spinal implants

Girl 1: “hey babe it’s nice to meet you!!”

Terf: “um excuse me have you had any surgeries”

Girl 1: “umm.. yes I had to get a spinal implant so-”



Some things I noticed about this lovely lady.

She boops Volskya as a playful threat because of the photo, but because it’s her signature/trademark sign-off.

The back of her suit glows around the 13th vertebra, about where her spinal implant starts. Could her enhancements be the power core for the rest of her utilities?

She has a mohawk. The hair is shaved on both sides.

Her cybernetic implants are symmetrical. Those metal components are on her right side as well as the left. 

jacey  asked:

pharmercy 69!! :3c

69. “Why the hell are you bleeding!?”

(Canon compliant, established pharmercy)

It was something that Pharah had never seen before. Because, as they had gotten back onto the transport after a successful mission, she finally noticed that Angela was trying to hide something. As she walked over, away from the rest of the team, she saw a gloved hand clamped tight over a growing dark stain on the doctor’s side. Realizing it was blood, she exclaimed, “Why the hell are you bleeding!?”

Angela shot an uncharacteristically cold glare at the taller woman and hissed, “I’m fine, Pharah. It’s going to heal.”

“Angela,” she said firmly, “sit down.” When the doctor made no move to do so, the soldier moved forward and escorted the doctor to the small on-board infirmary and pushed her to sit on the bench. She quickly removed the top portion of her own armor for added maneuverability, bare hands working nimbly at the spinal implant that connected into the Valkyrie suit.

As her fingers moved lower and lower, she could feel Angela grow more tense until she touched an unusual break in the implant and the doctor gasped, arching away from the contact. Realization dawned on Fareeha and she murmured, “It didn’t heal immediately because your implant was damaged. The nanobots aren’t getting the message.” When she pulled back to look at Angela’s face, her heart ached. The blonde woman was in tears, lower lip caught by her teeth to bite back sobs. “How can I fix it?”

“Huh?” Mercy blinked, the tears falling down her cheeks as she looked in utter bewilderment at Fareeha.

“How can I fix it? Tell me, Angela. Walk me through it,” she ordered.

It was a slow process. The Valkyrie suit had to be removed and as Fareeha worked, Angela had to concentrate through the pain to give her detailed instructions. Her voice shook, her body trembled and every time Fareeha’s hands touched her bare skin, a shudder passed through her. Finally, getting the soldier to use a quick gel to seal the repaired innards of the implant, the blonde woman sagged down against the bench, the top of her flight suit clutched to her chest. Softly, she whispered, “Thank you.”

Without hesitation, the familiarly strong, warm hands of her lover pulled her into a secure embrace. Looking over her shoulder afforded Angela a look at the woman who continued to protect her. Fareeha smiled- certain, loving, unwavering- and said, “I love you. I don’t know medicine like you do. But engineering? You can always count on me.”

“Yes, that ring you wear from graduation isn’t just for show,” Doctor Ziegler agreed with a weak laugh. As soon as the transport landed, Fareeha helped carry their discarded armor while Angela walked beside her.

They were home, they were safe, and they were together.

anonymous asked:

Perhaps gency #20? (Apologies for the double ask, I sent the last one before I was finished typing haha)

Let’s do some Pre-Fall of Overwatch featuring Genji-who-is-angry-and-has-not-yet-undergone-character-development featuring Young!McCree-who-still-has-both-arms!

Genji folded his arms in the front seat of the car as McCree frowned over the engine. He couldn’t really tell what he was doing to the engine with the hood up, but Genji figured McCree knew what he was doing more than he would. Mercy sat in the driver’s seat looking over a map and he realized he had never seen her in civilian clothes or out of a labcoat or scrubs before. Reyes and Morrison’s instructions were for them to keep a low profile, which Genji couldn’t really do in a cybernetic exoskeleton. They were mostly running on the hope that people would simply take him for an omnic. 

“This is a waste of time,” muttered Genji.

Mercy glanced up from the map. “You keep going on about taking the fight to the Shimada clan,” she said, raising an eyebrow. 

“It would be better to strike at the heart,” he said, looking out the window at the desert, “The Shimada clan conducts many weapons and drug deals with numerous criminal organizations around the world. It conducts these deals in order to keep them in line. One petty motorcycle gang—”

“Deadlock ain’t just one petty motorcycle gang,” said McCree from outside the car, “It’s an organization with an iron grip on the whole southwest, and it’s lookin’ to expand. It might just be the Shimada clan’s way of keeping them in line, but this weapons deal goes through and we’re all in a helluva lot more trouble,” he tweaked at something under the car’s hood. “All right, try turning it over.”

Mercy turned the key and the car rumbled to life. McCree shut the hood and threw his hands up, “Hallelujah,” he said with a grin as he made his way around the car again, “Scoot das boot, Doc. My turn to drive.”

“You do realize you’ve just said ‘Scoot the boat,’ right?” said Mercy, still looking at the map, “And it’s not my fault your car broke down.”

“I realize this is a joint Blackwatch-Overwatch operation, which means yours truly’s in charge,” said McCree, thrusting a thumb at his chest with a grin before putting his hands on his hips, “Now come on, scooch.”

Keep reading

headcannon dump:

As Fareeha cooks, Mercy does dishes and simple tasks as assigned. 

Mercy cleans the bathroom and living room meticulously but her office is a mess. She wants to make sure Fareeha has something clean and peaceful to come home to, she doesn’t actually care if the house is clean for herself. 

Fareeha walks the dogs, but Angela scoops the litter box. 

Ana comes over at least once a month so they can make dinner together. She always ends up talking with Angela more but Fareeha sits and chimes in with personal stories when she feels needful. She’s happy to have the women in her life safe and happy for a moment: 

Angela talks too much when she’s nervous or upset, Fareeha is nonverbal in the same situation. 

They both curse, Angela indiscriminately mixing French, German, as English. Her English curses are actually just stand in words like frick. Fareeha curses in every language she knows, she loves the word fuck but uses curses more sparingly. 

Fareeha is a quadruple amputee. At each base of her limbs she has implants that either plug into prosthetics or the raptora. 

Mercy has a spinal implant allowing her to move and heal as she does. It’s exactly the one in her Valkyrie suit. 

Angela’s experiments and trauma have warped her sense of life and death as well as ethics and reality. She sometimes asks Fareeha to make sure if something is right or wrong or real or fake. Even littler thins like brushing her teeth is sometimes outside of reality if she’s having a bad dissociation episode. 

Fareehas ptsd is severe; she frequently wakes up screaming or sleepwalks or has horrific night terrors. Mercy took masters level classes in psychology specifically relating to trauma so she could better help. Most of the time though all Fareeha wants is to cry and be held and taken care of until it passes. 

Fareeha signed a DNR. No extraordinary measures. 

Angela used to date Genji. After his resurrection they weren’t able to look at eachother the same way. That love was one of summer and giggling and puns.It was what Angela needed then. After some urging from Zenyatta, Genji and Angie reconcile and become close friends.  

Fareeha boxes and rides a motorcycle and draws. Angela knits and likes coloring. Sometimes Fareeha will let her color whatever doodles she’s made. 

Mercy can’t drive. 

Fareeha couldn’t snap her fingers before the amputation. Her doctors programmed a snapping sound into her prosthetics. 

Fareeha knows more about world history and archeology and anthropology than Angela. Angela knows more about chemistry and biology and medicine. 

So this is a headcanon that I’ve kind of been playing with for awhile, and finally decided to go ahead with. I’m putting it down that Zaeed, as I play him, has a full spinal implant - an idea that came from taking a look at his armor, which is pretty unique within Mass Effect. Example:

Notice the way it’s shaped over the spine? This design choice isn’t totally absent from other Mass Effect armor, but usually, this part of the back piece is made of flat, shifting plates that lay over the spine, rather than these ones that seem to curl around the actual bone and push inward into the back. An example of the norm:

See the difference? Hence my theory that that spine-like protrusion actually is Zaeed’s spine, a cybernetic replacement, presumably with a much higher capacity to absorb shock and endure damage. Given that this is a man who has canonically fought Krogan with nothing but a combat knife, I wouldn’t be shocked if his original spine took a hell of a beating, and the replacement was intended as a means to stave off mandatory retirement for a few more decades, if possible. 

Zaeed’s implant actually protrudes visibly from his back, as it’s a far less advanced and streamlined design than what Cerberus was presumably able to cook up for Shepard with all the money at their disposal. The glowing area you see at the base of Zaeed’s spine is light shining through from a conduit actually implanted above his tailbone, where a backup power cell can be inserted, as can a specialized plug in order to perform calibrations, take readings, or make repairs - but the majority of the power the implant requires comes from Zaeed’s own bioelectricity. The visibly metal vertebrae disappear under his skin right between his shoulder blades, although the vertebrae of the neck are tangibly too rigid to be bone. 

