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July 5, 2013

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Page14 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 5, 2013 Bil g Co LO SAPEVATE CHE ... Una mano bionica che prova le stesse sensazioni di una mano normale e' stata impiantata su un paziente italiano, a Roma. La rivoluzionaria operazione potrebbe introdurre una nuova generazione di arti artificiali dotati di percezioni sensoriali identiche, o quasi, a quelle umane aprendo un future completamente diverso per la riabilitazione di coloro che subiscono amputazioni. L'invenzione e' stata annunciata al convegno annuale della Associazione Americana per il Progresso della Scienza, a Boston, e ripresa, di recente, dalla stampa inglese con ampio spazio. I giornali di Londra scrivono che il paziente e' un italiano, poco piu' che ventenne, che ha perso la parte inferiore di un braccio., in un incidente. "Siamo di fronte ad un importante progresso", ha detto il Prof. Silvestro Micera, della Ecole Polytechnique Federale di Losanna; "sara' la prima mano prostetica che permettera' di provare sensazioni in tempo reale. Ede' chiaro che piu' una per- sona a cui e' stato amputato un arto e' in grado di avere sensazioni corporee piu' sentira' come propria la protesi che lo sostituisce." L'aspetto straordinario di questa innovazione e' che i fill della mano bionica sono stati collo- cate direttamente al sistema nervoso del paziente con la speranza che l'uomo sara' in grado di controllare e dirigere i propri movimenti cosi' come di ricevere sensazioni dai ricettori sistemati sulla pelle. La mano. Spiega il Prof. Micera, e' stata attaccata al sistema nervoso del paziente con degli elettrodi connessi a due dei principali nervi del braccio. Questo puo' consentire al paziente di controllare la mano con I propri pensieri e nel contempo ricevere i segnali inviati dai sensorial cvervello, come avviene con una mano naturalo. Un modello di mano di questo tipo era gia' stato attaccato su un altro pazinte italiano nel 2009: aveva perso meta' di un braccio in un incidente. DID YOU KNOW TIIAT ... A bionic hand that mimics the same sensations of a nor- mal hand has been implanted on an Italian patient in Rome. The unprecedented surgery could foster a new generation of artificial limbs capable of sensory perceptions similar, or nearly so, to the human ones, opening a future entirely different for the rehabilitation of those who suffer from an amputation. The invention was announced at the annual convention of the American Association for the Progress of Science, in Boston and widely publicized by the British press. The London newspapers reported that the patient, in his early twenties, who is Italian, lost his hand in an accident. "We are witnessing an important progress," stated Professor Micera, of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lousanne. It will be the first prosthetic hand that will make it possible the feel sensations in real time. It is clear that a person deprived of a limb by amputation, can feel body sensations, the more he will feel as normal with the pros- thesis. "The extraordinary results of this innovation are that the wires of the bionic hand have been directly at- tached to the patient's nervous system hoping that the man will be able to control and operate the movements as when receiving the stimuli from the receptors placed in the skin. The hand, added Professor Micera, has been attached to the patient's nervous system with electrodes to two of the main nerves of the arm. This can make it possible for the patient to control the hand with his mind and at the same time receive the signals sent by the sensors to the brain, as it occurs with a normal hand. A sample of this kind of hand had been temporarily attached to another Italian patient in 2009: he had lost the lower arm in an accident. Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building Sharing the Road (Continued from Page 1) hensive plan that benefits all cyclists and makes the roads safer for all. As it stands today, Boston is a city in which bikers abound and has several bike lanes they can use. How- ever, there's still a long way to go; more bike lanes are needed and stricter policies that don't discourage the use of bikes need to be enforced. There was a time when mandatory bike registration was part of the laws of Bos- ton. Many people oppose this idea on the grounds that it would limit those cyclists who can't afford to register their bikes and get a license plate. In 2009 Massachu- setts repealed a registration law. David Watson, the ex- ecutive director of The Mas- sachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) an organization which "promotes a bicycle- friendly environment and encourages bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation," explained their opposition to registration laws. He said, "What does it cost to regis- ter your car? That charge probably reflects a lot of fac- tors, not the least of which would potentially be the rela- tive value of a motor vehicle, the damage they do to the roadway and the risk in- volved to other people on the road. If you assign a value to register bicycles that made sense it would be a lot lower than registering a car, there's no way; if you're go- ing to charge five dollars then it wouldn't cover the cost of the whole registra- tion system." According to Watson, having a feasible bike registration fee in place would greatly limit the amount of people who can ride their bikes. In regards to this plan making it easier for the penalization of those who disobey the laws, Watson says it's a common misconception. "People have latched onto it as a problem, but in reality I don't know that there is any evidence that there is a