Surgery

Penile Transplants (With Special Guest Mary Roach)

The year is 2016 and we officially live in the age of the penis transplant -- and while the notion may stir giggles from some, there's nothing humorous about the cancer survivors and wounded soldiers who can benefit from such surgeries. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian discuss recent advances in penile transplant surgery and chat with author Mary Roach, who devotes two chapters of her new book "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War" to urotrauma and genital transplant surgery.

The Stone of Madness

Madness has always intrigued artists, and medieval paintings sometimes presented this malady's treatment via the surgical removal of cranial stone. What was the stone of madness? Was it mere fantasy, metaphor or an actual medical condition? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe collect their trepanation tools and investigate.

Retrofuturist Flashback: Surgical Robot, 1912

Robot Performs Surgery on Turkey Breast

Everyone loves the idea of a robot surgeon. There's the GH-7 meddroid from "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back," the lovable but butchering Medibot from "Look Around You," and the occasional robot psychologist or plastic surgeon on "Futurama." And I can only imagine Hajime Sorayama came up with some manner of silvery, sexy robot nurse, but I'm not about to Google that at work. At any rate, hey, it looks like work on real-life robotic surgeons is progressing nicely. They might not be ready to dump you into a Bacta tank or upgrade your face, but Discovery News reports that a robotic surgeon at Duke University has successfully used an ultrasound to find a sliver of steel shrapnel and guide a needle to it -- and all on its own to boot.