He gets back-aches frequently, particularly in very cold weather, but his spine is essentially unbreakable, making him by extension nearly impossible to paralyze, and that’s just fine by him. 

anonymous asked:

Hello, lovely human being!~ I hope you've had a wonderful day so far, surrounded by warmth and love from the people who are important in your life. :) Anyway, I really like Overwatch a lot, and I enjoy hearing people's favourite head canons about it. Care to share some? I'm sure they're quite nice. x)

Woah, this is really sweet hahaha. Sorry this too me a bit to answer. I had to think on it heh. I can only think of Pharmercy or individually Mercy or Pharah ones (to name only a few) so here we goooo: 

- Overwatch recruitment (Jack or Ana or idk) went to the hospital she was working in in Zurich to meet this medical prodigy to hopefully recruit her. With the help of other nurses who had their suspicions where to find her since she wasn’t doing rounds or anything… they definitely found her napping in a closet or slumped at her desk when she was supposed to be doing work (she hasn’t actually gone home or had a break in god knows how long.) Imagining her waking up with a start and getting super flustered and embarrassed getting caught napping by OW officials as a first impression.
- Reinhardt is sort of like a father figure to Angela. Sometimes they have a quiet drink late at night together and just talk (lots of the time in German) about.. stuff? Life, missions, reminiscing etc.
- He calls her Little Bird, always has since early Overwatch days. Still does even now when shes in her late 30’s.
- I love the idea of her having spinal implants to control her wings, you have no idea!
- She’s not much of a cook (that’s even if she gets out of her office)
- Is n o t a morning person.

- Is a morning person thanks to military body clock. She goes running
- Fareeha has a god-awful sense of direction (made a post on that)
- Her & Hana have developed a close bond. On  & off the battlefield. She has a tremendous amount of respect for Fareeha (as Fareeha does for Hana) as a soldier but will still shit stir each other around the base. I love the idea of fareeha being a big sister and mentor figure to Hana, sparring & training together etc.
- The classic Fareeha having a stoic & level head personality but is also a big pun-loving dork & goofball with those she’s comfortable with.
- I head cannon her as not much of a drinker, if at all. Maybe in her younger days.
- She’s totally the best candidate to be Strike Commander!!

- I love love prosthetics!Pharah. To summarise, I had a thought of maybe Fareeha telling Angela as a young adult she was gonna join the Military. Angela makes Fareeha promise to contact her if there’s ever an emergency, she’ll be there asap. This puts Ana’s mind slightly at ease. Years and years later (after Ana’s ‘death’), Angela gets a call. Fareeha is in critical after a failed mission. She drops everything and flies to Egypt. Fareeha has lost at least an arm and a leg amongst other injuries. With Fareeha’s consent, The HSI medic team figured it was best to let Mercy handle the prosthetics operation and rehabilitation (she insisted as well), as well as counselling for the rougher moments in the process when she needs a shoulder or has trouble coping. They spend a lot of the recovery time catching up on each others lives and reminiscing about old times. They grow close really fast. really close. Angela has to inevitably leave eventually. But the recall happens soon enough. 

 - Fareeha, Angela & Jessie are all bros. Thick as thieves since early OW days. (Fareeha and Jesse have always been brotp, Angela took some warming up to Jesse but they’ve been tight ever since). I like to imagine them as the next generation trio of Ana/Jack/Gabe

 - Rein now calls them both little birds :’)

Just a few of my personal head cannons. Thanks for reading :) 

Arrow Fic: I Have Been Quietly Standing in the Shade

4x15 Olicity spec. What happens when Felicity finds out.

“She stays until they get William back, of course she does. Before anything else, she’s his partner.”

Title from “All My Days” by Alexi Murdoch.

I Have Been Quietly Standing in the Shade (AO3)

It lands somewhere between ironic and tragic, that one of the first things she does when she can stand again, is walk out on him.

She stays until they get William back, of course she does. Before anything else, she’s his partner. Their team works day and night to keep Samantha safe and bring Oliver’s son home unharmed, and Felicity shoves everything else – the whirlwind of emotions, every little tragic detail – into tiny little boxes in her mind. That’s what heroes do. That’s how they save the world when everything’s falling apart.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hello there! I have a request, but first please excuse my bad english its not my first language.. Would you mind writting about Genji getting used to his new body after the recent procedure to bring him back to life and his s/o helping him through it (she/he could be a doctor or maybe an assistant, whatever you feel like it). Thanks! Love ur blog

/) ////W//// (\ Oh gosh thank you!! Of course I can write that for you!!

I hope this is what you were asking for!!

Anxiety game is taken from this post

You heard the heart monitor for Shimada Genji jump before his strangled voice reached you down the hall. You grabbed the clipboard labeled with his name and hurried down the hall, shouting behind you to the H.U.C. that you needed another nurse and to page Dr. Ziegler. You slowed as your rounded the doorway and stepped into his room. Dr. Ziegler had made sure he was hooked up to the right machines to keep the nanobots in his body from attacking the remaining organic material while his body got used to the new cyborg parts of him. The rest were the basics of medical care.

