by Christopher Rota figures by Hannah Zucker When the first Apollo program astronauts set foot on the Moon in 1969, their footsteps inspired a generation. This opened a new realm of possibility for what humans can achieve with the necessary motivation and resources. Now, just over 50 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has put the wheels in motion to lay down a fresh … Continue reading Should We Help NASA “Shoot for the Moon” Again?
Forgiveness is associated with humans, but may play an integral role in human-robot interactions. A study asks whether we can forgive a robot for commiting a crime. Debating forgiveness rather than punishment, the study adds another ethical dimension to our perception of AI.
Continue reading Study asks, can we forgive robots?
by Isabella Grabski figures by Jovana Andrejevic Clinical trials are critical to study the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, but they are no small endeavor. The cost of a clinical trial can range anywhere from $7 million to over $50 million, and they can take up to a decade to fully complete. Not only can this represent a substantial strain on a pharmaceutical company, it also … Continue reading Virtual Clinical Trials: Testing new drugs from afar
by Nivanthika K. Wimalasena figures by Rebecca Clements Imagine going in for a surgery where the surgeon, instead of looking down and seeing only your swollen leg, can see the exact location of your fracture before making a single incision. Now imagine that this doesn’t require x-ray vision or the stuff of science fiction, but is possible through augmented reality (AR), used to overlay an image … Continue reading Augmented Medicine: the power of augmented reality in the operating room
by Alex Cabral figures by Sean Wilson In 2003, with the completion of the Human Genome Project, the entire human genome was sequenced for the first time. The sequencing cost nearly $1 billion and took 13 years to complete. Today, the human genome can be sequenced for about $1000 in less than two days. Industry leaders hope to bring that cost down to just $100 within … Continue reading The Computer Science behind DNA Sequencing
If you have a smartphone or a camera with you, take a look at its lenses right now. The next time you buy a phone, these bulky lenses may no longer be there. A team of scientists at Harvard University has developed a single, flat lens with the potential to do all the job needed for getting a great image. This type of flat lens … Continue reading Smart and Thin: A single, Flat Lens to Replace Many
by Eric P. Grewal figures by Abby Burrus The human body is made of thousands of types of cells, from neurons to blood cells and skin cells to kidney cells. While these cells differ vastly in shape and purpose, they all share one thing in common—their DNA, the set of “master instructions” that is carried in every cell in an individual. But if all cells … Continue reading The Single Cell Revolution: Zooming into human health & disease
Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Recently, however, a growing number of bacterial infections have developed resistance to many commonly used antibiotics. In fact, the World Health Organization has pegged antibiotic resistance as one of the world’s biggest threats to global health! Bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance by changing in a way that reduces drug effectiveness. In a recent article, a research team … Continue reading New technology lets researchers visualize the evolution of antibiotic resistance
by Katherine Wu figures by Kristen Seim We live in an increasingly wired world: with apps for every purpose imaginable, it has become easier and easier to share information and build global communities. In the wake of the recent Ebola pandemic, we have harnessed this technology to combat infectious disease, employing technological tools for diagnosis (as in the case of the parasitic disease loiasis) and … Continue reading Hold the Phone: Technology’s Role in Combating Infectious Disease