New technology is allowing people who are paralyzed, due to accidents or to diseases like ALS (the condition that quantum physicist Stephen Hawking has), to operate computers using only their brains. A fourteen-year-old boy with epilepsy has learned to play Space Invaders using only brain signals. And new breakthrough in stem cell research may be able to actually cure people with ALS.
Researchers have shown that transplanting human stem cells into spinal cords of rats bred to duplicate Lou Gehrig?s disease delays the start of the nerve cell damage and prolongs life. The stem cells develop into nerve cells that connect with existing nerves and do not themselves succumb to ALS. While this is not yet a cure, it does demonstrate hope for the future.