A Harvard Neuroscience Scheme To Change Decisions In Your Brain

A Harvard Neuroscience Scheme To Change Decisions In Your Brain
POPULAR SCIENCE – NEW TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE NEWS, THE FUTURE NOW | APRIL 11, 2013
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This week at the British Neuroscience Association, Harvard scientist Gabriel Kreiman described a rather diabolical-sounding experiment: He wants to reverse someone’s decision to push a button before the person is even aware they were going to press it.

Kreiman has already demonstrated he can predict decisions before volunteers become conscious of making them. Back in 2011, he used brain imaging to measure the activity of individual neurons in the brains of 12 people with epilepsy (they already had electrodes implanted to identify the source of seizures.) The volunteers were told they could press a button whenever they liked and to remember the position of a clock’s second hand at the moment they decided to act.

Five seconds before the volunteers reported they had decided to press the button, Kreiman noticed electrical activity in the area of the brain involved in initiating movement, called the supplementary motor area, as well as in the brain region that controls motivation and attention, called the anterior cingulate cortex.

Now, Kreiman is taking that experiment a step further. As soon as he sees the telltale brain activity that signals a decision to push the button, he flashes a “stop” sign on a screen in front of the volunteer. “So far all we have is people saying, ‘that was weird, you read my mind’,” Kreiman says.

So, no mind control yet—just a bit of harmless mind reading. Kreiman says that figuring out the mechanisms of volition could eventually help people with Parkinson’s or other diseases in which people lose voluntary movement.

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UFO Film Promises Proof of Pint-Size Aliens

UFO Film Promises Proof of Pint-Size Aliens
DISCOVERY NEWS | APRIL 8, 2013
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An upcoming documentary film about UFOs claims it will offer evidence of aliens, including cutting-edge scientific analysis of a recovered body.

The film, which premieres April 22, is titled Sirius and showcases the claims of Steven Greer, a prominent UFO researcher who has dedicated years of his life — and a small fortune — to proving that the U.S. government is actively covering up hard evidence of extraterrestrial life.

SETI Fail: No Alien Life Found

The project has taken several years, and money to fund it was raised from donors and UFO buffs. In an urgent, breaking news update to the crowdfunding project, Greer asked his donors for more money because:

There is a chance that we may be able to include in the film “Sirius” the scientific testing of a possibleExtraterrestrial Biological Entity (EBE) that has been recovered and is deceased. This EBE is in the possession of a cooperative institute desiring further scientific evaluation of the possible ET. We cannot reveal at this time the location of this being or the name of the person or persons who possess it….I have actually visited the group that possesses this EBE and have personally and professionally examined the being. It is indeed an actual deceased body, and most certainly is not plastic or man-made. It has a head, 2 arms and 2 legs and is humanoid. We have seen and examined X-Rays of the being. Its anatomy however is not homo sapien (modern human) or any known hominid (predecessors to humans). As you can imagine, the security and scientific issues surrounding the further testing of this potentially explosive and world-changing evidence are mind-boggling. However, we feel we simply must proceed expeditiously but cautiously. The cost of doing proper MRI testing, full and dispositive forensic-level DNA testing and carbon dating with other isotope testing are considerable and certainly not currently funded.

The cute little EBE alien-thing is about half a foot long. It looks like something you might stir your coffee with if you broke off one of its bony little arms. It was recovered not from Area 51 nor a hidden base near Roswell, N.M, but instead, supposedly, from Chile’s Atacama Desert several years ago.

This revelation raises all sorts of questions: If ETs aren’t much larger than your cell phone then why are their spacecraft so big? If the thing really is an alien body found in a South American desert years ago, why are we only finding out about it now? Why didn’t it make international news at the time, and why weren’t the scientific tests that will supposedly prove its extraterrestrial origins done years ago? What would a single alien body — without a spaceship, other occupants or even any G.I. Joe-scale helmet or ray gun — be doing alone in the desert? And why is all this suddenly being brought up when Greer is trying to raise money and publicity to complete a movie?

Actually I think I know the answer to that last question.

This is of course not the first time that a “documentary” has surfaced promising definitive proof of extraterrestrial life. If the whole alien autopsy theme seems familiar, it should be. It was done back in 1995 and broadcast on the Fox network as Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction.

