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 outbreak of myiasis, also known as screw worm, stems from deteriorating water and sanitation conditions.
The incursion largely follows water currents north from the Red Sea. Already more than 700 non-indigenous species have populated the Mediterranean
Joji Morishita, Japan's commissioner to the International Whaling Commission, said the new proposal is Tokyo's latest attempt to pursue sustainable whaling according to scientific principles.
In Europe, obesity is to blame for around 6.5 percent of all new cancers a year, or around 65,000 cases
Medical workers risking their lives to fight Ebola in West Africa talk about the challenges they face.
The woman 32, died at a fever hospital in the Nile Delta five days after she was admitted on contracting the virus, Hossam Abdel-Ghafar said
According to the World Health Organization, more than 80,000 children in Pakistan have not been immunized against polio
A total of 5,459 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record, according the World Health Organization
Plague, a bacterial disease, is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas.
Felix Baez Sarria, the first Cuban to contract the deadly disease, will be treated in a Geneva hospital.
No Ebola cases detected for two incubation periods, says World Health Organization
The World Health Organization and leading global health specialists have criticised Saudi Arabia for failing to properly investigate the causes of MERS.
UNICEF predicts that the number of children orphaned by Ebola – which currently stands at nearly 200 – will reach as many as 2,000
UN Article 82 could mean millions in additional costs for drilling companies.
The figures, through Nov. 16, represent a jump of 243 deaths and 732 cases since those issued last Friday, and cases continue to be under-reported, the WHO said in its latest update.
The infectious disease causes total paralysis in a matter of hours. It affects mainly children under five years of age.