Cadavers in many ways are better than instrumented dummies in auto crash tests. Acknowledging that, NHTSA is offering five-year grants of up to $2.75 million for research that uses cadavers to examine the effect of airbags and safety belts on the human body during collisions. Officials of the safety agency say the program seeks to determine "engineering parameters" of biomechanical responses of cadavers to impact. Another goal is to develop "mechanical analogs" of the human body that can be used in the design of more realistic dummies for crash tests of new cars and trucks. Phone NHTSA project manager F. A. Bandak at (202) 366-4737.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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