UFO Memo Tops FBI’s Most-Viewed List

The show centered around 17 minutes of supposedly top-secret grainy black and white footage filmed by the military and showing a post-mortem dissection of an alien body. To much of the public it looked credible, though skeptics pointed out many signs that it was a hoax. Those suspicions were soon verified, and the filmmakers admitted the footage had been staged.

So what is the Latin American, alien-leprechaun thing that Greer found? It looks a lot like a sculpted model, and fairly realistic faked aliens, animals and other creatures are widely available, including on eBay. Maybe all the questions will be answered when the film premieres, and scientists will finally have the “potentially explosive and world-changing evidence” they need to confirm extraterrestrial life.

Climate Change May Lead To Bumpier Airplane Rides, Study Finds

Climate Change May Lead To Bumpier Airplane Rides, Study Finds
POPULAR SCIENCE – NEW TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE NEWS, THE FUTURE NOW | APRIL 8, 2013
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The first study of global warming’s effects on clear-air turbulence offers some uncomfortable predictions.

By 2050, plane trips between the U.S. and Europe could take longer, use more fuel and be subject to more turbulence, according to a new study.

The study investigated clear-air turbulence, or turbulence that occurs in clear sky instead of inside clouds or near mountains. Clear-air turbulence is impossible for pilots to spot or radar to detect, but models do exist to predict where and when it will occur. Two climate researchers in the U.K. combined different models to come up with a calculation for how a doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, compared to pre-industrial levels, could affect clear-air turbulence. (In one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s four possible future scenarios for climate change, carbon dioxide levels double by the middle of the 21st century.)

In the new hybrid model, twice as much carbon dioxide in the air would increase median clear-air turbulence strength along common transatlantic routes by 41 percent. Turbulence of at least moderate severity would happen 40 percent to 170 percent more often. Carbon dioxide increases strengthen jet streams, which are a major driving factor in clear-air turbulence.

Airline passengers won’t necessarily feel these exact numbers, as what passengers feel is mostly that stomach-dropping, up-and-down turbulence, which doesn’t always increase linearly with overall turbulence. Nevertheless, New York-to-London will probably get bumpier. The U.K. researchers cited two observational studies that suggested that transatlantic flights are already more turbulent than they used to be.

The researchers said avoiding increased turbulence spots could account for increased passenger jet fuel use and flight times.

This is the first time anyone has studied how global warming will affect clear-air turbulence, the researchers wrote in their paper,published today in the journal Nature Climate Change

Space station could test ‘spooky’ entanglement over record distance

Space station could test ‘spooky’ entanglement over record distance
TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE | APRIL 8, 2013
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“Spooky” quantum entanglement connects two particles so that actions performed on one reflect on the other. Now, scientists propose testing entanglement over the greatest distance yet via an experiment on the International Space Station.

Until now, entanglement has been established on relatively small scales in labs on Earth. But now physicists propose sending half of anentangled particle pair to the space station, which orbits about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the planet.

“According to quantum physics, entanglement is independent of distance,” physicist Rupert Ursin of the Austrian Academy of Sciences said in a statement. “Our proposed Bell-type experiment will show that particles are entangled, over large distances — around 500 kilometers — for the very first time in an experiment.”

Ursin and his colleagues detail the proposed experiment on Monday in the New Journal of Physics, published by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society.[Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature]

Tests of quantum entanglement are called Bell tests after the late Northern Irish physicist John Bell, who proposed real-world checks of quantum theories in the 1960s. Entanglement is one of the weirdest quantum predictions, positing that entangled particles, once separated, can somehow “communicate” with each other instantly. The notion unsettled Albert Einstein so much he famously called it “spooky action at a distance.”

To better understand entanglement and test its limits, the researchers suggest flying a small device called a photon detection module to the International Space Station, where it could be attached to an existing motorized Nikon 400mm camera lens, which observes the ground from the space station’s panoramic Cupola window.

Once the module is installed, the scientists would entangle a pair of light particles, called photons, on the ground. One of these would then be sent from a ground station to the device on the orbiting lab, which would measure the particle and its properties, while the other would stay on Earth. If the particles keep their entangled state, a change to one would usher in an instant change to the other. Such a long-range test would allow the physicists to probe new questions about entanglement.

