Advancements in Water Purification Technology: How Straws Can Save Lives

Water is an essential of life that many of us take for granted. In industrialized countries, we’ve become accustomed to a seemingly endless flow of pure, uncontaminated water from the tap at the turn of a wrist. In our society, access to an unlimited amount of clean water is considered the norm, and as a result we often waste it. …

Graphene: The Next Leap in Technological Advancements

Imagine a full-grown elephant balanced on the end of a pencil. Now imagine that pencil tip perpendicular to a layer of substance as thin as plastic wrap, which miraculously prevents the pencil tip from piercing through it. Sounds impossible, right? Not anymore, as James Hone of Columbia University will tell you. Not only is graphene the thinnest material known to …

Hydrogen Fuel: The Chicken and Egg Problem

“The first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen and pollution-free,” George W. Bush proclaimed in his 2003 State of the Union address, as he announced a $1.2-billion hydrogen-fuel initiative for the coming decade [1]. Ten years later, the focus seems to have shifted almost entirely to hybrid and electric cars. One of Steven Chu’s …

The Neuroscience of Design: Eye-tracking Studies Predict Consumer Choices

Whether it is what someone clicks on in their social media feed or what someone chooses to buy from a vending machine, consumers are incredibly difficult to predict because humans are different from each other. Although consumers’ choices have long been regarded as puzzling mysteries, researchers have begun harnessing eye-tracking data to calculate an algorithm to quantify the nature of …

An Untouchable Surface

An Untouchable Surface Animals and humans alike flee to shelter as the first peal of thunder cracks across a cloud-ridden sky. After the storm takes its toll, light breaking out from behind the gray reveals tiny droplets clinging to exposed surfaces; trees, roof trimming, and umbrellas all drip with the remnants of a heavy rain. However, water hitting a lotus …

3D Printing: The Future of Creation

Picture a world in which objects could be created with just a click of a button. New surfboard? Check. New sneakers? Check. New liver? Check [1,2,3]. This seemingly science fictional machine is slowly turning into a reality with the advent of the 3D printer. This device creates objects using additive manufacturing, essentially making 2D slices from a design and combining …