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Posts Tagged "innovation"

@ScientificAmerican

Book Reviews: Smart Implants, Ultralight Aerogels and Other Innovations

aerogel

Here is a selection of book reviews from recent issues of Nature on scientific daring, entrepreneurial brio and finely tuned judgment of social need. Economists Leonid Gokhberg and Dirk Meissner compare studies on the troubled trajectories of innovation in Russia and the United States. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/501313a Historian Cyrus Mody reviews an epic account on the visionary [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Profiling Serial Creators

bored_student

Every single day, all across the globe, extraordinarily creative and talented students sit in our classrooms bored out of their minds. These budding innovators may differ drastically in what particular domain captivates their attention, whether it’s science and engineering, architecture and design, arts, music and entertainment, business and finance, law, or health care. Nevertheless, as Richard Florida [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Need a Hand? Now You Can Print One

Shea - heart

“Every 4 1/2 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect.” That translates to 1 of just 33 babies being born with a defect in the U.S. Of these, about 1,500 babies, or 4 out of every 10,000 babies are born missing a hand or arm (“upper limb reduction”). While crude replacements have been [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

TEDMED: Tougher topics to chew on

With earlier posts about TEDMED, I hope I whet your appetite and energized you to take on the tougher topics. There were several talks that either particularly resonated with me or that left a sour aftertaste. Ivan Oransky, executive editor of Reuters Health, offered excellent perspective on the current trend of treating “preconditions” more aggressively, [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A taste of #TEDMED 2012: Main Course

Howard-Yana-Shapiro

The initial fare at TEDMED 2012 whet my appetite for the sessions that followed. Howard-Yana Shapiro, a plant scientist wizard, focused on how to improve nutrition in crops, rather than just the volume of the yield, and the coming crisis in feeding the world’s population. When he began, my cynical side thought, “Here comes Monsanto [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Taste of #TEDMED 2012: Appetizers

Traces

Innovation. Story telling. Discovery. Connections. Beauty. Heartbreak. TEDMED 2012 had it all. What seemed initially like disparate sessions later proved to be a carefully planned series that wove together important themes for making a healthier future. The three days of immersion were, at times, overwhelming, but the careful planning interspersed intense talks with music or [...]

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Observations

Can Machine Learning Fix a Broken Patent System?

infini

Geneticist and transparency advocate Richard Jefferson explains how technology could transform the process of problem solving

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Observations

Obama to Announce $2-Billion Plan to Get U.S. Cars off Gasoline

President Barack Obama visiting at  Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California, 2009

This afternoon, President Barack Obama will ask Congress to direct our cars, trucks and buses to a realm that doesn’t include gas stations. During a visit to Argonne National Laboratory, he will call for $2-billion energy security trust fund dedicated to research to boost automobile efficiency, enhance battery technology and expand the use of biofuels, [...]

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Observations

Scientists Lauded at the White House, Winners of National Medals

National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation honorees

The honorees stood, backs ramrod straight, facing the audience at the White House. Each was about to receive either the National Medal of Science or the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. As the moment stretched, the silence of anticipation filled the room. Suddenly, a cellphone chirped—literally—with a sound of a cricket in an empty [...]

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Observations

Scientific American editors respond to Obama’s State of the Union address [Video]

obama-state-of-the-union-address-2011

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night touched on topics that are near and dear to us at Scientific American, including technology, green energy sources, health care and innovation. Four of our editors give their thoughts on Obama’s speech and provide some context in the video below:         [...]

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Observations

Obama spotlights science in his State of the Union address

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night had to hearten the science and technology community. The effort to "win the future," in which the U.S. can compete globally and thrive economically, requires some major investment in research. "We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world," Obama stated.   [...]

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Observations

TEDMED 2010: Medicine tries some new ideas

SAN DIEGO—Not everything you try will work, but you need to try lots of ideas. That was advice here from Nathan Myhrvold, founder of Intellectual Ventures and former chief technology officer at Microsoft, on the opening evening of the TEDMED conference, held from October 27 through 29. Myhrvold and the other speakers offered plenty of [...]

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Plugged In

Guest post: Electric Vehicles Need New “Assembly Line” Breakthrough

FordAssemblyLine

By Wang Tao Struggling sales in the electric vehicle (EV) market have resulted in serious questions being raised about their viability. Despite Chinese government incentives, only a few Chinese EV pilot cities have met their target of putting 1,000 EVs on the road. Meanwhile, in the United States the GM Volt and Nissan Leaf have [...]

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Plugged In

A Lewis and Clark Expedition for Energy Innovation

solar_coalinga

John McDonald believes that technological innovation is a key piece of a strong future for the energy sector. This is an industry with a history of impressive engineering feats. And, as Chevron’s Vice President and Chief Technology Office, McDonald speaks with passion and excitement about the technological breakthroughs that are still to come (1). Similar [...]

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Plugged In

Guest Post: Innovation Cleans Up Waste-to-Energy

Image 1.Schematic of Gasification Plant

This is a guest post by Dawn Santoianni. Why does diverting waste from a landfill and turning that waste into energy cause so much controversy?  Despite the widespread use of waste-to-energy (WTE) in European countries, here in the U.S. WTE has a reputation for being “dirty.” Environmental activist groups frequently oppose WTE because of air emissions [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How Do You Spot a Genius?

Drawing of Bobby Fischer and chess board

The November/December Scientific American Mind, which debuted online today, examines the origins of genius, a concept that inspires both awe and confusion. Some equate genius with IQ or creativity; others see it as extraordinary accomplishment. As this issue reveals, genius seems to arise from a mosaic of forces that coalesce into a perfect storm of [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

When Sleeping Turns Deadly and Other Strange Tales from Scientific American MIND

The July/August issue of Scientific American Mind made its debut online late last week. Here I divulge some of the more surprising and useful lessons from its pages. Dozing Dangerously Sleepwalking is one of the strangest phenomena I have ever witnessed. Despite its name, it doesn’t resemble any other kind of sleep I’ve seen. To [...]

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