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Indian-American scientist helps paralyzed man move with implanted computer chip

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1173SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A research team headed by an Indian-American scientist have developed technology that helps those with paralysis move their body parts.

The technology, developed by Gaurav Sharma and his team of researchers at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio , has already been successfully tested a 24-year-old patient whose body became paralyzed from the chest down during an accident five years ago. An embedded chip is installed as an implant during surgery, and helps to send brain signals to the limbs of Ian Burkhart, without the help of the spinal cord.

Embedded with an algorithm, the chip decodes the signals of the brain when Burkhart starts thinking about moving his hands. With the help of the implant, Burkhart is now able to move his hands and wrists.

“As Ian thinks about moving his hand, the chip records his brain signals and our algorithms decode his intent,” Sharma said.

“The signals are then routed as electrical pulses to a sleeve wrapped around Ian’s arm that stimulates the muscles to enable the desired hand movement in real-time. The study shows what is possible in the future, and can offer hope for movement restoration to millions of people worldwide living with paralysis.”

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Sharma was educated at NIT Surathkal, and received his master’s in the U.S.

“The work we’re doing is part of a bigger problem that could benefit a lot of other people,” he said. “Much more work still needs to be done by many more people in order to solve this problem of regaining movement, but I’m a piece of this puzzle, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

The technology has been named NeuroLife, and was developed in collaboration with The Ohio State University.

“Before my accident, I had taken it for granted that I could have so much control over my hand. So while training for this project, I had to break down my thought processes to help the computer learn,” Burkhart said. “The most mentally exhausting part was blocking out everything else in my brain and focusing on just that one movement.”

 

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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