Scientists in Switzerland are working on a vaccine for cats that could bring relief to pet owners with an ill-fated allergy to them. The research group, HypoPet AG, claims their vaccine already shows some success in neutralizing a known allergen in our feline friends.
Fashion Makes Way for Innovative Eco Collections
Would you purchase textiles dyed with food waste or clothes that sprout plants? Fashion designers introduced three innovative eco collections that incorporate these elements at the inaugural TILL: bioFASHIONtech Summit in Stamford, Connecticut. The Summit brings together biotechnology, soil science, community building, and fashion.
Biophilic Design Benefits Students, Even in Schools with Tight Budgets
Long before the term ‘biophilia’ entered the scientific lexicon in the 1970s, it served as an innate design practice. In Hellenistic Greek and Roman architecture, open-air courtyards functioned as the center of the home, providing a calming respite with fresh air, natural light, and views of nature. Though few homes today are built around secluded outdoor oases, biophilic elements enable designers to create similarly stimulating and restorative spaces in built environments, ultimately improving the health and wellness of those within them.
It's a brave new world out there and that's thanks to the private sector, for the most part. Everything from retail to banking to pharmaceuticals to farming has been touched by the digital revolution and the companies that spearhead its forward progress. In 2019, Fast Company has identified a new crop of 50 startups and big corporations taking innovation to the next level.
Teen Designs Prosthetic Arms Using Legos, Dubs Himself "Hand Solo"
David Aguilar had an elegant solution to a rare genetic condition. The bioengineering student built his first mechanical arm out of Lego bricks at age 9, and since then has built three more. But he's not stopping there: he has more in the works for those in need.
A 60's Classic Makes a Splash in Today's Market
Casper may think they have the modern sleep market cornered, but an old-school contender is about to disturb the waters. The inventor of the original waterbed has something new up his sleeve that's designed to please both die-hard fans and new converts. The new waterbed, called Afloat, promises more precise body conturing than a regular mattress, no microscopic bugs, and the ability to control the temperature of the water.
This past decade has seen some major political and culture shifts in attitude towards marijuana—with nine states approving its recreational use and another 21 states approving medicinal use, the U.S. is slowly coming around to this hotly contested plant's powers of persuasion. Another major shift in opinion happened last week, when the FDA approved the first cannabis-based drug for prescription across all 50 states. This drug specifically targets and reduces episodes of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a form of epilepsy, and Dravet syndrome, a brain dysfunction, by 25%.
Cyborg Artist Choreographs Earthquakes Via Feet Implants
Moon Ribas is a dancer and choreographer with an unusual source of inspiration: earthquakes. Implants embedded in her feet are linked to online seismographs, which send vibrations through her body any time they detect seismic activity. Ribas then transforms those vibrations into dance moves.
Coca-Cola Bets On A New Drug
What do these three things have in common: cocaine, caffeine, and cannabis? For starters, they all start with "c" and they're all considered drugs by the United States government. They also share a relationship with the Coca-Cola company, who infused their beverages with trace amounts of cocaine until 1929 and continues to caffeinate many of their products today. The soda company purportedly is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to create a CBD-infused soft drink.
If the modern art museum is starting to lean a little too heavy on the installation side of things for you, blame Instagram and the profusion of pop-up museums the photo and video-sharing social media giant has spurred. Places like the Museum of Ice Cream or the wndr museum cater to the type of visitor who needs to document and share everything on "the 'gram," creating beautiful if slightly over-hyped exhibits in which to take the perfect selfie. The question remains: is this a bastardization of artistic traditions, a new chapter in the historiography of art, or just a fad?
It's Time for Humanity to Remember Its "Alternative" Roots
Wheat, maize, rice, and soybeans dominate modern-day agriculture, providing two-thirds of the world’s food supply while simultaneously contributing nearly a third of global greenhouse gases and eroding biodiversity across the planet. But a group called Crops for the Future hopes to reverse these trends by posing equally delicious and nutritious alternatives—7,000 of them, in fact. As climate change ramps up, rediscovering the benefits of these "alternative crops" could mean life or death for the future of humanity.
The Surprisingly Scientific Way Ben & Jerry’s Brings New Flavors to Your Freezer
Ice cream may be easy to make, but predicting what flavors people will want to gobble up two years from now is a bit harder. Ben & Jerry’s tries to get the upper hand on this prescient quest through some serious multi-step, expert-heavy R&D. The journey starts with “Flavor Gurus”—individuals with the research skills and culinary knowledge to know where to start looking.
With streaming services becoming larger players in the studio system, and phones that allow movie watching without the need for a computer or television, the movie theater has struggled to stay relevant. A Los Angeles startup called Dreamscape Immersive is offering one solution: a “VR Multiplex” in Century City that will offer untethered VR headsets and an open space allowing customers to interact with both virtual and real objects.
Mattress Innovator Casper to Start Selling Sleep (Yes, That’s Right)
Direct-to-consumer mattress brand Casper may be best known for igniting the “mattress-in-a-box” craze, but the company, which recently hit $600 million in revenue, has launched a branded nap destination dubbed the Dreamery right next to its NYC flagship. For a small fee, visitors receive an immersive napping experience on a Casper mattress (don’t worry, the sheets are changed every 45 minutes). It may seem indulgent to some, but Casper believes it’s tapping an unfilled niche and plans to bring Dreamery outposts to airports and office spaces.
Need Blacker Than Black Paint? You Got It
Anish Kapoor may have Vantablack all to himself, but he hasn’t cornered the market on all super-black pigments. NASA and NanoLab, a Massachusetts-based nano materials company, together produced a new blacker-than-black paint last year, and this time it’s available to the general public. Singularity Black takes its name from an astronomical theory about the gravitational power at the center of black holes, and is primarily used by NASA to coat observation equipment, absorbing errant light that can otherwise interfere with the instruments’ delicate sensors.