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)

New breakthrough for tailor made drugs to fight malaria Apr 20, 4:47 pm
Washington, April 20 (ANI): Scientists have used high-resolution structural biology methods in the malaria pathogen's cellular skeleton to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite in high detail, which can help in developing tailor-made drugs for fighting the disease.
Full Story
Meet woman who got lab grown vagina implanted Apr 20, 2:08 pm
New York, Apr.20 (ANI): A woman who was born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome was recently implanted with a lab grown vagina and now leads a normal life.
Full Story
New MRSA superbug found in Brazilian patient Apr 20, 10:43 am
Washington, Apr 20 (ANI): An international research team led by Cesar A. Arias, M.D., Ph.D., at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has identified a new superbug that caused a bloodstream infection in a Brazilian patient.
Full Story
Wild animals interbred with domesticated ones until recently: Study Apr 19, 12:29 pm
Washington, Apr 19 (ANI): Recent research on the domestication of donkeys, camelids (which includes dromedaries, Bactrian camels, llamas and alpacas) pigs, cattle, sheep and goats suggests that neither intentional breeding nor genetic isolation were as significant as traditionally thought.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY