June 30, 2016 8:22 AM EDT

Doctors at Ohio State University this year pulled off the seemingly impossible: they helped a man regain control over his right hand by implanting a chip in his brain. It’s not yet a panacea for paralysis–the chip has to be connected to a computer for it to work–but it brings researchers one step closer to a cure.

This appears in the July 11, 2016 issue of TIME.

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