Recently the media was abuzz with talk of ‘Disease X,’ a mysterious illness that could spread across the world. And then...nothing happened. It turns out that people had misinterpreted the World Health Organization’s List of Blueprint priority diseases, which identifies the world’s most dangerous diseases in terms of potential for outbreaks or epidemics. There are diseases that are already known - like Ebola, MERS or SARS - and then a space for ‘disease x,’ any new disease which could evolve and pose the threat of a pandemic. By identifying them and planning out potential responses, the World Health Organization is able to better respond to disease outbreaks and contain the spread of illness. While it has been over 100 years since the 1918 Influenza epidemic where the H1N1 virus (aka Spanish Flu) devastated the world, new pathogens are constantly emerging - and the possibility of superbugs spreading across our ever-more-connected world makes the W.H.O.’s work vitally important.
With a keen curiosity to learn more about how life formed on Earth, NASA has plans to send a spacecraft called the Dragonfly to Saturn’s largest moon, and they’re using augmented reality to make it happen.
Let's imagine aliens exist. You have the extraordinary task of crafting a message that they might conceivably understand. How would you do it? And what would you say? Daniel Oberhaus has a few ideas.
Half of genes linked to schizophrenia are primarily involved in the placenta, not the brain.
Diabetes is a high maintenance and high stakes disease requiring constant monitoring and precise decision-making. What if we could outsource that workload to a machine? That’s what one couple decided to do. They made a homemade pancreas that eases the burden of diabetes care… and then released the design to the public for free.
It’s only a matter of time until the average person can explore space. But, will the average person be ready?
At its peak, NASA’s shuttle flew to space a few times a year. XCOR wants to be something more like Southwest Airlines for space. They're working on a spacecraft prototype with a very ambitious goal: four daily flights to space, five days a week. If XCOR is successful, they could take more people to space in six months than NASA did in 30 years.
Virtual reality users experience more lucid dreams, a paralyzed man gets movement back, and self-lacing shoes. These are our favorite stories this week.
Johnny Matheny has been working with doctors at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to test a prosthetic arm that is controlled with your thoughts.
After losing part of his arm to cancer, doctors outfit Johnny, a self-described “hillbilly” from West Virginia, with one of the world’s most advanced robotic arms. Johnny is able to control his new arm with his mind, giving him a level of motor control impossible until now. Get More Stories of Innovation ...