Science and Medicine
NOT EXACTLY ROCKET SCIENCE
Collaborations with NASA Help Sharpen Surgical Tools
By Mike Goodkind
plastic surgeon steps into an operating
room, dons goggles and gloves, and begins to rearrange the deformed facial features of
a child. The first result doesnt please him, so he starts over. He manipulates the
features repeatedly until he finds a satisfactory result.
NASAs Muriel Ross views
This may not sound much like rocket science. But it is closer than one might
The surgeon is operating in the realm of virtual reality as part of a collaboration
between NASAs Ames Research Center and Stanfords Department of Functional Restoration
to develop technology that will enable physicians to try out a variety of surgical
outcomes before ever stepping into a real operating room.