Ear implant corrects balance problems, makes you part Borg

Scientists at the always-progressive Johns Hopkins have been working on an electronic, inner-ear "balancing" device that could help correct problems like unsteadiness, disequilibrium or wobbly vision (no, really). The device -- which couples a head-mounted, matchbook-size box, and up to eight surgically implanted electrodes -- corrects problems by measuring and transmitting 3D balance information to the brain via the vestibular nerve. Researchers say they're working on downsizing and hermetically sealing the implant so that it can fit inside the head and beneath the skin. Up until now, the devices have been tested on chinchillas, whom scientists cruelly dosed with an antibiotic that creates balancing problems (we suppose there were no wobbly people around), then attached implants to the animals and discovered that they "partially regained their vision-stabilizing reflex." While we don't condone testing on adorable rodents here at Engadget, we do love a Borg-esque head attachment from time to time.

[Via The Raw Feed]