“Our experiments will also enable us to test potential effects gravity may have on quantum entanglement,” Ursin said.

The project should be relatively quick to perform during just a few passes of the space station over the ground lab, with each experiment lasting just 70 seconds per pass, the researchers said.

“During a few months a year, the ISS passes five to six times in a row in the correct orientation for us to do our experiments,” Ursin said.”We envision setting up the experiment for a whole week and therefore having more than enough links to the ISS available.”

The researchers also proposed a related experiment to try sending a secret key used for quantum information encryption over the farthest distance yet via theInternational Space Station. Until now, quantum encryption keys have been sent over only relatively short distances on Earth. If the key can be transferred via the researchers’ proposed method, it could help to enable more practical quantum encryption.

Do Brain Games Work?

Do Brain Games Work?
BEST OF SCIENCE | APRIL 8, 2013
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A few new studies, including one meta-analysis, suggest brain games don’t make you any better at anything but playing brain games.

Think you can make yourself smarter with brain-training software? New studies suggest that so-called brain games don’t improve players’ thinking or IQ, they just make you better at playing the games, the New Yorker reported.

The studies come after of a decade of spotty research suggesting that brain games do work–and the launch of companies such as Cogmed, Lumosity, Jungle Memory and CogniFit that sell brain games for kids, older adults and everyone in between. The New Yorker talked with Cogmed executives, who insisted the new research was flawed. Meanwhile, the researchers involved in the skeptical studies say it’s unethical to sell software that doesn’t work, especially to vulnerable audiences such as kids with learning disorders or older adults worried about cognitive decline.

The skeptical studies include:

  1. A study comparing dual n-back training–a favorite training program among avid self-improvers in Silicon Valley–with a placebo game and with not playing any games at all in healthy young adults. The researchers, from three different U.S. universities, found the games improved people’s ability in the games.. but not in independent tests of fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, multitasking or other capabilities.
  2. A study that tried to replicateprevious research showing that certain mental exercises improved fluid intelligence, which is important to learning and is associated with professional success. The newer study wasn’t able to reproduce the effects of the previous experiments.
  3. A so-called “meta-analysis” thatreviewed 23 previous studies of brain games, weighting the studies by how rigorous they were and how many study participants they included. Like the other skeptical studies, the meta-analysis found that people just got better at the games they played, but their skills didn’t transfer elsewhere, such as people’s verbal and nonverbal ability, arithmetic, or attention.

The New Yorker covered the objections brain-game company Cogmed had with the studies’ conclusions. Neuroscientist Torkel Klingberg, who led a brain-games study in 2002 that showed the games did work for children and is now a paid Cogmed consultant, also said the meta-analysis was poorly done, though reporter Gareth Cook pointed out that it the analysis was published in one of the field’s top journals.

One thing that the New Yorker piece doesn’t do is distinguish between how brain games work for normally developing kids, kids with learning disabilities, normally developing adults, and adults with diagnosed cognitive decline. The stakes are different for each group, so it’d be helpful to know if there are differences. It may be that the science doesn’t yet exist for such a detailed breakdown: Skeptical Studies No. 1 and No. 2 were performed in normally developing adults, while the meta-analysis looked at studies about brain games performed in all kinds of people.

Skimming the Surface: The Return of Tesla’s Surface Waves

Skimming the Surface: The Return of Tesla’s Surface Waves
POPULAR MECHANICS | APRIL 8, 2013
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A hundred years ago, electrical pioneer Nikola Tesla was working on a radical new type of radio using waves that skim the surface of the earth rather than radiate into space. Tesla believed he could transmit signals across the Atlantic using these surface waves but never succeeded in his lifetime, and the idea faded into relative obscurity. Today it’s back, with the promise of a new system for high-speed data transmission that would combine the benefits of wired and wireless communication.

Surface waves, or electromagnetic waves, which tend to follow the contours of a surface, had been proven to exist mathematically in Tesla’s time. But their practical use was debated. Because they follow the curvature of the earth, surface waves can reach a distant receiver on the ground that is beyond the horizon. “An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman,” Tesla wrote in 1908.

