World Bulletin / News Desk
A French researcher has built a device allowing disabled people to write or draw on a computer screen using only their eyes, a report said Thursday.
With head-mounted cameras monitoring their eye movements, test subjects were able to write and draw on a blank computer screen in the latest breakthrough for people trapped in immobility by disease or accident.
"For persons deprived of limb movement, this offers a fast, creative and personal means of linguistic and emotional expression," said the report by Jean Lorenceau of France's CNRS research institute.
Lorenceau's system, still just a prototype, compensates for saccadic, or jumpy, eye movements to allow a smooth writing style.
After four half-hour training sessions, his subjects were able to write at a rate of about 25 letters per minute.
Similar systems exist, but none that allow a person to trace their own letters with this level of precision.
In July, engineers said they had built a device using mass-produced video gaming equipment that lets disabled people control a computer cursor with just their eyes -- with a price tag of under $30 (25 euros).
Other technologies require electrode implants in the brain, an expensive procedure.
Such technology offers hope for restoring some level of independence to people suffering from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injuries or amputees.
In the EU alone, there were more than 16 million people with disabilities who would benefit from such a system, an earlier study had found.
Europe's top court ruled on Thursday that obese people can be considered as disabled, meaning that they can be covered by an EU law barring discrimination at work.
The greater the exposure to fine particulates emitted by fires, vehicles, and industrial smokestacks the greater the risk, found the study
Mali's last infected patient recovered and left hospital last week, while the remaining individuals who came in contact with an infected person finished a mandatory 21-day quarantine
The young man, who hails from the southern city of Khan Younis, was the Gaza Strip's first H1N1 fatality
The text appeased developing countries, including China and India, concerned that previous drafts would impose too heavy a burden on emerging economies
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Ship carrying 1,500 tons of food and medical supplies heads to Ebola-hit West Africa who is need of urgent medical supplies.
Peru has more tropical glaciers than any other nation but rising temperatures linked to global warming have helped shrink the ice masses by up to 40 percent
Pesticide poisoning causes inability to breathe, chemical burns, loss of reflexes, twitching, and ultimately death, experts say
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The Nazca Lines are a set of giant images of plants and animals, such as a monkey, a spider and a hummingbird, excavated in the soil some 1,500 years ago.
Experts have sounded the alarm in recent years over how plastic pollution is killing huge numbers of seabirds, marine mammals and other creatures while sullying ocean ecosystems.
Nine months into the worst Ebola outbreak on record, Ebola is still spreading in Sierra Leone and parts of Guinea.
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 6,331 in the three worst hit countries, with Sierra Leone overtaking Liberia as the country with the highest number of cases
A total of 140 cases of measles had been reported whilst 6 people have died from the disease according to the Egyptian Health Ministry
The Ethiopian government is in the middle of a biannual spike in malaria as it seeks to control the epidemic.