BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4559 (Published 25 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4559

Sniff detection technology could be used to help disabled people write text and drive electric wheelchairs. The device measures precise movements of the soft palate, which receives signals from the cranial nerves that are often left unaffected by paralytic injuries. Scientists report that healthy people used the sniffing appliance as well as they used a mouse or joystick to play computer games, quadriplegic people were able to drive electric wheelchairs as well as healthy participants, and “locked-in” individuals were able to generate text (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2010;107:14413-8, doi:10.1073/pnas.1006746107).

The theme of the May 2010 issue of Reproductive Health Matters was cosmetic surgery, body image, and sexuality (2010;18:11-28, www.rhm-elsevier.com). For the front cover image the editor chose a photograph of a plaster cast sculpture created from the vulvas of 40 women aged 18 to 76, including transgender people. The ensuing debate among the journal’s board members and authors before publication was vociferous and ultimately, to the editor’s disappointment, the majority of …

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