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Woman's Voice Restored After Larynx Transplant

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the wonder-if-she-sounds-like-herself dept.

Medicine 246

mvar writes "A woman in the US is able to speak for the first time in 11 years after a pioneering voicebox transplant. Brenda Jensen said the operation, which took place in California, was a miracle which had restored her life. Thirteen days after the surgery she said her first words: 'Good morning, I want to go home.' It is the first time a larynx and windpipe have been transplanted at the same time (image) and only the second time a larynx has ever been transplanted. In October, surgeons at the University of California Davis Medical Center removed the larynx, thyroid gland and 6cm of the trachea from a donor body. In an 18-hour operation, this was transplanted into Ms. Jensen's throat and the team connected it to her blood supply and nerves. Thirteen days later, she was able to speak her first croaky words and is now able to talk easily for long periods of time."

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Loving family. (0, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957028)


Thirteen days after the surgery she said her first words: 'Good morning, I want to go home.'

Thirteen days and 5 minutes after the surgery her husband asked: 'She'll still be able to deep-throat, right Doc?'

Re:Loving family. (1, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957158)

Actually, I pity her husband. This woman has 11 years worth of complaining she needs to catch up on!

Re:Loving family. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957758)

Complaining? After 11 years with only her thoughts to occupy herself, this woman probably rivals the meekest nerd recluse in terms of outgoing personality / speech habits. Lots of time for introspection basically counteracts shallow thought and expression.

OTOH being mute that long might do things to the brain I can't even comprehend. Would be a fun topic to research :).

And so ends (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957066)

The happiest 11 years of one man's life.

On the other side of the coin... (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957480)

...millions of married men around the world let out a collective *SIGH*

"Damn...now I'll never be able to get her to shut up...never...."

This raises questions: (2)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957070)

What does she sound like now, anyway? And what was her voice like before?

Re:This raises questions: (4, Funny)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957128)

She sounds like James Earl Jones now. The good news is she also sounded like him before.

Re:This raises questions: (1)

lmcgeoch (1298209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957884)

I wish I sounded like James Earl Jones...of course I would swap "Luke I am your father." with "hi", "hello", "good-bye", "how are you doing?" and of course "I don't know" in everyday conversation.

Re:This raises questions: (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957162)

Another question: will it work on animals?

I know we could have animals use computers to talk, but I'm curious what they'd do if they had a suitable larynx.

Re:This raises questions: (3, Interesting)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957560)

Talking needs both the suitable anatomy and the right "circuitry" (i.e. brain connection). While we may be able to implant a suitable larynx, the animal lacks the suitable brain connection for two reasons:
1) There was no evolutionary push to develop it, since there was no suitable anatomy (assuming the anatomy and neuroanatomy develop together).
2) There was no push for the brain circuits to develop in the animal's life, in the same way that a deaf person will not be able to hear properly, even with a hearing aid implantation (a cochlear implant), if he didn't hear anything in the first few years of his life.

Re:This raises questions: (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957954)

They would thank you for all the fish.

Re:This raises questions: (2)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957198)

You can hear her on the video in TFA. She sounds a bit like Yoda crossed with disguised Leia, but you can see how momentous it is for her. Really quite moving.

Oh noes! (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957090)

They can replace Adam's apples now? Now how are we gonna tell the real females from the trannies?

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957394)

the word "tr*****s" is derogatory, and assuming that there's a need to separate them is parochial

Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957446)

And still nobody gives a shit about that ...

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957488)

Don't listen to the parent... you use the "grope" technique made popular by Dundee.

Re:Oh noes! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957518)

So is "cracker" or "whitey" or "nerd" or "douche" and yet nobody gets their dick all bent out of shape for those things. Maybe these trannies just need to grow a pair of balls.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957700)

It's just like my views on homosexuals: unless you are planning on dating them, their sexual preference is irrelevant. If I'm planning on sleeping with someone, I'd argue that their genetically assigned gender IS important, and there IS a real need to separate XX from XY. I'm also surprised that nobody has yet used the obvious retort, "Well, their dick is usually a dead giveaway!" "Tranny" can be short for transvestite as well as transexual.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957948)

Chromosomes aren't relevant unless the plan is to have kids ... and even then is it common to ask your partner if she's capable of bearing children before having sex?

Re:Oh noes! (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957960)

I would suggest you look into androgen insensitivity syndrome before you think about this too much further. Short of a lab test telling XX from XY is not as simple as you are likely to think.

Re:Oh noes! (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958086)

I am fully aware that there exists a small number of people that are not easily classified as one gender or the other. In fact, that is one of my arguments against California's Proposition 8: according to a law defining marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman, are these people denied their right to marry anyone? I'd love to see a true hermaphrodite or somebody with XXY chromasomes file suite.

