(Photo: Jessica Spengler)
They're made out of meat. And you can send electrical signals through that meat. Prof. Andrew Singer of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign explains:
“You’re a big bag of salt water, with some bones and some other tissues,” he says. “Communicating in the ocean and communicating in your body are very similar.”
So would it be possible to wirelessly control implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers, by sending signal through your flesh?
Signer and his colleagues conducted experiments to find out. They transmitted signals through pork loin and beef liver. This was so successful that it would be possible to stream video from Netflix through a meat conductor. The New Scientist reports:
The team tested two different types of tissue: a pork loin and beef liver. They suspended the pieces of meat in the water tank and found that the ultrasonic signal passed through both types of meat at speeds of up to 30 megabits a second. That is 1000 times faster than existing implants, which send radio signals through tissue at a maximum of 50 kilobits a second. “You could stream Netflix through the pork loin,” says Singer.
This technology could be useful in order to stream live video from inside the human body for medical diagnostic purposes:
“For high-definition video, this is more than sufficient,” says Akram Alomainy, at Queen Mary University of London in the UK, who was not involved in the research. Alomainy thinks the technology could be particularly useful for wireless endoscopy, in which a person swallows a pill that broadcasts a video feed from inside their digestive tract. At the moment, wireless endoscopy requires a laptop-sized device placed on the outside of your body to pick up the feed. A system that transmitted using ultrasonic waves would be far less cumbersome.
-via VA Viper