This remarkable advance, which was published online on Wednesday by the journal Nature, "is the most striking demonstration to date of brain-machine interface technology. Scientists expect that technology will eventually allow people with spinal cord injuries and other paralyzing conditions to gain more control over their lives," the Times wrote.
As Jay Srini wrote in an e-mail message this morning after reading the Times' article, "the innovation in Pittsburgh is best exemplified in this NYT story today ... Neurobiologist Andrew Schwartz from U. Pitt School of Medicine has converted science fiction to reality." Srini was one of about a dozen entrepreneurs, investors, and C-level execs participating in InformationWeek's Startup City event Wednesday in Pittsburgh, and she spoke about her need in her new role to be constantly looking for new technologies and dynamic startups that are enabling transformative advances in health care and value to patients.
Straddling her involvement with the two world-class research universities separated by about six city blocks, Srini is on the advisory board of CMU's School of Computer Science, while over at Pitt she was UPMC's VP of Emerging Technology before becoming Chief Innovation Officer.
So Jay's lovely phrase that innovation and technology today are helping to convert "science fiction to reality" isn't just some dreamy idea -- it's real, it's right now, and it isn't limited to Pittsburgh or health care or neuroscience. The only limits are our imaginations and the scale of our desire to convert "science fiction to reality."