A modern soldier, injured in battle, is the first person in the UK to have a bionic arm which he can control with his thoughts. The surgery included having his nerve system rewired, and months of learning how to use the new arm. Cpl Garthwaite was badly injured in Helmand, Afghanistan, in September 2010 when a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade took off his right arm and killed one of his comrades.
The surgeons at the hospital in the Medical University of Vienna had to rewire his nervous system - taking the nerve endings from his shoulder, that would have run down to his hand - and rewired these into his chest muscles.
This has meant over the past 18 months, the patient has had the sensation of a hand growing in his chest. While learning to use that hand again, electrodes sent signals into the bionic arm so that he could control the prosthesis.
The Viennese bionics company Otto Bock who developed the arm says this new kind of intelligent upper limb prosthesis can be controlled using the same nerves organically responsible for arm movement and enables more natural movements. The patient, they say, performs movements intuitively, and the prosthesis can directly convert the thought commands. See the full story here.
Meanwhile, we discover more about our earth every day. This is something that technology has no control over. Scientists have discovered that the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park is far more immense than previously thought. The team measured the cavern, which stretches for more than 90km (55 miles) and contains 200-600 cubic km of molten rock. The magma chamber was colossal. Reaching depths of between 2km and 15km (1 to 9 miles), the cavern was about 90km (55 miles) long and 30km (20 miles) wide.
One leap for man, one threatening catastrophe for the Earth. We can't hope to contain a future volcano eruption, so we might as well cheer on our heroes, injured while trying to create peace in a war nobody wants with no settlement in sight.