In parting, let me say that this was an (admittedly pathetic) attempt at a joke which has been completely ruined by over-analysis.

Re:Oh noes! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957436)

yes HILARIOUS! oh those funny trannies.

seriously people, this is 2011. yes, some people are transgendered, and guess what... they are "real" (insert sex here). and some of the m2f sound perfectly fine. get over your stereotypes dude.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957540)

yes, probably a wrong word, but still some people want to now the genetic sex of someone without being deceived, so the question is valid

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957752)

without getting into a full-on debate -- i can appreciate what you're saying -- but transgendered females are no more deceiving people than others who cannot give birth, have chromosonal defects, or other variations that humans have. there is a time and place to have this discussion with your significant other, but it's not transgendered people's duty to wear this information on their sleeve.

there are some interesting philisophical debates on this if you ever get bored.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957462)

They can replace Adam's apples now? Now how are we gonna tell the real females from the trannies?

I'm reminded of a particular scene in Crocadile Dundee where he feels up a "woman" that someone told him was really a man. That method should still work.

Re:Oh noes! (4, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957472)

"Real females" vs "trannies." How tactful.

Re:Oh noes! (0, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957564)

Good God, looking at the replies above it seems we have a full on squad of PC police monitoring SlashDot posts for anything that doesn't Honor Our Differences.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957582)

So you'd be fine with it if he had said "nigger," "raghead," or "kike"?

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957722)

(Not the OP)

If the joke was clever, then yep, I'd be ok with it. I bet the OP you responded to would be ok with it, too. I'm Native American, and I don't get pissy any time someone uses the terms redskin, injun, or squaw. It's even ok if you call me -- gasp! -- an INDIAN. Having everyone to try avoid "bad words" for the sake of political correctess is fucking stupid.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957894)

Generally, yes. However, a person up in Nazi or Klan regalia may be interpreted by some people as a credible threat of violence. Likewise, since "the n-word" was commonly used by Klansmen to address the people they were lynching, it may be interpreted by some people as a threat of violence. (Admittedly, that's a stretch.) While I firmly believe people have a right to offensive speech, I also believe they do not have a right to threatening speech. It is only due to the possibility for interpretation as a threat that the n-word should not be used by anyone in conversation.

As far as "squaw", wasn't that a word used by the American natives themselves? I never considered it particularly degrading, more like the equivalent of referring to our wives/girlfriends as "the old lady".

Re:Oh noes! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958078)

Black people call each other "nigga" too, but it's still off limits for anyone who isn't black.

If that explanation isn't good enough for you, then read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#Controversy [wikipedia.org]

It's considered derogatory by a lot of people. I remember in high school hearing a group of guys talk about how they would "love to fuck that little squaw bitch in history class." Imagine them instead saying "I'd love to fuck that little Asian bitch in history." Asian isn't a derogatory term in and of itself, but it's sure as hell meant to be one in that scenario. Same with squaw.

Of course, there are also a lot of people that just plain don't give a shit. As mentioned, I fall into that second category.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957724)

If it was a funny joke, I wouldn't care. Saying over the top offensive things is hilarious, see every funny person in the world as a reference. Then realize that as somebody who isn't attracted to men or thinks its morally wrong to have sex with men might really want to be able to tell the difference between a biological male, and somebody who thought "you know, maybe I'd like to try out life with no penis." Sure, there may be a vast portion of transgendered who put a lot of thought in to it and psychological evaluations, etc. but I'm also sure there are the type of people with poor analytical skills, poor judgment skills, and poor self image that go that way to make things easier, not because its what they are.

Maybe I'm black at heart, can I go around in black face?

Re:Oh noes! (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958032)

That's what the Real Life Experience is for. In order to qualify for surgery, according to the standards of care set forth by WPATH, a transsexual needs to live as their perceived sex for at least a year.

Considering the number who de-transition before that year is up, you're not wrong about there being some people who leap on it as a possible out when it isn't the real problem, but there still are a very large number of people for whom it works, and those people really are their perceived gender, regardless of genetics.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957848)

So you'd be fine with it if he had said "nigger," "raghead," or "kike"?

How are any of those shortened versions for proper, scientific terms which accurately describe said person?

Or are you implying that tranny != transsexual? Or are you implying people who modify their gender identity from their chromosomal base shouldn't be refered to as transsexuals?

Or would you be fine with the GP just referring to "real women" as "real XX chromosome women"?

Re:Oh noes! (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958090)

What about people whose biological sex does not match their chromosomes?

