URI engineering professor helping ALS patients use their brains to communicate

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 25, 2020 – Doug Sawyer was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, 11 years ago. His only muscles that still function are those that control eye movement.Despite his disability, Sawyer still works as an engineer from his home, designing electronics for Hayward Industries.

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Rat Spinal Cords Control Neural Function in Biobots

Biological robots draw inspiration from natural systems to mimic the motions of organisms, such as swimming or jumping. Improvements to biobots to better replicate complex motor behaviors can lead to exciting biorobotic engineering applications to help solve real world challenges. However, this requires the creation of biohybrid, which is a challenge. Researchers combined an intact rat spinal cord with a tissue-engineered, 3D muscle system. They describe the novel biohybrid system in the journal APL Bioengineering.

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Milestone in Advanced Light Source Upgrade Project Will Bring in a New Ring

An upgrade of the Advanced Light Source, a synchrotron at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has passed an important milestone that will help to maintain the ALS’ world-leading capabilities. On Dec. 23 the DOE granted approval for a key funding step that will allow the project to start construction on a new inner electron storage ring known as an accumulator ring.

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