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.
The recent surge in cases, now numbering 32 since the start of October, has been focused in Riyadh and the western city of Taif
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his regret that health workers returning from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa were quarantined.
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The Township Owl Project takes juvenile birds rescued from perilous situations, such as when a building where they nested in is demolished, and gives them a new home and a new job
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There are 883 confirmed cases of the deadly virus, out of which 319 people have died since 2012, the WHO says
WHO announces one million doses of Ebola vaccine to be produced in 2015
That pact would aim to improve on two decades of stuttering cooperation and rein in emissions of carbon dioxide blamed for a disruptive rise in temperatures
The World Health Organization last month urged the use of blood-derived products and serum from survivors.
Pentagon rapid-response Ebola medical team was scheduled to begin training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas
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Device can be used in the field without special equipment, according to developers
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The meeting in Cuba is aimed at keeping Ebola at bay and it brings together senior officials from the ALBA bloc of nations
Wildlife conservationists have struggled to reverse a decline in numbers of several African species, undermined by ferocious poaching by gangs which mostly ship the ivory to Asia.