The Future Human
New hope at the crossroads of engineering and medicine. More than ever, engineering is informing medicine. Breakthroughs that range from synthetic skin to artificial hands are restoring people to health and challenging the very concept of disability.
The story begins in the 1970s, when Martin Auer was a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. His advisor asked him to check out the relationship between the phosphorus-rich effluent flowing from a sewage treatment plant and the jungle-like growth of Cladophora thriving nearby. Auer, now a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, was able to demonstrate that lowering phosphorus levels from the effluent got rid of nearly all the Cladophora.