As a teen growing up in the 1970s, I was a fan of the popular TV show The Six Million Man, and often dreamed of being a real-life version of Steve Austin, the world's original bionic being.
For millions of us, that dream may soon come true.
Austin, you'll no doubt recall, was the bigger-than-life main character of the long-running drama. The former astronaut was battered in a horrid test-flight crash ("I can't hold her ... she's breaking up, she's breaking up!") and was expected to die.
But doctors not only saved Austin's life ... they decided they could "rebuild him" by using bionic implants.
And those high-tech devices boosted Austin's speed, strength and vision far beyond human levels.
Now a global research team is reporting great progress in building the first fully functional "bionic man."
Like Steve Austin, the lab-created being - nicknamed "Rex" - has advanced prosthetic limbs. He also has an artificial heart-lung system that pumps synthetic blood. He even has a functional, machine-built pancreas and liver.
Team members say the project shows that, in the very near future, we will be able to give humans a wide range of bionic implants to replace those damaged by disease or trauma.
My colleagues here at Money Map Press know that I'm fond of describing the Era of Radical Change as one in which "science fiction is becoming science fact."
With the case of bionics, that prediction is literally coming true.
For investors, that means this new segment of high-tech/biotech will soon become another subset of the digital realm that's ripe for picking. And when that happens, I'll make sure you're the first to know.
But this engineering marvel isn't the only fascinating piece of technology I came across this month. Take a look...
When I Saw This "Bionic Skin", All I Could Say Was "Wow"
An entirely new class of human beings is about to roam the Earth.
In fact, scientists have just scored a major breakthrough that brings us much closer to the day of bionics.
Quite simply, bionics is the name I use for biological members of our species who have any number of high-tech "upgrades"-not too much different from what "Steve Austin" famously received in the 70's.
With the technology we have today, these could include neural implants that combat brain disease, sensors embedded in your eyes, and a heart grown from synthetic cells.
And now these people can even have artificial skin, too, if they need it.
This breakthrough comes from Stanford University. When I came across it, all I could say was "Wow"...
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"Bionic Eyes" Could Make Blindness a Thing of the Past
Just last week I told you the day of bionic humans is at hand.
Some of you were excited by the possibilities. Take Matt:
"As someone who has bounced back from a severe head injury 25 years ago to do things the brain injury rehab team told me would simply not be possible - complete my bachelor's degree as well as a master's, get married, and subsequently raise a son on my own as a single parent, etc. - I am especially excited about the possibilities at the juncture of neurological research, computing technology, and prosthetics. I will be overjoyed when the day comes that I can once again use both my hands to type 100 words/minute with few to no mistakes, like I could when I first learned to type on an electric typewriter, nearly 40 years ago."
On the other hand, several of you thought it sounded like a nightmare. Here's what Claire had to say:
"Transhumanism is a dark future that is presented as wonderful, but which will alienate those who embrace it from their humanity... Not for me, I would rather remain human."
Either way, it seems bionic tech is actually moving faster than I thought...
Restoring Sight to the Blind
You may recall that I cited two examples of future devices to enhance your eyes. One is a pair of contact lenses, and the other is an implant that would go in your retina. Both could access the wireless Web to keep you connected to the world's vast database of knowledge, wherever you are.
Well, it's come out that at least two companies hope to start selling bionic eyes in the U.S. within the next 16 months.
Neither of these designs is made to surf the Web. Instead, these cutting-edge breakthroughs could help millions of blind or visually impaired people to see again.
Take a look...
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