Innovation

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AIM users could log on and instantly ping messages back and forth, remotely chatting with friends, colleagues and loved ones.

In the 25 Years Since Its Launch, AOL Instant Messenger Has Never Been 'Away'

While some aspects of AIM seem like relics of a different version of the internet, others remain deeply embedded in the social media landscape

Taste testers involved in a recent study preferred chocolate that shattered in their mouth.

Innovation for Good

Have Scientists Designed the Perfect Chocolate?

Part of a burgeoning field of 'edible metamaterials,' Dutch physicists found that 3-D printed spiral-shaped candies give the ideal eating experience

The National Museum of American History and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced the joint acquisition of the historic kit envisioned by activist Martha Goddard.

Invented by a Woman Activist, an Early 1970s Rape Kit Arrives at the Smithsonian

Martha Goddard didn’t receive much recognition—instead she got the job done

The metal gallium becomes a liquid at slightly above room temperature, one of its many remarkable properties that researchers are investigating.

This Liquid Metal Could Transform Soft Electronics

Bend it. Stretch it. Use it to conduct electricity. Researchers are exploring a range of applications that harness gallium's unusual properties

Aseel Rawashdeh's innovation won sixth place in this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country's most prestigious and oldest science and math competition for promising young scientists in their senior year.

Innovation for Good

This Teenager Found a Way to Control Mosquitoes Using Essential Oils and Baker's Yeast

Aseel Rawashdeh's inexpensive larvicide kills disease-spreading species and spares beneficial ones

Still from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018). 

The Surprisingly Long History of 'Choose-Your-Own-Adventure' Stories

From the 'I Ching' to an upcoming Netflix rom-com, interactive fiction dares us to decide what happens next

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Innovation for Good

Innovation for Good

A look at the researchers, inventors and community leaders who are bringing creativity and ingenuity to today's biggest challenges

Benjamin Choi was one of the top 40 finalists of this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Innovation for Good

This High Schooler Invented a Low-Cost, Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm

Seventeen-year-old Benjamin Choi put his spare time during the pandemic to good use designing an accessible device that doesn't require brain surgery

As the climate changes, polar bears are increasingly coming into contact with people.

Researchers Develop a 'Bear-Dar' That Warns Humans of Approaching Polar Bears

The artificial intelligence-powered radar system is needed as climate change brings the animals closer to towns

View of the Space Needle and the Century 21 Exposition fairgrounds in Seattle in 1962

The Rise and Fall of World's Fairs

Sixty years after Seattle's Century 21 Exposition, world's fairs have largely fallen out of fashion in the U.S.

Steered by a computer to loop in the wind, this kite converts wind energy into electricity via a tether attached to a generator on the ground. Currently, such kites can generate enough electricity to power 60 average US households.

Planet Positive

Could High-Flying Kites Power Your Home?

Nearly a dozen companies are betting on computer-controlled, airborne wind energy to electrify the future

To many people, Henrietta Lacks, painted by Kadir Nelson in 2017, symbolizes inequity in medicine. Lacks died from cervical cancer in 1951, but her tumor cells— used in research without her permission—would enable medical advances, including the polio vaccine.

Race in America

The Historical Roots of Racial Disparities in American Health Care

A new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel, 'The Color of Care,' produced by Oprah Winfrey, shines a light on medicine’s biases

It’s shocking how many everyday inventions we use without acknowledging the inventors that helped bring them to us.

Innovation for Good

Five Women Inventors You Didn't Learn About in History Class

These innovators pioneered word processing, launched Americans into space and more

The Saguache Crescent’s masthead is cast from lead in a process that allows it to survive a year of printing.

This Small-Town Newspaper Is the Last of Its Kind

The "Saguache Crescent," a weekly in a Colorado hamlet, still prints on the 19th-century technology known as linotype

A full-scale replica of Notre-Dame’s Truss 6 in Washington, D.C. last summer.

How to Rebuild Notre-Dame Using 12th-Century Tools

In Washington, D.C., an innovative team of designers demonstrated how medieval techniques could be used to repair the Parisian landmark

A vessel nears the commercial wind farm 3.8 miles off the coast of Block Island.

Planet Positive

This Historic Community Is Pushing the Nation Toward a Wind Power Revolution

Block Island, off the New England coast, overcame political strife to lead the way on energy independence

Dried cochineal insects — shown here in the center of the photo — can be processed to create several natural dyes such as carmine and cochineal extract. These products get their red hue from carminic acid, a chemical found within the insect.

Scientists Are Making Cochineal, a Red Dye From Bugs, in the Lab

Used to color foods and cosmetics, carminic acid is traditionally 'farmed' from an insect. But researchers are moving to engineer it in microbes

Bottlenose dolphins swim in the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation off Scotland. The photo was taken by an aerial drone.

In a First, Scientists Use Drones to Detect Pregnant Dolphins

Researchers say the new tech will help them better understand bottlenose dolphin reproduction

A Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27 lifts off at a 2017 airshow in the U.K. The Su-27 is Ukraine’s long arm, an offensive fighter with great range and the capacity to carry nearly 10,000 pounds of bombs, rockets, and missiles.

The Russian Jet That Fights for Both Sides

What Ukrainian air force pilots had to say about their aging Su-27s.

To better understand how hypoxia—dangerously low oxygen levels—affects crabs, researchers and fishers are working together to find a way to adjust to changing conditions in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

A New Tool May Help Crab Fishers Sidestep Dead Zones

Low-cost sensors that fit into crab pots could provide real-time data on oxygen fluctuations in the ocean