Androgen insensitivity is the most common of these syndromes, but there are others.

Re:Oh noes! (-1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957610)

You can still talk about that shit at your next klan meeting, not here.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958014)

Genuine question - what part of your ego development do you think got stunted such that you feel a need to show the world (and probably yourself) what a forward-thinking, non-biased human being you are?

I don't give a shit about race or sexual orientation either way, and I don't care about being labeled homophobic, racist, or any other *ist you care to mention. Your estimation of my quality as a human being means less than shit to me.

When people apply violence for any reason, then I care. Mel Gibson ranting racist nonsense? I don't give a shit - if he made a good movie I'd see it.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957490)

Handy-dandy XY cromossome tests I guess

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957592)

They can replace Adam's apples now? Now how are we gonna tell the real females from the trannies?

If the girls you have been sleeping with have an adams apple, then you have been sleeping with, as you put it, 'trannies'. ;) Usually they take out the adams apple, not put it in.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Reverse Engineering (1981076) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957594)

Wondering the same thing. Do they grow these parts or do people sell them? Crazy world.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957780)

1. Somebody who's a male-to-female transsexual is female. Period. Regardless of what they look like. Similarly, a female-to-male transsexual is male.
2. Most of the FtM transsexuals that I know never had a very pronounced adam's apple to begin with.
3. Some genetic females have an adam's apple. In fact, I know some genetic females with larger adam's apples than some of the transsexual females I know.
4. Surgery to get rid of the Adam's Apple has been around for years. Tracheal Shave surgery [wikipedia.org] is done on an outpatient basis.

And finally, while you're trying to be funny, it's worth pointing out that for most transsexuals I know, using the word "tranny" is akin to using a word like "nigger" to a black person. It's extremely offensive, and hurtful. You'd do well to not use it.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957994)

If they word "tranny" offensive, they should probably avoid their local transmission repair shop.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

wolfsdaughter (1081205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958084)

context baby, context

- apparently some people understand what that is, but apparently you don't

so her voice is different now? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957092)

does that mean the possibility of me getting surgery to change my voice to sound like Bruce Willis?

Re:so her voice is different now? (3, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957174)

Sure, but first you'd have to kill Bruce Willis and steal his larynx...

Re:so her voice is different now? (5, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957358)

That'll be difficult. I hear he dies hard.

Re:so her voice is different now? (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957768)

That'll be difficult. I hear he dies hard.

That will just make it difficult to close the casket.

Re:so her voice is different now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957558)

Bruce Willis? That's the best you can come up with? I'd rather go for Vin Diesel's voice, even though it would sound funny on a 5'7" small-framed person like me

Re:so her voice is different now? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957852)

Lung capacity plays a pretty big role in determining the pitch of one's comfortable speaking range. If we were indeed to give you Vin Diesel's larynx, it would come out sounding higher-pitched.

Re:so her voice is different now? (2)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957952)

But it would be really funny. I would honestly pay for that surgery

Donor body?!?! (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957126)

So that poor donor can't talk anymore?? SO cruel! How can this be legal???

Re:Donor body?!?! (3, Funny)

Trevorm7 (1082535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957242)

If the donor body was able to talk, we would have a much bigger problem to worry about...

Re:Donor body?!?! (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957422)

It probably came from a cadaver.

Why would you assume it came from a living person? Do heart transplants come from a living person? Now that person cant pump blood anymore.. SO cruel !!1!

Re:Donor body?!?! (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957570)

Whoosh, or are you just reciprocating with a joke?

Re:Donor body?!?! (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957930)

There are some people where it should be legal to stop them from talking.

Oh! (1, Offtopic)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957130)

Well, that's what I get for skimming this headline earlier!

I thought this woman had her larynx transplanted ten or so years ago, and wasn't able to use it to speak until now. Note to self: read full article more.

Re:Oh! (0)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957726)

Seriously? I got modded down for that for it being off topic? I thought that was well and good enough. Here, let me lay it out:

I heard this news this morning, and was impressed and sympathetic to this poor woman, who was unable to speak for ten years, after I had misunderstood and thought she had her larynx replaced ten years ago, but was unable to speak until just now. How awful that must have been, to have had the needed surgery and STILL be unable to speak, even more so after it was a self-inflicted injury mistakenly caused while under anesthesia!

