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I Wish There Were...

illustration of researchers in brain
Nathan Hackett
By K.T. Ramesh
Mechanical Engineer Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering
I Wish There Were...
a device that provides a detailed, 3-D scan of every person's head down to the neuron, so I could create a virtual model of the current state of an individual's head. The virtual head could then be used to simulate what happened to that person in the event of an injury.

In a world of car accidents and high-impact sports and jobs like law enforcement, nonfatal injuries have skyrocketed. "People are getting injured on a more frequent basis," says K.T. Ramesh. 

Ramesh imagines a future where everyone has a digital head twin that can be a model for pinpointing the location of an injury and providing insight on treatment. “I focus on the head,” he says, “because damage there is often difficult to diagnose.” Your digital head would catalog the current state of your brain to the finest detail. If you came to the ER after a car crash, for instance, Ramesh could run simulations on your virtual brain and tell the attending physician what might have happened and how best to treat it.