Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2013

Bionic Eye
Was this the year of the bionic eye? Several major developments occurred in the so-called cochlear implant for the vision impaired. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, over in Australia, a bunch of engineers and designers unveiled one of the world's first bionic eyes in June. Using a microchip embedded in the skull and a digital camera set on a pair of glasses, the bionic eye has the potential to help 85 percent of people who are legally blind see the outlines of their surroundings [source: Hall].

Here's how this bionic eye works: Mounted on the snazzy glasses is a camera similar to the one on an iPhone. The camera captures an image, and a sensor inside the glasses directs the camera's field of vision as a person turns his or her head. A digital processor modifies the captured images and then sends the signal wirelessly to the chip implanted at the back of the brain. The chip sends electrical signals through tiny electrodes that stimulate the brain's visual center. Over time, the brain interprets these signals as images [source: Hall].

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