Innovation

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One potential tool to combat the growing affordable housing problem, which the National Low Income Housing Coalition says has grown to a need for more than 7 million homes, is 3D printing.

Can 3D Printing Help Address the Affordable Housing Crisis in the United States?

The construction is faster, cleaner and more affordable, but experts acknowledge some trial and error is needed

Hunters, trappers and other land users in the North are using Siku, a mobile app named after the Inuktitut word for “sea ice,” to share environmental information, including ice conditions. Here, an Inuit hunter prepares to test the safety of sea ice near Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, with a harpoon.

This App Lets Inuit Combine Traditional Knowledge With Scientific Data

Indigenous communities from Alaska to Greenland are harnessing information to make their own decisions

A diver prepares to enter the water of Malakal Harbor in Palau, where the plane flown by U.S. Navy pilot Jay Ross Manown Jr. was shot down in September 1944.

Recovering the Lost Aviators of World War II

Inside the search for a plane shot down over the Pacific—and the new effort to bring its fallen heroes home

A logging road in Montana’s Lolo National Forest. America’s woodlands are carved up by obsolete roads that fragment wildlife habitat and degrade fragile ecosystems. Now ecologists are calling in bulldozers to rip them up.

The Case for Destroying Old Forest Roads

Can demolishing abandoned dirt paths point the way to a more sustainable future?

Gijon, an Aaron program that Cohen debuted in 2007, created jungle-like scenes—distinct from the figures created by the previous version of the software, Aaron KCAT.

The First A.I.-Generated Art Dates Back to the 1970s

A new show at the Whitney showcases the visionary who devised the art world’s first artificial intelligence

A dugong, also known as a sea cow, in a protected marine reserve in the Philippines. On the mammal’s underside, remora fish snack on parasites—and dugong poop.

The Dugong, a Huggable, Seagrass-Loving Sea Cow, Has a New Best Friend: Drones

Keeping tabs on the species' populations is surprisingly hard. A new aerial effort tracks the marks they leave behind

Fabrizio Fidati, a 57-year-old amputee, uses the MiniTouch device with his prosthetic to accurately sort cubes of different temperatures.

In a First, a Prosthetic Limb Can Sense Temperature Like a Living Hand

The advance may help users feel a greater sense of human connection through touch

This prototype of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter achieved the first successful free flight under simulated Martian conditions (on Earth) in 2016.

Prototype for Mars Helicopter Will Soon Be on Display at National Air and Space Museum

The surprisingly long-serving Ingenuity ended its historic service after breaking a rotor

A Parkinson’s patient in Nice, France, is prepped for a surgery to implant electrodes into the brain. The technique, called deep brain stimulation, is being used experimentally or in small studies to treat addiction.

Can a Brain Implant Treat Addiction?

Some experts tout deep brain stimulation as a lifeline for people struggling with opioid use. Others question the hype

Kelp cultivated in underwater forests could help curb climate change, both because of the carbon these forests capture and because products made from kelp can reduce carbon emissions.

Could Sinking Tons of Seaweed to the Ocean Floor Help Combat Climate Change?

Submerged seaweed can store carbon at the bottom of the sea, but how effective the strategy will be remains unclear

The original Macintosh computer may seem quaint today, but the way users interacted with it was game-changing.

Forty Years Ago, the Mac Triggered a Revolution in User Experience

When it was introduced in 1984, Apple's Macintosh didn't have any striking technological breakthroughs, but it did make it easier for people to operate a computer

CES 2024, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade fair, was held in Las Vegas January 9-12.

The Eight Coolest Inventions From the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show

A solar-powered electric vehicle, an at-home “multiscope,” an office bike that charges your devices and more were unveiled at the annual Las Vegas trade show

Paola Magni in 2022, taking a water sample from Italy’s Lake Bracciano—the site of the mysterious death of a local teenager, ten years before.

The Scientist Using Bugs to Help Solve Murders

At crime scenes around the world, the forensic entomologist Paola Magni is taking her field into uncharted waters

Sunlight illuminates a plaque in Charleston, South Carolina, honoring 36 likely enslaved people—ranging in age from 3 to over 50—whose remains were discovered in 2013.

A New Project Uses Isotopes to Pinpoint the Birthplaces of the Enslaved

In South Carolina, members of the local Black community are teaming up with scientists to produce a novel study of the trans-Atlantic slave trade

A player serving on an outdoor court. In 2022, the Association of Pickleball Professionals estimated there were 36.5 million pickleball players in the U.S.

How the Obscure Sport of Pickleball Became King of the Court

With origins dating back to the 16th century, paddle sports have always had an unmistakable allure

Nubian giraffes in South Sudan during an aerial survey in April 2023. The area is home to what is probably the planet’s largest land mammal migration.

Giraffes Are Notoriously Hard to Track, But New Technology Is Helping Scientists Protect the Beloved Species

As populations plummet across Africa, researchers have designed an ingenious method to study the graceful creatures

Monarch butterflies' signature white spots could help them fly—and inspire better drones.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2023 That Could Lead to New Inventions

Biologists learned lots about animals and plants this year, and their findings could inspire better robots, medicine and environmental technologies

Malus sieversii is a wild apple native to the mountains of southern Kazakhstan.

Saving the Apple's Ancient Ancestor in the Forests of Kazakhstan

Found in the Tian Shan mountains, <em>Malus sieversii</em> could hold the secret to making other species of the fruit more stress-resistant

A pneumatic mail tube at the main Post Office Department branch in New York City, circa 1914 or 1915

When a Labyrinth of Pneumatic Tubes Shuttled Mail Beneath the Streets of New York City

Powered by compressed air, the system transported millions of letters between 1897 and 1953

See-through wood has a number of interesting properties that researchers hope to exploit.

The Surprising Possibilities of See-Through Wood

Stronger than plastic and tougher than glass, the resin-filled material is being exploited for smartphone screens, insulated windows and more

Photo of the day

In the moonlit night, a hedgehog's quills shine, with a small soldier beetle embarking on a daring journey atop the spiky terrain. A whimsical nocturnal encounter, where nature's mysteries and unexpected connections thrive in the heart of the night. Quill Rider