Genji turned his gaze to you, chest rising and falling in panicked pants beneath a series of wires and carefully placed metal plates. His face was scarred and pale, pieces of long hair sticking to his sweaty skin. The green was faded at the ends where it had once been dyed and the revealing dark brown roots showed just how long he had been in the hospital. Almost five inches. He rasped out very harsh Japanese, and you frowned, shaking your head. It was one language you had yet to learn. He dropped his head back against the stained pillow, breaths coming even faster.

You walked over and set the clipboard on the nightstand. You softly introduced yourself, first in Swedish, then in English. His eyes darted to yours. “You know English?” you asked quietly. You took his wrist between your fingers, rubbing slow circles against his pulse. You sank into the chair next to the bed, one that had been empty since he arrived. He followed your movements. He was panting now. “Let’s play a game,” you whispered.

“What?” he choked out.

You continued to rub circles against his wrist. “Indulge me,” you said, “Tell me five things you see.”

His pulse jumped under your fingers. You slowed them, drawing a wider circle, careful of the bandages on his arm. You watched him swallow. “Television,” he said slowly. His accent was thick. “Door. Window. Curtains. Chair.”

“Good,” you said with a smile. You tilted your head closer, your voice softer. He swallowed again, watching you. “Four things you can touch,” you whispered.

His wrist flexed as he reached out with his fingers. He laughed faintly, a small, strained sound. You assumed it was because he couldn’t feel anything with his opposite hand. “Sheets,” he said. His voice had jumped several octaves. “Bed. Call button.” He looked up at the ceiling and then to you. “Doctor.”

“I’m not a thing,” you said teasingly, “But I’ll take it.” You tugged the chair closer until you could comfortably lean on his bed. “Three things you can hear,” you said slowly. You laced your fingers through his and he gripped your hand as tight as he could.

“Heart monitor,” he stuttered, “Your voice.” His pitch dropped. He made a sound of hesitation. “Nurses,” he finally said.

You nodded. “Two things you can smell,” you prompted.

“Clean,” he barked out. You smiled and squeezed his hand. His fingers relaxed. You kept his gaze, noticing the bandage on his arm turning red in your peripheral. He sniffed. “Perfume? I think. It’s sweet.”

“Must be my shampoo,” you said softly, “I don’t wear perfume.”

“It’s nice,” he slurred. You glanced up at the observation window across from you. Dr. Ziegler hovered just out of sight, holopad in hand. You could barely see her finger sliding up on a display of pain medications. Shimada, Genji was printed across the top.

“One thing you can taste,” you said. Your voice rose in volume so he could hear you.

He shifted against the pillows, eyes squeezing shut in pain. “Copper,” he answered. You squeezed his hand again. Your free fingers found his pulse again. It had slowed.

“What is your name?” you asked carefully.

He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. “Genji,” he answered after a long moment. He swallowed hard. You stood. His hand clamped around yours. “Don’t leave,” he rasped. You slowly sat back down. “What happened to me?”

You frowned. “I can’t answer that. I don’t know. All I know is you arrived in our care. Dr. Ziegler took you as her patient without question. She wanted to help you,” you replied. You cleared your throat. “I can tell you the condition you’re in right now. If you’re ready for that. If not, I can let you rest,” you said softly.

He took in a deep breath and closed his eyes. He didn’t open them back up. His heart rate slowed to the steady rhythm of sleep. You stood and quietly left the room.

You didn’t return for almost three weeks. In that time, Genji was gaining his strength and learning of his condition from Dr. Ziegler. He had asked for you and numerous occasions but you had declined. You weren’t his primary doctor, and the complexity of his condition left one Dr. Ziegler to answer all of his questions. However, when you heard that he was making his first trip to physical therapy, you offered your time. You arrived in the gymnasium to see Dr. Zielger pushing Genji and his wheelchair in through another door.

You smiled. “It has been a while,” you said slowly, stumbling your way through choppy Japanese. Genji grinned. You shrugged. “I thought I would try to learn. Thought maybe it would be more comfortable for you,” you added in English.

He tilted his head. “English is not difficult,” he said.

“Would you like to take over his physical therapy, doctor?” Angela asked. You nodded and crossed the room. She stepped away from Genji. “His condition has left him without the use of his limbs. A blood clot took his other hand. He is learning to operate his new artificial limbs with the use of a spinal implant,” she explained softly. She held out his chart. “Since you’ve been asked for multiple times, I asked him if he would be okay with having you as another of his doctors. He agreed.” You took the chart gently, giving her a gentle smile. You turned to Genji. “I’ll still be observing,” Angela stated. You nodded.

Genji turned his face towards you. “So you’re gonna help me with this?” he asked you.

“Course I am,” you said. You flipped through his chart carefully. “What progress have you made?” you asked him. Genji made a sound. His arms slid off the wheelchair and hung by the wheels. Slowly, he gripped them and rolled the chair forward. “That’s great!” you exclaimed.

