The Download: combating Parkinson’s with implants, and counting carbon’s cost


The news: A man with Parkinson’s disease has regained the ability to walk after physicians implanted a small device into his spinal cord that sends signals to his legs.

How they did it: Marc, who has had Parkinson’s for around three decades, is the first and only person to have received the new spinal neuroprosthesis, a small device containing electrodes placed under the skin on top of his spinal cord. It works by sending bursts of electrical signals to stimulate the nerves in his spinal cord, which then activate his leg muscles.

What’s next: The neuroprosthetic device worked for Marc after his symptoms persisted in spite of a deep brain stimulation implant he’d received 20 years ago. However, it remains unclear whether the device will work in every person with Parkinson’s—a question that the team are keen to answer. Read the full story.

—Abdullahi Tsanni

Job titles of the future: carbon accountant

His official title is vice president of regulated reporting solutions. But really, Billy Scherba is a carbon accountant. At Persefoni, a platform for climate management, Scherba works with companies to measure, manage, and disclose their contributions to climate change.

Carbon accountants help companies understand what data matters to their carbon footprint, how to collect that data in a consistent manner, and, most importantly, how to use it to calculate the greenhouse-gas emissions they’re responsible for. Read the full story.

—Allison Arieff


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