Stephen Hawking may lose famous voice as facial muscles deteriorate

   Jan 6, 11:07 am

London, Jan 6 (ANI): Professor Stephen Hawking may lose his distinctive computerised voice as deteriorating facial muscles have slowed down his ability to speak to one word per minute, according to aides.

The world's most famous physicist uses technology operated by twitching his cheek to painstakingly write words on a computer.

A tiny infrared sensor on his glasses detects his cheek pulses, and then selects words displayed on a linked-up computer screen. The chosen words are then spoken by a voice synthesiser.

When the 69-year-old theoretical physicist and cosmologist started using the system, he could write 15 words a minute but the motor neurone disease that has left him wheelchair-bound for more than 40 years is advancing, meaning he is often unable to compose more than a couple of paragraphs of text in an hour.

Although faster means of communicating may be available, the Cambridge University academic is concerned he could lose the electronic voice he has had for a quarter of a century.

"His speech has got slower and slower and on a bad day he can only manage about one word a minute," the Daily Mail quoted Judith Croasdell, his personal assistant as saying.

"We think it may be because of the deterioration in his cheek muscle. We are looking to improve the situation and he needs to test out new technology," Croasdell said.

Hawking, the best-selling author of 'A Brief History of Time', caught pneumonia in 1985 and needed a tracheotomy that left him unable to speak. (ANI)

World's ocean species up to 9 times likelier to become extinct than previously thought Jan 31, 1:24 pm
London, Jan. 31 (ANI): A new study has recently revealed that world's marine species are up to nine times likelier to become extinct than formerly thought.
Full Story
Here's how mild reduction in food intake can protect against cerebral malaria Jan 31, 12:17 pm
Washington, Jan 31 (ANI): A team of scientists has identified two molecular pathways that can lead to new therapeutic targets for cerebral malaria and also, discovered a novel link between food intake during the early stages of infection and the outcome of the disease.
Full Story
Scientists recant Big Bang gravitational wave theory Jan 31, 12:01 pm
London, Jan. 31 (ANI): A new analysis has dynamited a much-hyped discovery of primordial "gravitational waves" from the dawn of time.
Full Story
New 'Biological clock' find may help to 'extend' healthy human lifespan Jan 31, 11:34 am
Washington, Jan 31 (ANI): A team of scientists has identified a biological clock in human DNA that can tell how long a person will live.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY