Inventions

Alexander Graham Bell circa 1910

The Smithsonian Will Restore Hundreds of the World's Oldest Sound Recordings

They were made by Alexander Graham Bell and his fellow researchers between 1881 and 1892

Debra Babalola and Shefali Bohra invented Dotplot, a device that can help users monitor their breast health.

A New Tool Could Help Detect Breast Cancer Earlier

Dotplot gives users real-time feedback and builds a personalized map of their chests

Banff Sunshine has pioneered snow farming, which involves setting up miles of fencing across its highest terrain to capture large amounts of wind-blown, natural snow.

This Canadian Ski Area Doesn't Make Snow—It Farms It

Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Alberta is in the perfect position for piling up powder

Steve Galchutt shows off the custom-made low-wattage transmitter he uses on his treks.

Looking to Ditch Twitter? Morse Code Is Back

Reviving a 200-year-old system, enthusiasts are putting the digit back in digital communication

Our ten-most read stories of the year featured the all-woman army of the African kingdom of Dahomey, mischievous felines, J.R.R. Tolkien and more.

Our Top Ten Stories of 2022

From a teen inventor to invasive fish to lost cities of the Amazon, these were our most-read articles of the year

Innovators may want to create soft robots that more accurately replicate the dynamics of an elephant’s trunk.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2022 That May Lead to New Inventions

Nature is a breeding ground for innovative solutions to everything from aging to plastic pollution

Pure Structural Color is made of several extremely thin sheets of non-conductive material. These layers are stacked together and imprinted, or stamped, with a nano-scale pattern of rods with curved ends. This pattern scatters light into colors that are visible from all directions, and different hues can be produced by changing the dimensions of the pattern.

Art Meets Science

This British Zoologist Wants to Reinvent Color

Andrew Parker has produced some of the brightest hues in the world. So, what’s his secret?

Twelve-year-old Madison Checketts was named one of the 30 finalists in the 2022 Broadcom Masters Competition, the country’s premier science, technology, engineering and math competition for middle school students.

This 12-Year-Old Designed a Water Bottle You Can Eat

After seeing plastic polluting her favorite beaches year after year, Madison Checketts decided it was time to do something about it

Blue jeans gained popularity in the late 19th-century American West due to their durability.

Cache of 19th-Century Blue Jeans Discovered in Abandoned Arizona Mineshaft

The seven pairs of pants open a portal into life in the Castle Dome mining district

The Maka Niu, a low-cost, customizable deep-sea observing tool is currently undergoing testing around the world, including at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts.

This Low-Cost Device Could Make the Deep Sea Accessible to Everyone

The inexpensive Maka Niu collects video and data at depths more than five times greater than trained scuba divers can go

The Quadcopter Mines Detector uses a metal detector to find land mines as it flies above them.

A Ukrainian Teenager Invents a Drone That Can Detect Land Mines

Seventeen-year-old Igor Klymenko worked on his invention while sheltering in a basement from Russian attacks

Market research firm Fact.MR estimated that global nonalcoholic wine sales reached $1.6 billion in 2021 and will double in the next decade.

The Science Behind Nonalcoholic Wine

Drinking habits are changing, and vintners are exceeding tasters' expectations with new options stripped of their alcohol

None

The Remarkable Effort to Locate America's Lost Patents

An 1836 blaze destroyed thousands of records that catalogued the young nation's ingenuity, but recent discoveries indicate that originals may still exist

The da Vinci surgical robot, shown here on a US Navy hospital ship, is one of the most widely used devices to assist doctors in laparoscopic surgery. The procedure — in which tools are inserted through tiny holes in the abdomen instead of cutting a long incision — allows patients to recover more quickly.

The Past, Present and Future of Robotic Surgery

After decades of merely assisting doctors, are sophisticated machines ready to take charge?

Manual breast pump with black bulb, dating to sometime between 1920 and 1959

The Sucky History of the Breast Pump

Efficient, double electric pumps are only 30 years young, but contraptions for expressing breast milk have been around for millennia

James Lovelock sits with one of his early inventions, a Gas Chromatography device that measures molecules in the atmosphere.

Remembering James Lovelock, Whose ‘Gaia Theory’ Shaped Our Understanding of Global Warming

The British scientist and inventor who said Earth is a self-regulating system died earlier this summer on his 103rd birthday

Robert Sansone with his novel synchronous reluctance motor

This 17-Year-Old Designed a Motor That Could Potentially Transform the Electric Car Industry

Robert Sansone's research could pave the way for the sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require rare-earth magnets

An alkaline hydrolysis machine at White Rose Aqua Cremation in Escondido, California

Could Water Cremation Become the New American Way of Death?

A sustainable option for what to do with our remains is trickling into popular consciousness

Ralph Samuelson on water skiis

The Man Who Invented Water Skiing

One hundred years ago, Ralph Samuelson successfully skied across the waters of Lake Pepin

Haribo products are available in more than 100 countries, with 160 million Goldbears leaving factory floors around the world every day.

The Colorful History of Haribo Goldbears, the World's First Gummy Bears

2022 marks the centenary of the German candy company's flagship product

loading icon