Doctors defy gravity in space-age surgery

An operation done in space yesterday (September 27, 2006) has shown that human beings can be operated on in space without much difficulty.
This operation was designed to test the effects of weightlessness on the human organism during surgical intervention. Blood pressure is lower in space, for example, and bleeding is different, so that the team had to build a special vacuum collector. The experiment was also designed to see what techniques were needed for handling equipment — in this case, the doctors’ instruments were attached to the operating block with magnets.

What’s next? These researchers hope to develop robot “surgeons” that can operate with guidance from Earth.

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