It's always fun to look back and see what Hollywood told us the future would be like. Unfortunately, it is usually way off the mark. We still don't have flying cars or food replicators. We can't travel through time. We can't build a Six Million Dollar man. Or, can we?
Both medicine and biomedical engineering have made huge advancements since the popular show aired in the 1970s. Steve Austin, the main character, a test pilot, astronaut, scientist, and all-around over-achiever, was severely injured in a test flight, and in a last ditch effort to save his life, the government patched him up with bionic parts.
1. Steel Plate: His skull was crushed in the accident and replaced with a steel plate. Luckily, this protected him from alien mind-control and memory erasing. While we have the technology to use metal plates, and have for some time, modern medicine prefers to re-use the existing skull fragments in a procedure called cranioplasty. In fact, some patients have had portions of bone surgically stored in their abdomen until they were ready for the delicate surgery.
2. Artificial Heart: Doctors have been debating the possibility of artificial hearts for almost 150 years, and while we have successfully transplanted both human and animal hearts and installed pacemakers, a true artificial heart as a long-term solution is just within our reach. Of course, Steve's artificial heart was powered by a miniature nuclear power plant --inside his body. Luckily, we just use batteries these days.
3. Limb Replacement: Steve's legs were crushed during his accident and were repaired with bionic parts. While this may have been far-fetched 40 years ago, knee, hip, and shoulder replacement is commonplace. Patients may not exactly run 60 mph with their new knees, but they can resume a normal, if not fuller life, after the operation. For more information, contact Joseph P. Spott, DO or a similar medical professional.
4. Prosthetic Eye: The most amazing bionic element in the television show is the bionic eye. Depending which season you are watching, it has the power of zoom magnification, can take pictures, and even shoot lasers. While modern science is nowhere close to those extra features, prosthetic eyes are moving from simple glass eyes to ones that can see and relay information to the brain. In fact, researchers at Cornell can make a blind mouse's retina see, which is pretty amazing.
While it may cost more than six millions dollars, it is nearly possible to re-create the icon with modern technology and new medical advancements.
Hello there! I'm Jessica Goodyear. I am an unofficial expert on cosmetic procedures--mostly because I've had a lot of them done. Some people judge me or think I'm fake, but I feel more like myself than I ever have before! It all started when I was a teenager. I broke my nose playing softball, and I had to have plastic surgery on my nose so that I could breathe properly. But my nose looked different afterwards, and I liked it better! Now I save up my money to get something done every few years. Whether it's teeth whitening or veneers, a little bit of liposuction, or new cheekbones, there's something so satisfying about letting your inner beauty shine out through your outer body. I started this site to help break the stereotypes about cosmetic surgeries and to talk about some of the health risks related to them. Check it out!