Hi-Tech Medicine Of Tomorrow

Hi-tech is on the verge of bringing medicine to a higher level, as scientists work on artificial muscles, lungs and kidneys, and a perfectly safe way to tan, among many other projects.

The latest issue of Popular Science magazine

some of the breakthroughs that could become reality in the not-too-distant future.

The magazine's executive editor, Michael Moyer, tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm, "The stuff that they're working on is amazing. They're working on artificial retinas to help the blind see and pills to make you smarter."

Artificial muscle, says Moyer, is "basically plastic that can move, that can contract, that can do everything we want muscle to do. This would allow us to have mechanical devices with no moving parts. Right now, one company is working on artificial muscle that would contract your eyeball, actually, to correct near-sightedness.

Artificial muscle has implications for the heart, as well.

Researchers are also "working on artificial lungs, which would actually be implanted in your body, to help you breathe," Moyer says. "One of the great things they're doing is having an artificial kidney where, like a dialysis machine, it would clean your blood. However, it would put all the nutrients back into your blood as well, which is what dialysis machines take out now."