“It isn’t much,” he said. He took a deep breath. You could hear something rattle in his chest. “Dr. Ziegler says much of my body has been replaced. One of my lungs. My ribs have been rebuilt. A valve in my heart. My liver and a kidney. My arms, obviously, and my legs,” he swallowed hard, “And the rest of my body has been riddled with nanobots that have been strengthening my muscles and what remains of my organs.” He gave you a wry smile.

You hugged the chart to your chest and bent at the waist, brushing the hair from his forehead. “Look, Genji? May I call you that?” you asked. He nodded to you slowly. The smile faded. “I’m here to help you. Okay? It’s my job, yes, but I’m also your friend. I’ll stay with you until you feel you don’t need me anymore. Got it?” you said.

He stared at you for a long time. Then, he smiled sadly. “Got it.”

anonymous asked:

Angela isn't a morning person, so Fareeha is the first one up to make coffee so that when she finally stumbles out of bed, she can get coffee right away

This goes on for months until Angela realizes she’s being lazy and putting too much work on her already busy lover so she tries for weeks to wake up before Fareeha and make her breakfast, oil her prosthetics, make her tea, or do literally anything but she absolutely cannot wake up in time.
Fareeha keeps checking when Angela’s alarm is set and wakes up even earlier. Sometimes even getting back in bed after making the coffee to convince Angie she had won. Somehow Fareeha always manages to look effortlessly awake and beautiful no matter the hour. Her lover on the other hand has bags under her eyes and drool spots on the corner of her lips.
Angela is not one to be outdone so she uses Fareehas prosthetics, with their built in vitals monitoring, to predict the exact time Fareeha was going to wake and then signal her own spinal implants to wake her 15 minutes prior. She sprints down the flat stairs overwhelmed with her victory.. only to realize the coffee maker was on a timer with a sticky note that says “sometimes you have to let me support you xoxo -Fareeha”

Harry Paul from New York was born with congenital scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that forced him to endure more than a dozen operations growing up. That’s why starting in his freshman year of high school, he worked to research a new type of spinal implant that can grow along with a child so that it doesn’t have to be constantly replaced or adjusted with surgery.

‘Cyborg’ spinal implant could help paralysed walk again

Paralysed patients have been given new hope of recovery after rats with severe spinal injuries walked again through a ‘groundbreaking’ new cyborg-style implant.
In technology which could have come straight out of a science fiction novel or Hollwood movie, French scientists have created a thin prosthetic ribbon, embedded with electrodes, which lies along the spinal cord and delivers electrical impulses and drugs.
The prosthetic, described by British experts as ‘quite remarkable’, is soft enough to bend with tissue surrounding the backbone to avoid discomfort.
Paralysed rats who were fitted with the implant were able to walk on their own again after just a few weeks of training.
Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are hoping to move to clinical trials in humans soon. They believe that a device could last 10 years in humans before needing to be replaced.
The implant, called ‘e-Dura’, is so effective because it mimics the soft tissue around the spine – known as the dura mater – so that the body does not reject its presence.
“Our e-Dura implant can remain for a long period of time on the spinal cord or cortex,” said Professor Stéphanie Lacour.


It all seemed surreal. Annya was being led in heavy cuffs, surrounded by what she felt like children, through a spansive and overbearing ship. Hall after hall, up and down elevators they went. She remembered the route in her mind as every tiny misstep resulted in a strong zap to the spinal implant in her back. She held her head high and glanced at the faces staring at her as she was led by three rows of IVs to the brig. One face almost passed by, but it brought back memories. She wanted to stop, but couldn’t. She wanted to go back, to see that particular face once again.

Reuters FYI: News you may have missed

The science behind paralysis treatment has taken a major step forward.

A new spinal implant was shown to reverse paralysis in rats, and researchers say the development could soon extend to humans. Click here to watch the video (it’s worth it, even if it’s just to watch a rat walk on his hind legs).

And read on for more news you may have missed:


A Reuters exclusive finds that BlackBerry may soon adopt Android software for its new smartphone.

True story – this is no phallusy

The world’s first-ever recipient of a successful penis transplant has impregnated his girlfriend.

Video: It took a massive, awkward FIFA scandal but…

Advertisers are embracing women’s soccer, everyone!

Gallery: Sandcastle mad. Sandcastle smash.

This Hulk sandsculpture is one of several impressive beach creations featured at a recent festival in Belgium.

