The price of a drug should be based on its therapeutic benefits – not just what the market will bear

'Orphan drugs' with high price points are being tested as treatments for COVID-19. There's a better way to spur low-cost innovation for new drugs.

Nicole Hassoun, Professor of Philosophy, Binghamton University, State University of New York • conversation
Jan. 13, 2021 ~9 min

covid-19 rheumatoid-arthritis remdesivir pharmaceutical-industry drug-development innovation-and-invention process-of-innovation gilead

How explainable artificial intelligence can help humans innovate

AI algorithms can solve hard problems and learn incredible tasks, but they can't explain how they do these things. If researchers can build explainable AI, it could lead to a flood of new knowledge.

Forest Agostinelli, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of South Carolina • conversation
Jan. 13, 2021 ~7 min

machine-learning innovation artificial-intelligence computer-science innovation-and-invention process-of-innovation black-box reinforcement-learning

Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther gives a boost to diversity in STEM – a Black engineer's take on personal and professional inspiration

The late Hollywood star celebrated being young, Black and gifted, both on screen and off.

Karl Zelik, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Vanderbilt University • conversation
Jan. 8, 2021 ~8 min

 hollywood  stem  diversity  innovation-and-invention  chadwick-boseman  process-of-innovation  role-models  black-panther  inclusion  exoskeletons

Taking fish out of fish feed can make aquaculture a more sustainable food source

Fish farms feed millions of people around the world, but they also consume a lot of fish that are dried or ground up to make aquafeed. Researchers are developing more sustainable alternatives.

Pallab Sarker, Associate Research Professor of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz • conversation
Dec. 14, 2020 ~7 min

sustainability fish seafood aquaculture nutrition water-pollution food-security microalgae omega-3-fatty-acids salmon innovation-and-invention sustainable-seafood sardines

The iconic American inventor is still a white male – and that's an obstacle to race and gender inclusion

The story of the invention in America typically features larger-than-life caricatures of white men like Thomas Edison while largely ignoring the contributions of women and people of color.

Anjali Vats, Associate Professor of Communication and African and African Diaspora Studies and Associate Professor of Law (By Courtesy), Boston College • conversation
Dec. 8, 2020 ~9 min

innovation stem racism us-history invention sexism intellectual-property identity innovation-and-invention patenting patents process-of-innovation patent-law copyright trademarks inventors

Curved origami offers a creative route to making robots and other mechanical devices

Curved origami isn't just elegant art. It's also a versatile way to vary the amount of force applied by robots and other machines.

Zirui Zhai, Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University • conversation
Nov. 18, 2020 ~5 min

robotics engineering innovation stem quick-reads research-brief invention mechanical-engineering origami manipulation flexibility new-research

Smart concrete could pave the way for high-tech, cost-effective roads

What if roads and bridges could signal structural problems that need repair?

Vishal Saravade, Post-doctoral Scientist, Purdue University • conversation
Nov. 12, 2020 ~8 min

 innovation  infrastructure  civil-engineering  transportation  invention  concrete  innovation-and-invention

Most plastic recycling produces low-value materials – but we've found a way to turn a common plastic into high-value molecules

Plastic waste is a global problem. Now a chemist has developed a new strategy for breaking down the most common plastic so it can be not just recycled, but upcycled into desirable goods.

Susannah Scott, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, University of California Santa Barbara • conversation
Oct. 23, 2020 ~6 min

environment pollution recycling plastic plastic-recycling plastic-waste innovation-and-invention plastic-bags

NASA's OSIRIS-REx will land on an asteroid to bring home rocks and dust – if it can avoid Mt. Doom

OSIRIS-REx will touch down on asteroid Bennu, collect a sample of the dust and begin its journey back to Earth, where scientists will study it, hoping to learn secrets of the solar system's origin.

Elizabeth Cantwell, Professor of Practice for Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Senior Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of Arizona • conversation
Oct. 19, 2020 ~8 min

 space  astronomy  solar-system  nasa  asteroid  astrobiology  innovation-and-invention  bennu  near-earth-asteroids  sample-return-mission

How a government-linked foundation could speed the spread of new clean-energy technologies

Similar arrangements already support the National Park Service, the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies.

David M. Hart, Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University • conversation
Oct. 7, 2020 ~9 min

 innovation  climate-change  carbon  greenhouse-gases  energy-transition  philanthropy-and-nonprofits  innovation-and-invention  us-department-of-energy  process-of-innovation  foundations

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