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Surgeons in Calgary,Canada made history this week, when they successfully removed an egg-shaped tumor from 21-year old Paige Nickason's brain, using a newly developed robotic system, called NeuroArm.
The two-armed robot using real surgical tools as its hands was guided through the procedure by surgeons using a remote control system and an MR imaging screen. While using robots in surgeries like this one is not uncommon, this is the first system that operates using an MR imaging system. The system allows surgeons to operate while looking at a very detailed image of the affected area - almost down to each cell.
Dr. Garnette Sutherland, the man behind the NeuroArm, believes it will help the improve success of surgeries, especially in delicate areas such as the brain. This is because the surgeons will be able to spot and target the diseased areas more precisely, thanks to the image. In addition to that, robot arms can move in really small increments of about 50 microns, something human hands cannot do.
Interestingly enough, Dr Sutherland believes that his ability to successfully manipulate the robots hands is thanks to playing video games. He believes that children who play video games make better surgeons because they develop a better hand-eye coordination. This is the similar to what neuroscientists Sandra Aamadot and Sam Wang discovered in their research of the brain.
Sources:Sify.com, msn news, sciencedail.com