  • me: wow, what a long and exhausting day! i think i'll just lay down in this warm, comfy bed and sleep -
  • my brain: do you think the spinal implants we see in darth vader's neck at the end of ROTJ were necessary because the weight of the suit or the design of the shoulder armor screwed with his spine? in order for the control panel to function it would have had to be wired directly into him, so what happened if a battle wound screwed with the wiring - did it all have to be replaced? does having heavy, metal organs mean that he can't lay in specific positions or they'll press into what little organic and fragile organs he has left? wouldn't artficial organs made of metal cause some form of internal bruising/bleeding? does he stand and sit so stiffly because bending his torso means a slow and painful death? are vader's muscles utterly destroyed from not being able to bend, at all, ever? in order to -
  • my brain, ten minutes later: .... how does he yawn? can he sneeze? do you think

@BarackObama remarks at White House Science Fair transcript):  Hello, everybody! Hello, hello!  Thank you.  Everybody have a seat.  Thank you.  Hello, scientists.  (Laughter.) So this has got to be the most fun event of the year.  (Laughter.)  At least in the top three.  And before I go any further, though, I need to lay down some rules.  We had to put these in place based on the previous science fairs.  First of all, no taking your robots or electric go-karts for a spin on the South Lawn.  (Laughter.)  You can’t do that.  Rule number two, if you’re going to explode something, you have to warn us first.  (Laughter.)  Actually, just don’t explode anything.  (Laughter.) Number three, no using a marshmallow air cannon in the house – (laughter) – unless you let me shoot it first.  (Laughter.)   This is our fifth White House Science Fair.  And every year, I walk out smarter than I walked in, because these young people have something to teach all of us – not just about batteries, or attacking cancer cells, or how to build a working robot or a rocket.  I will say, though, the robots I see keep getting smarter every year.  We are keeping an eye on that, by the way.  (Laughter.)  You’re on notice, Skynet.But these young scientists and engineers teach us something beyond the specific topics that they’re exploring.  They teach us how to question assumptions; to wonder why something is the way it is, and how we can make it better.  And they remind us that there’s always something more to learn, and to try, and to discover, and to imagine – and that it’s never too early, or too late to create or discover something new. That’s why we love science.  It’s more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves.  It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world, and to share this accumulated knowledge.  It’s a mindset that says we that can use reason and logic and honest inquiry to reach new conclusions and solve big problems.  And that’s what we are celebrating here today with these amazing young people.  Now, first of all, I’m going to announce the people who are not that young – although some of them are youngish.  We’re joined by some of America’s top scientists and engineers – starting with my Science Advisor, John Holdren.  (Applause.)  Yay, John.  The Director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins is here.  (Applause.)  The head of our Patent and Trademark Office – so, young people, if you’ve got something fancy, talk to Michelle Lee right here.  (Applause.)  She’s ready to sign you up.  The Acting Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Suzette Kimball is here.  (Applause.)  And somebody who has one of the coolest jobs in town, the head of NASA, Charles Bolden is here.  (Applause.)  Where’s Charlie?  If there are any aspiring astronauts here, he’s the man to impress.  He’s been in space himself. We also have some outstanding guests who are here who’ve been participating in this on an ongoing basis.  Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is here.  (Applause.)  Signature bowtie.  So is Rush Holt, who’s one of the few scientists to serve in Congress.  We could probably use some more.  (Applause.)  There you go.  Rush is now the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  And just so you knew that athletes think science is cool, too, we’ve got Victor Cruz of the New York Giants here.  (Applause.)  He is a big fan of science.  And he has to be – as all-pro wide receiver, he’s got to figure out trajectories and angles and velocities and the physics of doing the salsa.  (Laughter.)  For those of you who don’t know, he does a salsa every time he gets a touchdown, and he gets a lot of them.  (Laughter.)     Now, Victor has been here before to celebrate the New York Giants winning the Super Bowl.  But as I’ve said many times before, we’ve got to celebrate the winners of our science fairs as much as we celebrate the winners of football or basketball or other athletic competitions, because young scientists, mathematicians, engineers, they’re critical to our future.  You guys are the ones who are going to define the contours of the 21st century.And I just had a chance to meet some of these young people.  And I fired a lot of questions at them, and they know their stuff.  It is unbelievable what so many of these young people have accomplished at such an early age.  And I wish I could talk about every single one of them because all of them were extraordinarily impressive.  But I want to leave enough time for everybody else to explore some of their exhibits.  John Holdren probably wants me to get some of their résumés in case we’re hiring.  But let me just mention a few of the young people that I had a chance to talk to, to give you a sense of the scope and depth and quality of the work that they’re doing. So, first of all, we’ve got Sophia Sánchez-Maes who’s here from Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Where’s Sophia?  I just talked to her.  Did she get in?  There she is, right there.  (Applause.)  Sophia is a senior in high school and she is crazy about algae.  (Laughter.)  Now, to the non-science buffs here, you might say, what’s so great about algae?  