Heroic lamas and bionic arms – IMPRESSO #25

In this edition: lamas as heroes, bionic arms with touch sensation, and a photodegradable plastic that disappears in a realistic time scale


Lamas: fluffy and improbable heroes!

Lamas are not only fluffy rockstars in your neighborhood zoo but they might also be a secret weapon in our fight against COVID-19! A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, the National Institutes of Health and Ghent University in Belgium found that combining two special kinds of antibodies produced by lamas could create a new type of antibody that may neutralize SARS-CoV-2! Read more (or get the full scientific paper)


How to make a bionic arm feel again

Over the last seven years, three Swedish patients lived with a very special type of mind-controlled arm prosthesis: a “neuromusculoskeletal prosthetic hand”. And that artificial limb has proven successful: the patients gained back tactile sensory feedback! Demonstrating that this new type of prosthesis can be considered a clinically viable replacement for a lost limb is definitely not only a major success to those three individuals but medicine in general… Innovation, done right! Read more or watch the video (12:19 min)


Plastic that degrades ultra-fast

Tackling plastic pollution is a truly pressing issue. Besides the “Big Ocean Clean-Up“, another attempt that is worth exploring is the following approach by chemists from Cornell University: a new type of polymer which degrades by ultraviolet radiation and hence, may reduce the persistent plastic accumulation in our oceans. Read more