But no, I was gladdened to see, upon reading this article that this was NOT the case, that she had not had the surgery ten years ago, but instead had it only recently, and has regained her voice in short order! She was still unable for ten years, but medical advances have given this back to her! How wonderful! This is going to mean so much for both her personally, and for the hundreds if not thousands of people worldwide who may be able to regain their ability to speak, or perhaps even speak for the first time in their lives! I can't imagine how it would be to be mute. Sure, we have sign language, and the written word, but there is something special about having a voice of your own. I value this gift, and am glad and thankful that this woman has had hers restored, and the implications of this procedure being used in the future is a wonderful thing. I feel foolish now for having performed an easily avoidable error by only skimming the news this morning and making assumptions based solely on this superficial reading. I have learned my lesson from this experience, and thus in the future will seek to remedy this mistake and prevent future misunderstandings.

Re:Oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958026)

I am sooooo tempted to mod that redundant ;)

Ebert? (2)

nebaz (453974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957138)

I wonder if Roger Ebert could be helped by something like this.

Re:Ebert? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957380)

Nothing short of a brain transplant would help that idiot.

Re:Ebert? (1)

Jakester2K (612607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957526)

To AC: Uh... nice....

To the OP: I don't think so. I believe his problem is in his mouth, not his larynx/trachea.

Human beings are closer to being an idea (3, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957172)

If every part of anyone's body can be replaced, and even completely transfigured and upgraded for various other better parts, what is a human being?

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957276)

We are basically brains attached to a bunch of replaceable parts.

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (1)

preaction (1526109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957336)

Yeah, I had to go bring my eyes in for their 20-year tune-up, and they were rooting around in my liver and noticed a bit of cirrosis causing some blockage so I'm gonna have to go back in and get that removed. Might have them take a look at my spleen while they're at it, my blood cell count has sounded a bit low recently.

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (1)

bwintx (813768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957614)

So your ears have been in your spleen? Interesting.

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957310)

A temporary pattern encoded in matter. A standing wave in a strange attractor. What the hell difference does it make? Bring on the technology, I want to live longer!

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957466)

Read Bicentennial Man for a good treatise of that concept.

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958062)

Or if you're lazy you could watch the movie by the same name. Obviously not as good or in-depth, but gives you a quick 90min overview. :)

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957802)

It's more basic then that. Every human being is made up of about 60 Trillion cells working together in a symbiotic relationship. So when breaking down the "Unit", at what level do you start addressing life? The Cell, the Human being, civilization, or the entire Biosphere?

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957870)

I know people with artificial hips, knees, and shoulders. I have an artificial focusing lens in my left eye. How does being a cyborg make any of us less human?

Re:Human beings are closer to being an idea (2)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958040)

Turk: So, dude, you don't understand. When I operate, I don't see a person, I see a machine with parts that need to be replaced and circuits that need to be rewired.
J.D.: So you think you're a robot mechanic?
Turk: As a surgeon, the more detached I am, the more focused I am. And it's pretty impossible to feel focused or detached when this guy's family's watching every move I make.
J.D.: Well, I wouldn't worry about that. Mr. Milligan only has a son and Elliot lost him.
Turk: Awesome!... For me.

Dr. Cox: It's actually a pretty sweet deal for them. After their loved ones are stripped for parts like a 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage, we treat them to some free cold cuts and a chance to hear you regurgitate some trite quotes about their family members sacrifice that you found on the Internet.

A major miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957194)

"she is now able to talk easily for long periods of time"

I suspect that for a woman, this ranks right up there with being cured of cancer...

On a more serious note... (4, Insightful)

Myji Humoz (1535565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957210)

This is a seriously amazing time to live in, as multidisciplinary medical research teams are finding ways to give patients second chances at a relatively normal life. I can't imagine not being able to speak again for the rest of my life, (seriously, try taking a vow of silence for a single day) but I'm glad that the pool of "horribly life changing events without a cure" is getting whittled down bit by bit. Kudos to the research and operations team, and best of luck to the patient.

Re:On a more serious note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957530)

I live on my own. I don't go out much. A few times over the last year I've realised I've gone a week without speaking to anyone. It's not that hard.

Re:On a more serious note... (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957658)

Yeah, every time I see one of these articles I forward to my "anti-(western)medicine" friends. You know the ones - they use words like Big Pharma and Quacks all the time, and are convinced the "Man" is keeping various life-saving herbs and natural remedies out of our hands because "there's no money in them".

I wonder which herb or tree bark fixes the physical inability to speak? Which one massively, provably brings down the death rates from breast cancer or leukemia? Which one fixes your busted ass knee or your broken arm?

Re:On a more serious note... (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957706)

None do that, but some of them can make all of that less painful or let dieing cancer patients eat. Mostly just one herb, that for some strange reason some states call medicine, the synthetic form is medicine, but the plant is as illegal as Crack on the federal level.

