Carbon nanotubes can conduct sensations through artificial skin back to the brain, making prosthetic limbs feel like the real thing. A nanotube like this one, delicately balanced on top of gold filaments, is threaded through a rubbery polymer. This nanotube-infused polymer generates electricity in response to pressure or force, creating signals that can be routed to your brain. That's why this synthetic skin can "feel." Researchers want to build a prosthetic limb out of this stuff by 2010. Click through for more images of carbon nanotubes, the artificial nervous systems of tomorrow.
Image of carbon nanotube on gold filaments from Singapore Nanotech Institute. [Wired]