> "A BIZARRE illusion that makes people believe a false hand is part of their own body could be all it takes to imbue prosthetic limbs with a sense of touch.
Although sophisticated robotic prosthetics can now replace amputated hands, they don't yet provide the brain with the sensory feedback vital to control fine movement. Without feeling pressure from the fingertips, for example, an amputee operating a robotic hand could either break a wine glass by grasping it too tightly, or let it fall to the floor by failing to apply enough grip.
One potential solution is to wire sensors in robotic fingers directly into nerves in the stump, but this poses some technical challenges. So instead Henrik Ehrsson, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, decided to see if a trick known as the "rubber hand illusion" could provide a simpler alternative."

Stem Cells:

> "Patients with spinal cord injuries will be first humans to receive repair cells derived from embryonic stem cells.

The first ever clinical trial using stem cells derived from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) received the go-ahead today from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Geron Corporation, a company based in Menlo Park, California, hopes to mend the spines of patients paralysed from the chest down by injecting injury sites with stem cells that restore connections and repair damage.

"This marks the beginning of what is potentially a new chapter in medical therapeutics, one that reaches beyond pills to a new level of healing: the restoration of organ and tissue function achieved by the injection of healthy replacement cells," said the company's president, Tom Okarma.

"My hat is off to Geron – this is what we've all been waiting for," says Robert Lanza, chief scientist at Advanced Cell Technology, a stem cell company in Worcester, Massachusetts. "It's been over a decade since embryonic stem cells were discovered, and this sends a message that we're ready at last to start helping people.""

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