Re:On a more serious note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957942)

Lord knows finding a replacement ass knee of the right size is near impossible in this day, and they just don't make them like they used to. I'm glad the economics finally worked out that most places will perform the repair in house instead of swapping it out with a shitty piece of a tin, and scrapping the old part.

Re:On a more serious note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958076)

What the hell is an ass-knee?

Re:On a more serious note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958052)

seriously, try taking a vow of silence for a single day

I haven't done it, but I imagine it gets much easier with both duration and experience, similar to the initial effects of sleep deprivation or fasting.

Finally (1)

shinigami sama (1980846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957232)

Finally I can get that operation to swap out my voice box with Patrick Stewart's. Make it so!

Some amazing news! (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957240)

This gives hope to just how much we can do to damaged body parts, even reattaching nerves from a different owner to a part/organ, which obviously needs nervous system, to know when to send a command to the larynx that you want to say oh, uh, or ah.... very cool indeed! Cant wait till we are able to exchange info from a synthetic body part to organic nerve endings in order to come up with cybernetic body parts that actually do interface with the body seamlessly

Re:Some amazing news! (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957340)

That's just the beginning. The real fun begins when you start replacing inefficient, organic computing substrate - the nervous system - with a synthetic one.

Re:Some amazing news! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957682)

Yeah, hitting the science fiction books a bit too much. This isn't even in the vaguest theoretical realm of imagined possibility yet. It could be impossible (people seem to think Science can do Magic if we just give it enough time), or it could be 2000 years away (like we'll survive as a species that long).

Re:Some amazing news! (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957760)

Our species has been around a lot longer than 2000 years, no reason it won't make it that long. It should certainly not be impossible to record whatever information is a human and emulate the hardware, probably will be hundreds of years at least before we can though. We are just bio-mechanical machines.

Re:Some amazing news! (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957388)

The problem is that they haven't figure out how to keep the body from rejecting these parts without suppressing the immune system which obviously isn't a good thing in the long run. I'd think that is the bigger obstacle right now - more than the technology.

if Stephen Hawking gets this operation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957252)

... will he stop talking about neutron stars and start babbling about American Idol?

That's awesome (1, Interesting)

Nihn (1863500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957272)

It's nice to see some nice news here on slashdot...now we get to see how many days goes by before Microsoft, Google, or Time/Warner decide they own the copyright for the word and/or use of the Voice Box ©. Or maybe Apple will make it the iVoice ©. Or you can use it for a monthly fee, and comes with celebrity voice DLC so you can sound like your favorite singer....

6 Million Dollar Woman! (1)

paranoid123 (633401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957296)

So she has a new pancreas, kidney, and now voicebox and windpipe! "Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic woman. Brenda Jensen will be that woman. Better than she was before. Better...stronger...faster."

Her voice or the donor's? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957458)

How much does the voice-box lend to a person's unique speech vs. the geometry of the throat, mouth and sinuses? If she's out at the mall the donor's family hears her speak will they think the deceased has come back from the dead?

Re:Her voice or the donor's? (2)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957508)

I'd imagine it is much like a trumpet and it's mouthpiece. If you put a trumpet mouthpiece on a trombone it's probably more likely going to sound like a weird trombone than a weird trumpet.

Re:Her voice or the donor's? (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957704)

Read the article - it's mostly how the lungs pump the air, mouth, lips, tongue, etc.. form the words. voice-box has very little to do with it.

Re:Her voice or the donor's? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957840)

I read the article, believe it or not. I totally missed the side-note addressing that very question. Thank you.

its a good thing but its still creepy (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957534)

when you receive a donor liver, kidney, lung, etc. from a donor, it's invisible. but a donor's voice?

it's just so personal

you open your mouth, and out comes the voice of someone else, who is dead

creepy!

of course its still a wonderful gift, but its just a creepy wonderful gift, that's all i'm saying

Re:its a good thing but its still creepy (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957672)

Voice is impacted by far more than a larynx. Shape of mouth, the way you form your words with your tongue, lips, teeth, the shape of your sinuses and probably lots of other stuff I left out.

The voice of the dead person will not be coming out of your mouth.

Re:its a good thing but its still creepy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957830)

yes, i understand that. you have not negated my point. it's still someone else's voice. someone who knew the dead person will be able to pick it out

Re:its a good thing but its still creepy (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957886)

No they would not. For further evidence RTFA.

Re:its a good thing but its still creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958054)

He didn't negate your point for the same reason I didn't shoot a unicorn this morning.

Singers (1)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957766)

So if a [known] singer signs in to be a donor after he/she dies, can the person who "receives" the voice use it for commercial purposes?

What happened to the first one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957798)

Did she wear it out? Is she going to wear this one out, too?

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