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

Want to teach kids about nature? Insects can help

Insects are plentiful and inexpensive. Even when children aren't attending school in person, they can learn from the encounters they have with insects outside.

Megan Ennes, Assistant Curator of Museum Education, University of Florida • conversation
Oct. 29, 2020 ~5 min

innovation biodiversity insects bees science-education citizen-science quick-reads k-12-education invertebrates moths butterflies spiders stem-education arthropods outdoor-education environmental-education pandemic-education

Health insurers are starting to roll back coverage for telehealth – even though demand is way up due to COVID-19

Widely adopted in the US when pandemic precautions kept people home, telehealth faces a challenge as insurance coverage changes, right when its popularity had surged.

Steve Davis, Associate Professor of Health Policy, Management and Leadership, West Virginia University • conversation
Oct. 27, 2020 ~8 min

innovation coronavirus medicare telehealth medicaid ppe personal-protective-equipment healthcare-system infection prescribing healthcare-workers coronavirus-pandemic patients cares-act costs 2020 covid-testing

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

Want to solve society's most urgent problems? Cash prizes can spur breakthroughs

Society has never faced more pressing challenges. Researchers are investigating how monetary prizes can help focus innovators' attention, creativity and investment on finding solutions.

Luciano Kay, Research Associate at the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research, University of California, Santa Barbara • conversation
Oct. 1, 2020 ~9 min

innovation nobel-prize science-awards innovation-and-invention process-of-innovation incentives grand-challenges prizes

To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

Many great innovators have personality traits in common. Comfort with uncertainty is critical, but passion, curiosity and a number of other learnable skills can prime you for an innovate idea.

Todd Saxton, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Indiana University • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~8 min

innovation business risk uncertainty invention entrepreneurship disney innovation-and-invention discovery success disruption process-of-innovation

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead bodies, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

 evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

CRISPR can help combat the troubling immune response against gene therapy

The immune system is trained to destroy viruses, even when they carry therapeutic cargo as is the case in gene therapy. Now researchers have figured out how to dial down the immune response.

Samira Kiani, Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

 innovation  health  medicine  crispr  inflammation  immune-system  gene-therapy  gene-editing  viruses  steroids

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead people, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

 evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

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