Medicine: Shots into the Brain

To Navy weaponeers used to thinking in terms of quick-firing 5-in. guns or huge Polaris missiles, the assignment at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington was far out of line. Their task: to make a gun that could be fired point-blank inside the human head—not to kill but to save. The unusual technical feat required even more unusual ammunition: a piece of hair only one two-hundredth of an inch in diameter and one-fourth of an inch long, which had to pierce something even less resistant than a toy balloon, and do it with such...

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