Tesla’s attempt at long-range radio failed, apparently because the theoretical physicists neglected a factor that meant the waves could cancel themselves out. But these days, thanks to different wavelengths and materials, scientists are overcoming those problems and creating radio transmissions that can reach over the horizon.

At high frequencies, a type of surface wave called Zenneck waves can propagate along a surface. They travel better on some materials than others, but performance is best with a conductor covered in a dielectric material. As with wires, these surfaces can carry high bandwidth, are secure, do not cause interference, and require little power. But as with wireless communication, physical contact is not required.

Janice Turner and colleagues atRoke Manor Research of Romsey, U.K., have developed a Zenneck wave demo unit. This can transmit high-definition video over a length of conductor covered with dielectric with a bandwidth of up to 1.5 gigabits per second. Because Zenneck waves do not extend far from the surface there is no interference with electronics and no frequency-licensing issues as there are with other radio-frequency systems. Turner says that tears or breaks in a surface do not cut the connection, making it more robust than wiring, and it’s inexpensive to manufacture.

One of the first applications for Roke Manor’s waves is likely to be onboard communications on aircraft and satellites. For example, sensors embedded in an aircraft wing could easily communicate with a central computer via surface waves that travel along the wing and fuselage. Satellite components could send data to each other at high speed without the need for complex connectors. Ships are another likely market, because their metal walls block wireless communication.

Turner’s team is also looking at wearable wireless gadgets. A lapel camera or a pulse-sensing wristband could connect to a smartphone in your pocket. Such gadgets already exist, but communicate with a phone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This approach has lower power requirements and higher bandwidth, Turner says. They have also had enquiries about using surface waves to recharge devices wirelessly, and this is possible—in principle.

Meanwhile, surface waves are also proving valuable for long-range radar, like the new High Frequency Surface Wave Radar (HFSWR) that the defense contractor Raytheon is developing. Some of the first radar operated via surface waves, and the U.S. Navy used surface-wave radar in the 1950s, but the technology ultimately lost out to other types—in particular, the sky-wave radar in which the signal is reflected back from the ionosphere.

However, normal radar has a serious limitation: It operates within line of sight, which makes objects close to the surface difficult to spot. This is why airborne radar was developed, to prevent intruders from slipping in below the radar. But maintaining continuous radar coverage from the air is expensive and requires a lot of manpower.

Surface-wave radar provides an alternative, because the signal clings to the sea surface and follows the curvature of the earth. Tony Ponsford, technical director for HF Radar at Raytheon Canada, says that that latest version can track ships at about 230 miles from land. (The surface waves work best over a conductive surface, so this type of radar has a much longer range over salt water than over fresh water or land.) Raytheon is building the device for the Canadian government to help manage the country’s exclusive economic zone, a region that extends to that distance out to sea. It will undergo operational evaluation later this year.

Raytheon’s HFSWR incorporates a number of features to operate safely in the crowded high-frequency band. If it detects another signal on the same wavelength, such as a radio transmission, it automatically switches to a different wavelength. Raytheon says its patented set of algorithms removes clutter so shipping can be picked out more easily.

This type of radar can be used to track cargo vessels, watch for illegal trawling or dumping, and help with search-and-rescue operations. It can also track smugglers, as it is capable of picking up small go-fast boats. It can even detect icebergs; although obviously nonmetallic, they create a disturbance that shows up “like a hole in the sea,” Ponsford says.

Beyond what Raytheon and Roke Manor are doing in the field, there is also some classified military work on surface waves. Some of this appears to be focusing on covert communications, using the unique properties of surface waves to send a signal that cannot be intercepted, over either land or water.

Although scientists have known about them for more than a century, these are in some ways still early days for surface waves. They have so far been exploited in only very limited ways compared to other forms of radio wave, but that may be set to change. Perhaps Tesla’s faith in surface waves was simply a sign that he was ahead of his time.

Robot hot among surgeons but FDA taking a new look

Robot hot among surgeons but FDA taking a new look
AP SCIENCE | APRIL 9, 2013
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CHICAGO (AP) — The biggest thing in operating rooms these days is a million-dollar, multi-armed robot named da Vinci, used in nearly 400,000 surgeries nationwide last year — triple the number just four years earlier.

