He's been paralyzed for 5 years, but he just walked. The video is spectacular.

The word you're looking is "wow."

The man in the video you're about to see has been paralyzed for five years. Yet he's about to walk.

How? Because of some cool science stuff that we'll explain in a second.


But first, just watch. It's incredible.

OK, so that was awesome, but what the heck is going on here?

I've got 19 words for you: "The feasibility of a brain-computer interface functional electrical stimulation system for the restoration of overground walking after paraplegia."

Er, actually, that's just the title of the researchers' published findings, which you can read online in the Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.

Let me say it a different way:

Scientists created a way for the man's brain signals to bypass his damaged spinal cord and communicate directly with his legs.

An Do, one of the study's lead researchers from University of California Irvine, wanted to find out what would happen he combined two already pretty amazing technologies: brain-controlled interfaces (BCIs), which send the signals, and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) system, which uses the signals to tell the muscles to move.

FES systems, like Parastep (the one used in this study) aren't new when it comes to helping paralyzed folks regain movement in their muscles. But typically they have to be operated manually, with the wearer applying stimulation to his or her muscles via a keypad and control switches.

Having the system controlled by brain signals via special sensors on the skin is a novel approach and clearly yields some extraordinary results. In fact, the man in the study completed 30 tests just like this one over 19 weeks, without a single negative side effect.

That doesn't mean this technology is a magic pill. At least, not yet.

The man practices walking using the device in virtual reality. Image via Christine King, et al./Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.

If you watch carefully, you'll see there are a number of supports and fail-safes in place to keep the man from falling. Even after all that practice, his steps are slow and labored.

And what you don't see on tape is that the man underwent numerous training sessions to both learn how to operate the device and to strengthen his leg muscles, which haven't been utilized in years. He even practiced walking using the device in virtual reality and while suspended above ground.

Whoa.

In other words, this study is merely proof of concept and still needs quite a bit of perfecting. But the goal, the researchers say, is to one day integrate this entire system into a patient's body so it can be used all the time, without the need for complicated set ups like the one in this video.

It's science and technology, coming together in the absolute best way possible. But to this man, and others like him, it must feel an awful lot like a miracle.

Heroes
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared