Scientific Innovation

Canada-based drone tech firm Draganfly is hoping to roll out the stationary cameras and drones in the next two to three months that can detect people with COVID-19 symptoms.

How Innovators Are Adapting Existing Technologies to Fight COVID-19

Engineers around the world are tweaking drones, robots and smart tools to help prevent the spread of the virus

Ewelina Mamcarz and Stephen Gottschalk developed a treatment for babies born without an immune system.

These Scientists May Have Found a Cure for 'Bubble Boy' Disease

A newly developed gene therapy is saving young people afflicted by the rare but deadly diagnosis

Sunlight-Tracking Polymer, Inspired by Sunflowers, Could Maximize Solar Power

The SunBOTS bend toward light source and could help solar cells capture more direct sunlight all day long

Double-Sided Tape Inspired by Spiderwebs Could Revolutionize Surgery

The two-sided adhesive instantly dries tissue then creates a strong bond—in just 5 seconds

Ginkgo has survived three mass extinctions, including the one that killed the dinosaurs.

Smithsonian Scientists Are Using Ginkgo Leaves to Study Climate Change—They Need Your Help

Citizen scientists can submit leaf samples from their hometowns through the end of August

Keven Walgamott lost his left hand and part of his arm in an electrical accident 17 years ago

Robotic Hand Restores Wearer’s Sense of Touch

The prosthetic enabled a test subject to pick up an egg without cracking it, send a text message, peel a banana and hold his wife's hand

The hydrogel mimics the epiphragm, a temporary adhesive layer that hardens when dried and softens when rehydrated with water

Snail-Inspired Super Glue Can Support the Weight of a 200-Pound Human

The adhesive offers both impressive strength and reusability, avoiding the problems posed by strong but irreversible glues and vice versa

An artist's rendering of the recomposition facility

Washington Becomes First State to Allow 'Human Composting' as a Burial Method

The accelerated decomposition method transforms remains into soil and uses just an eighth of the energy required for cremation

The synthetic DNA contains 61 codons, as opposed to the 64 typically found in living organisms

Scientists Create E. Coli Bacteria With Completely Synthetic Genome

The synthetic organisms appear to function much like their natural counterparts

In trials, the app detected the presence of ear fluid with 85 percent accuracy

Researchers Develop App That Plays Chirping Sounds to Check for Ear Infections

Although EarHealth isn’t currently available for purchase, the team hopes to receive F.D.A. approval by the end of 2019

An animation of the eight color-coded bases of hachimoji DNA

Scientists Successfully Double the DNA Alphabet

"Hachimoji DNA" is structurally sound, offers new possibilities for data storage and raises questions about the molecular makeup potential alien life

The first column shows the image being displayed on the LCD screen that the camera couldn't see. The second image is what was reflected onto the white wall, or the scene the camera captured. The third and fourth were produced without knowing the position of the occluded object. The last row, slightly better, shows the image produced with knowledge of the object's location.

Scientists Used an Ordinary Digital Camera to Peer Around a Corner

A team from Boston University recreated an image of an object using its shadow


The Innovative Spirit: Changing Our World For the Better

In partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, we look at the innovative spirit within the Smithsonian and beyond

When the U.S. Government Tried to Make It Rain by Exploding Dynamite in the Sky

Inspired by weather patterns during the Civil War, the rainmakers of the 1890s headed to west Texas to test their theory

Berry started his career colorizing actual telescope data. His more recent work includes this artistic impression of a black hole at the heart of galaxy NGC 1068. The material trapped around the black hole is moving so fast that the light itself is either compressed to blue where the material is coming toward the viewer, or stretched to red, where it is rushing away from the viewer.

The Supernova That Launched a Thousand Gorgeous Space Images

By colorizing one of the first Hubble satellite images, illustrator Dana Berry ushered in a new era of stunning space visuals

Scientists Explain The Thrill of Detecting a Neutrino From a Far-Off Galaxy

For the first time, the IceCube observatory has triumphantly tracked a neutrino back to a massive blazar

The charred papyrus scroll recovered from Herculaneum is preserved in 12 trays mounted under glass. Here is PHerc.118 in tray 8. The scroll was physically unrolled in 1883-84, causing irreparable damage.

Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia

A revolutionary American scientist is using subatomic physics to decipher 2,000-year-old texts from the early days of Western civilization

Most Parents Want to Test Their Unborn Kids' Genes For Disease Risk

Despite the fact that they might not like what they learn

Silverman's mushroom shoe prototype is sustainable—but will it  hold up in the rain?

Are These Baked Mushroom Sandals the Future of Fashion?

As sustainable fashion goes mainstream, multiple designers are turning to fungi for compostable attire

Ten Female Innovators to Watch In 2018

These inventors, startup founders and businesswomen have exciting things happening this year. Stay tuned!

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