Budding scientists, engineers and doctors lined up to try surgical robots from Intuitive Surgical at a science festival in Washington, D.C., over the weekend. Scott Hensley/NPR hide caption

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Young-min Kwon of Massachusetts General Hospital holds the metal-alloy ball of Susy Mansfield's faulty artificial hip joint. The yellowish tissue on top is dead muscle caused by a reaction to the metal debris produced by the defective hip implant. Richard Knox/NPR hide caption

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Surgeons often need specially designed tools to operate on small children. istockphoto.com hide caption

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Doctors who talk to a patient before surgery are less likely to operate on the wrong limb than those who first see the patient when he or she arrives in the operating room. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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