But now the high-tech helper is under scrutiny over reports of problems, including several deaths that may be linked with it and the high cost of using the robotic system.

There also have been a few disturbing, freak incidents: a robotic hand that wouldn’t let go of tissue grasped during surgery and a robotic arm hitting a patient in the face as she lay on the operating table.

Is it time to curb the robot enthusiasm?

Some doctors say yes, concerned that the “wow” factor and heavy marketing have boosted use. They argue that there is not enough robust research showing that robotic surgery is at least as good or better than conventional surgeries.

Many U.S. hospitals promote robotic surgery in patient brochures, online and even on highway billboards. Their aim is partly to attract business that helps pay for the costly robot.

The da Vinci is used for operations that include removing prostates, gallbladders and wombs, repairing heart valves, shrinking stomachs and transplanting organs. Its use has increased worldwide, but the system is most popular in the United States.

“We are at the tip of the iceberg. What we thought was impossible 10 years ago is now commonplace,” said Dr. Michael Stifelman, robotic surgery chief at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

For surgeons, who control the robot while sitting at a computer screen rather than standing over the patient, these operations can be less tiring. Plus robot hands don’t shake. Advocates say patients sometimes have less bleeding and often are sent home sooner than with conventional laparoscopic surgeries and operations involving large incisions.

But the Food and Drug Administration is looking into a spike in reported problems during robotic surgeries. Earlier this year, the FDA began a survey of surgeons using the robotic system. The agency conducts such surveys of devices routinely, but FDA spokeswoman Synim Rivers said the reason for it now “is the increase in number of reports received” about da Vinci.

Reports filed since early last year include at least five deaths.

Whether there truly are more problems recently is uncertain. Rivers said she couldn’t quantify the increase and that it may simply reflect more awareness among doctors and hospitals about the need to report problems. Doctors aren’t required to report such things; device makers and hospitals are.

It could also reflect wider use. Last year there were 367,000 robot surgeries versus 114,000 in 2008, according to da Vinci’s maker, Intuitive Surgical Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.

Da Vinci is the company’s only product, and it’s the only robotic system cleared for soft-tissue surgery by the FDA. There are other robotic devices approved for neurosurgery and orthopedics, among other things.

A search for the company’s name in an FDA database of reported problems related to medical devices brings up 500 reports since Jan. 1, 2012. Many of those came from Intuitive Surgical. The reports include incidents that happened several years ago and some are duplicates. There’s also no proof any of the problems were caused by the robot, and many didn’t injure patients. Reports filed this year include:

— A woman who died during a 2012 hysterectomy when the surgeon-controlled robot accidentally nicked a blood vessel.

— A Chicago man who died in 2007 after spleen surgery.

— A New York man whose colon was allegedly perforated during prostate surgery. Da Vinci’s maker filed that report after seeing a newspaper article about it and said the doctor’s office declined to provide additional information.

— A robotic arm that wouldn’t let go of tissue grasped during colorectal surgery on Jan. 14. “We had to do a total system shutdown to get the grasper to open its jaws,” said the report filed by the hospital. The report said the patient was not injured.

— A robotic arm hit a patient in the face during a hysterectomy. The company filed that report, and said it is unknown if the patient was injured but that the surgeon decided to switch to an open, more invasive operation instead.

Intuitive Surgical filed all but one of those reports.

Complications can occur with any type of surgery, and so far it’s unclear if they are more common in robotic operations, but that’s part of what the FDA is trying to find out.

Intuitive Surgical disputes there’s been a true increase in problems and says the rise reflects a change it made last year in the way it reports problems.

The da Vinci system “has an excellent safety record with over 1.5 million surgeries performed globally, and total adverse event rates have remained low and in line with historical trends,” said company spokeswoman Angela Wonson.

But an upcoming research paper suggests that problems linked with robotic surgery are underreported. They include cases with “catastrophic complications,” said Dr. Martin Makary, a Johns Hopkins surgeon who co-authored the paper.

“The rapid adoption of robotic surgery … has been done by and large without the proper evaluation,” Makary said.

The da Vinci system, on the market since 2000, includes a three- or four-armed robot that surgeons operate with hand controls at a computer system located several feet away from the patient. They see inside the patient’s body through a tiny video camera attached to one of the long robot arms. The other arms are tipped with tiny surgical instruments.

