Introduction: Augmented (03:31)
This segment orients viewers to Hugh Herr, his artificial legs, and the future of bionics.
Artificial Limbs (02:52)
Herr hikes with two bionic legs, changing the foot attachments climb the wall. At a TED Talk, he acknowledges he does not regret the changes to his body.
Rock Climbing Accident (12:30)
Herr began climbing at age six. In 1982, he climbed Mount Washington with Jeff Batzer and they were caught in a blizzard. The pair huddled together for warmth but had severe frostbite by the time they were rescued.
Herr's severe frostbite leads to multiple amputations. Doctors say he will never climb again but Herr designs his own prosthesis and returns to climbing; his interest in designing continues.
Boston Marathon Bombing (03:46)
The 2013 bombing compels Dr. Matthew Carty to change the way amputations are performed to provide increased levels of function. Muscles work in tandem, expanding and contracting. Proprioceptors send signals to the brain.
Redesigning Amputation Surgery (04:20)
The goal is to optimize the limb for communication with an advanced external device based on agonist and antagonist muscle pairs. Herr and Carty design a surgery that involves a series of pulleys from formerly unused biological material to maintain proprioception.
Pursuing Amputation (14:06)
In 2016, Jim Ewing travels to Boston. He reflects on meeting Herr and his climbing career. While climbing with his daughter, Ewing falls 50 feet, suffering multiple injuries. He becomes the first person to undergo Carty's procedure.
Human Adaptability (05:44)
At the MIT Media Lab, Herr leads a research group whose mission is to advance design technology to normalize or extend human physicality. Assistants work on neural engineering and mechanical design for the advancement of prosthetics.
Potential Commercial Products (16:20)
Bioethicist Keisha Ray discusses bionic limbs as a medical treatment. Ewing visits the lab to test the signals in his body using electrodes. Over a series of visits, surface electrodes provide advancements to the connection with his prosthetic.
First Cyborg Rock Climber (07:42)
Seeking real-world applications, the team designs a leg for Ewing. Ewing returns to the place of his accident with the new robotic prosthesis for climbing. The Department of Defense provides a grant for 20 patients to undergo the Ewing amputation.
Augmentation of the Future (05:42)
More AMI amputation procedures provide data on improved bionic limb control and pain reduction. Through imaging, proprioception is statistically equivalent to a person with intact biological limbs. Herr attends a ceremony to honor Albert Dow, who perished in his rescue. (Credits)
Predicting My MS (05:21)
In 2005, filmmaker Jason Dasilva was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. His declining condition and the isolation of the 2020 pandemic led him to look for answers to the causation of his disease.
Multiple Sclerosis (04:56)
The history of MS begins with lectures in 1868. Treatment with steroids begins in 1951 and MRIs are used for diagnosis in 2001. Dasilva does not discover MS in his family tree but is surprised to learn about his Russian and German heritage.
Diagnosing MS (07:55)
Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. While the cases of males are more severe, females are more likely to get MS. Diagnosis is also linked to lower Vitamin D levels.
Risk Factors for MS (06:06)
Dasilva wonders about toxicity exposure including, dark room chemicals, Ground Zero, and vaccinations. Doctors cite the prior existence of MS. Other risk factors for MS are head trauma, obesity, smoking, and the Epstein-Barr virus.
Mapping Accessibility (05:00)
Treatments continue to develop but the factors for MS remain a mystery. Dasilva creates an app to help rate the accessibility of businesses for people with disabilities.
Credits: Augmented & Predicting My MS (01:11)
Credits: Augmented & Predicting My MS
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