But Sophia knows that algae is fascinating, especially as a potential fuel source. So scientists are already working to turn algae into fuel.  One of the hurdles is to make the process more efficient so less energy gets wasted along the way.  Sophia saw that was a challenge.  She asked why.  She has created a more efficient method.  She’s identified optimal algae to use in her method, and she’s helping to bring the world closer to using algae as a clean, renewable, and even inexhaustible energy source.  And it’s already being tested in her hometown, the process that she’s developing.  It is amazing.  So let’s give Sophia a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Harry Paul is here from Port Washington, New York.  Where’s Harry?  There’s Harry, right here.  (Applause.)  So Harry graduated and is now in his first year at Tufts.  But listen to this story, because I think it gives you a sense of the quality of the young people we’ve got here.  Harry was born with a condition called congenital scoliosis – a curvature of the spine.  So, growing up, Harry endured more than a dozen operations.  Rather than feel sorry for himself, he thought there’s got to be a better way of doing this.  So he designed a new type of spinal implant. Starting in his freshman year in high school, he started researching the processes that he himself had gone through – his doctor was an expert on this – and he decided, let’s see if I can come up with something better, an implant that can grow along with the growing child so it doesn’t have to be constantly replaced or adjusted, which means you don’t need as many intrusive operations.  And Harry’s implant could reduce the number of surgeries that a child may need for more than a dozen to as few as five, which obviously would cut down medical costs, but more importantly, would save a lot of young people pain and time out from school and recovery time, and the potential complications of an operation. Unbelievable stuff.  Give Harry a big round of applause.  (Applause.)So Nikhil Behari is here from Pennsylvania.  Where’s Nikhil. There’s Nikhil.  (Applause.)  He’s a freshman – right? – in high school, interested in how we can better protect ourselves against hackers and data thieves online.  So scientists are already using biometrics to prove that each of us walk in our own distinct ways.  And Nikhil wondered, what if we each type in a distinct ways?  So he collected all kinds of data about how a person types – their speed, how often they pause, how much pressure they use; built a special keyboard to test it.  And he proved that his hypothesis was correct – that even if somebody knows your password, they don’t necessarily punch it in exactly the way you do. And he asked why – and made discoveries that now could help keep our online accounts more secure.  So in the future, if keystroke-based authentication keeps your siblings from breaking into your Facebook account or your Instagram account, you will know who to thank.  (Laughter.)  It will be Nikhil.  Congratulations.  (Applause.) So those three are just samples of the extraordinary scientists that we’ve already – and engineers – that we’ve already got here. I should give special mention to our Girl Scouts from Oklahoma. Where are those Super Girls?  (Applause.)  They’re standing up, but you can’t really see them – (laughter) – because they’re in kindergarten and first grade.  They are today’s youngest scientists at six years old.  They built their device out of Legos.  They realized that some people who might be paralyzed or arthritic might have trouble turning pages on a book so they invented this page turner.  It was awesome.  It was working so well, despite the fact, as they pointed out – this is a quote, they said, “This is just a prototype.”  (Laughter.)  That’s what they said.  I said, well, how’d you come up with the idea?  They said, well, we had a brainstorming session.  (Laughter.)  And then one of them asked, “Mr. President, have you had brainstorming sessions?”  (Laughter.)  I said, yes, but I didn’t come up with something as cool as this – (laughter) – an automatic page turner.  Unbelievable.Ruchi Pandya – where’s Ruchi?  There’s Ruchi.  (Applause.) Found a way to use a single drop of blood to test a person’s heart function, much like a person with diabetes tests their blood sugar.Anvita Gupta – where’s Anvita?  There she is.  (Applause.) Used artificial intelligence and biochemistry to identify potential treatments for cancer, tuberculosis, Ebola.  What she’s done is she’s developed an algorithm that could potentially significantly speed up the process of finding drugs that might work against these diseases.Something smells like it’s burning there – and I don’t think it’s an experiment.  (Laughter.)  I think it’s somebody’s camera.  Do we have it under control?  We don’t see any flames bursting.  Yes?  All right.  Okay, it sounds like a little electrical short, but let’s keep monitoring that.  (Laughter.)  Exits will be – (laughter) – in that direction, should anything happen.  The last time there was a fire here, the British were invading.  (Laughter.) But Anvita’s algorithm has the potential of speeding up pathways to discovering what drugs would work on what diseases, and is consistent with some of the work that we announced around precision medicine that we are funding at a significant pace here at the White House.Now, I should point out that, like several of the young people here, Anvita and Ruchi are first-generation Americans.  Their parents came here, in part, so their kids could develop their talents and make a difference in the world.  And we’re really glad they did.So I want to congratulate all of you for your remarkable achievements.  You’ve made a lot of people proud – your parents, your teachers, your friends, your mentors.  And as President, I’m proud of you, because America is going to be stronger and smarter and healthier, and a much more interesting place because of you. But it’s not enough for our country just to be proud of you. We’ve also got to support you.  We’ve got to make sure that young people like you are going to keep on having what you need to discover and experiment and to innovate.  So I’ve got three announcements to make that really were already kind of in the works before I met you guys, but it’s a pretty good occasion to announce them because you’re so inspiring.First – four years ago, I set a national goal to provide 98 percent of Americans with high-speed wireless Internet so that any young scientist or entrepreneur could access the world’s information.  Today, I can announce that we have achieved that goal, and we did it ahead of schedule.  (Applause.)  That’s a big deal.Second, to make sure that we keep expanding broadband across the country, I’m creating a new team called the Broadband Opportunity Council, made up of leaders across government, who will work with business and communities to invest in next-generation Internet nationwide.  Because this not just going to be a key for your ability to learn and create; it’s also a key for America’s ability to compete and lead in the world. Number three – no young person in America should miss out on the chance to excel in these fields just because they don’t have the resources.  So, five years ago, we launched a campaign called “Educate to Innovate,” to help more of our students explore science, technology, engineering and math.  Today, I’m pleased to announce $240 million in new contributions from businesses, from schools, from foundations across the country to help kids learn in these STEM fields.  So we are very, very proud to make that announcement.  (Applause.)Corporations have pledged to help expand high-quality science and technology education to more than 1.5 million students.  More than 120 universities have pledged to help train 20,000 new engineers to tackle the toughest challenges of this century.  Foundations like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Gates Foundation, and the Simons Foundation, will support scientists early in their careers with mentoring and funding.   And, all told, these new commitments bring our grand total up to $1 billion in commitments to our kids since we first got this initiative started five years ago.And I was talking to some of the folks who are helping to finance our efforts, and one of the things that they’ve discovered is that it’s not enough just to talk about STEM.  Part of what’s important to do is also to recognize that what you do in math and engineering and science has a purpose to it; that there are huge challenges that we have to solve in how we have clean energy, and how to we clean up our environment, and how do we solve crippling diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.  And when we give students the inspiration not just that math and science are inherently interesting, and technology and engineering are inherently interesting, but there’s actual problems to solve, it turns out that young people, they rise to the challenge.  And that’s what’s so exciting about it.We don’t want to just increase the number of American students in STEM.  We want to make sure everybody is involved.  We want to increase the diversity of STEM programs, as well.  And that’s been a theme of this science fair.  We get the most out of all our nation’s talent – and that means reaching out to boys and girls, men and women of all races and all backgrounds. Science is for all of us.  And we want our classrooms and labs and workplaces and media to reflect that.And this is something that Megan Smith, our Chief Technology Officer, is really keen about.  Part of the problem is we don’t tell the stories enough of the incredible scientists and inventors along the way who are women, or people of color, and as a consequence, people don’t see themselves as potential scientists.  Except the good news is these young women and African American and Latino and Asian American folks, young people who are here today – you guys certainly see yourselves as scientists.  So you’re helping to inspire your classmates and kids who are coming up behind you to pursue these dreams as well. And that’s what’s so exciting. Because the United States has always been a place that loves science.  We’ve always been obsessed with tinkering and discovering and inventing and pushing the very boundaries of what’s possible.  That’s who we are.  It’s in our DNA. Technological discovery helped us become the world’s greatest economic power.  Scientific and medical breakthroughs helped us become the greatest source of hope around the world.  And that’s not just our past, that’s also our future, because of amazing young people like this. So I want to thank you for inspiring me.  You got me off to a good start today.  Keep exploring.  Keep dreaming.  Keep asking why.  Don’t settle for what you already know.  Never stop believing in the power of your ideas, your imagination, your hard work to change the world.  And to all the adults in the room, and to any members of Congress who might be listening, just think about all – oh, Eddie Bernice Johnson is here, an outstanding member of Congress, who’s a big support of STEM education.  Just remember, all these young people – to continue to pursue the research that might bring about a new clean energy source, or might cure a disease, a lot of them are going to need the capacity to get research positions and fellowships and grants.  And that, particularly when it comes to basic research, has typically been funded by the federal government.  And my federal budget promotes a significant increase in the kinds of research that needs to happen.  Unfortunately, some of the budgets coming out of Congress don’t make those same commitments. So it’s not enough for us to just lift up young people and say, great job, way to go.  You also have to have labs to go to, and you’ve got to be able to support yourself while you’re doing this amazing research.  And that involves us as a society making the kind of investments that are going to be necessary for us to continue to innovate for many, many years to come.So, congratulations.  Give all these young people a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Go take a look at their outstanding stuff.  It’s really great.  (Applause.)