Robotic operations are similar to conventional laparoscopy, or “keyhole” surgery, which involves small incisions and camera-tipped instruments controlled by the surgeon’s hands, not a robot.

Almost 1,400 U.S. hospitals — nearly 1 out of 4 — have at least one da Vinci system. Each one costs about $1.45 million, plus $100,000 or more a year in service agreements.

The most common robotic operations include prostate removal — about 85 percent of these operations in the U.S. are done with the robot. Da Vinci also is often used for hysterectomies, Wonson said.

Makary says there’s no justification for the skyrocketing increase in robotic surgery, which he attributes to aggressive advertising by the manufacturer and hospitals seeking more patients.

He led a study published in 2011 that found 4 in 10 U.S. hospitals promoted robotic surgery on their websites, often using wording provided by the manufacturer. Some of the claims exaggerated the benefits or had misleading, unproven claims, the study said.

Stifelman, the Langone surgeon, said it makes sense for hospitals to promote robotic surgery and other new technology to, but that it doesn’t mean that it’s the right option for all patients.

“It’s going to be the responsibility of the surgeon … to make sure the patient knows there are lots of options,” and to discuss the risks and benefits, he said.

His hospital expects to do more than 1,200 robotic surgeries this year, versus just 175 in 2008.

For a few select procedures that require operating in small, hard-to-reach areas, robotic surgery may offer advantages over conventional methods, Makary said. Those procedures include head and neck cancer surgery and rectal surgery.

Some surgeons say the robotic method also has advantages for weight-loss surgery on extremely obese patients, whose girth can make hands-on surgery challenging.

“At the console, the operation can be performed effectively and precisely, translating to superior quality,” said Dr. Subhashini Ayloo, a surgeon at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System in Chicago.

Ayloo, who uses the da Vinci robot, last year began a study on the effectiveness of doing robotic obesity surgery in patients who need a kidney transplant. Some hospitals won’t do transplants on obese patients with kidney failure because it can be risky. In the study, robotic stomach-shrinking surgery and kidney transplants are done simultaneously. Patients who get both will be compared with a control group getting only robotic kidney transplants.

“We don’t know the results, but so far it’s looking good,” Ayloo said.

Aidee Diaz of Chicago was the first patient and was taken aback when told the dual operation would be done robotically.

“At first you would get scared. Everybody says, ‘A robot?’ But in the long run that robot does a lot of miracles,” said Diaz, 36.

She has had no complications since her operation last July, has lost 100 pounds and says her new kidney is working well.

Lawsuits in cases that didn’t turn out so well often cite inadequate surgeon training with the robot. These include a malpractice case that ended last year with a $7.5 million jury award for the family of Juan Fernandez, a Chicago man who died in 2007 after robotic spleen surgery. The lawsuit claimed Fernandez’s surgeons accidentally punctured part of his intestines, leading to a fatal infection.

The surgeons argued that Fernandez had a health condition that caused the intestinal damage, but it was the first robot operation for one of the doctors and using the device was overkill for an ordinarily straightforward surgery, said Fernandez’s attorney, Ted McNabola.

McNabola said an expert witness told him it was like “using an 18-wheeler to go the market to get a quart of milk.”

Company spokesman Geoff Curtis said Intuitive Surgical has physician-educators and other trainers who teach surgeons how to use the robot. But they don’t train them how to do specific procedures robotically, he said, and that it’s up to hospitals and surgeons to decide “if and when a surgeon is ready to perform robotic cases.”

A 2010 New England Journal of Medicine essay by a doctor and a health policy analyst said surgeons must do at least 150 procedures to become adept at using the robotic system. But there is no expert consensus on how much training is needed.

New Jersey banker Alexis Grattan did a lot of online research before her gallbladder was removed last month at Hackensack University Medical Center. She said the surgeon’s many years of experience with robotic operations was an important factor. She also had heard that the surgeon was among the first to do the robotic operation with just one small incision in the belly button, instead of four cuts in conventional keyhole surgery.

“I’m 33, and for the rest of my life I’m going to be looking at those scars,” she said.

The operation went smoothly. Grattan was back at work a week later.