problem, we strongly support enforce- ment if police wants to give tickets for bicyclists that's ok for us, as long as they're doing it for everyone on the road. Particularly motor- ists, if you look at the sta- tistics they're the ones with the highest degree of acci- dents. People have started to look at cyclist's behavior without an actual cause." he said. However, there is no deny- ing that other alternatives need to be explored to make the roads safer and reduce accidents. There are several organizations that are ac- tively trying to achieve this, including MassBike. Cur- rently the organization is working on the passage of two bills for the Massachu- setts State Legislature which are: The Act To Pro- tect Vulnerable Road Users, which "adds protections to bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and other vulnerable users of the road; it gives law enforcement more flexibility to impose more severe penalties for dangerous driving" and The Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes which prohib- its motor vehicles from park- ing in bike lanes. The first meeting regarding these bills was held last Wednes- day, June 26 th before the Committee of Transporta- tion. Another group that is advocating for change is the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) which is recruiting volun- teers to help collect bicycle and pedestrian data in early July in order to plan efforts "to increase biking and walking by improving access to safe, healthy, efficient non-motorized transporta- tion options in the Boston region." Looking at this from a wider scope, the United States in general isn't up to par with a lot of European countries when it comes to cycling laws. The fact is that dying while cycling is three to five times more likely in America than in Denmark, Germany or the Nether- lands. Boston is one of the major cities which are bet- ter off ranked number six- teen by Bicycling Magazine. Portland, Oregon is number one after the adoption of a lot of Europe's methods of deal- ing and thinking about the relationship between riders and drivers. The main difference lies in that these aforemen- tioned countries have laws that are always in favor of the cyclist. For example in cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin there is a law that states that any driver in close range of a cy- clist must slow down to nine- teen mph and these limits are strictly enforced by po- lice, As discussed in an ar- ticle in The Economist back in 2011, "In much of north- ern Europe, cyclists com- mute on lanes that are pro- tected from cars by concrete buffers, rows of trees or parked cars. At busy cross- roads, bicycle-activated traf- fic lights let cyclists cross first. Traffic laws discrimi- nate in favor of people on bikes." There is definitely a prob- lem in America, but Boston- ians are working hard to keep making progress in the city and perhaps they could follow some of Europe's ex- amples, other cities such as New York and Portland have already done so. News Briefs (Continued from Page 1) automobiles or motorcycles that are equipped with event data recorders. "For me, this is a basic is- sue of privacy. Consumers should have control over the information collected by event data recorders in their own vehicles and they should be able to exercise control over the recording function. Many consumers aren't even aware that this technology is already in most vehicles," stated Con- gressman Mike Capuano. "As a strong supporter of the Fourth Amendment and privacy rights, I believe vehicle owners should have ultimate control over infor- mation collected by their vehicle's "black box," includ- ing what data is recorded and who has access to it. This bill would require manufacturerS to notify customers if their car is equipped with a recording device and give ownership of any information collected to the owner of the vehicle," stated Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. Event data recorders, or "black boxes," are installed in vehicles to collect infor- mation leading up to an ac- cident. They record factors such as speed and brake ap- plication. Many consumers are not aware that this data has the potential of being used against them in civil or criminal proceedings, or by their insurer to increase rates. No federal law exists to clarify the rights of a ve- hicle owner with respect to this recorded data. All data collected by an EDR be- comes the property of the vehicle owner under this legislation. The bill would make it illegal for anyone other than the vehicle owner to download or re- trieve information without owner consent or a court order. The legislation also requires that all new cars equipped with EDRs allow the owner the option to control the recording function that cannot be restarted without the owner's consent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administra- tion (NHTSA) issued a No- tice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring that event data recorders be installed in all cars manufactured after September I, 2014, and that the existence of the EDR be included in the owner's manual. The Black Box Pri- vacy Protection Act would make the disclosure more prominent and give consum- ers even greater choice and privacy protections. The POST-GAZETTE newspaper is a paper of general circulation. We are qualified to accept legal notices from any court in each town that we serve. For information on placing a Legal Notice in the POST-GAZETTE, please call (617) 227-8929; or mail notice to: POST-GAZETTE, P.O. BOX 135, BOSTON, MA 02113 Attn: Legal Notices I The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraud and deception. Can 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or log on to WWW.BOSTON POSTGAZETTE.COM