Social Innovations in 2015 which changed the world: Part II


Everyone dreams of changing the world, but a very few take steps in that direction. Presenting second article in the segment of Innovations that changed the world.

A revolutionary material that could absorb large oil spills


We all have the images of dead sea-life and oil layers washing the shores of America and Europe. Those haunting images can be days of past, through the revolutionary nano-sheet, that absorbs and cleans the oil like sponge.
Developed by the Researchers at Deakin University in Australia, along with scientists at Drexel University in Philadelphia and Missouri University, this path breaking material can bring substantial change in the rising water pollution level.

Each nano-sheet is made up of flakes that are only several nanometers (one-billionth of a meter) thick with tiny holes, which can grow to the size of 5.5 tennis courts.”The pores in the nanosheets provide the surface area to absorb oils and organic solvents up to 33 times its own weight,” one of the researchers said.

A Durable House for refugees


IKEA just turned turned its flat pack sensibilities from the urban apartment to the global village by unveiling a comfortable, solar-powered shelter that can provide emergency housing for natural disaster victims and refugees. The flat pack homes were developed in collaboration between the IKEA and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), and they can be set up in a snap to provide immediate shelter for those in need.

Better shelter has a lifespan of three years, and comes with a lamp and a solar panel, to make it as convenient and useful as possible.

Eco-Friendly bricks from Industrial Waste

India’s brick industry with more than a hundred thousand kilns producing more than 2 bilion bricks a year, is a big source of pollution. Diesel and cola used to fire the kiln, and the residue is horrendous: thick particulate matter, poor working conditions, and lots of climate-changing emissions.

MIT students with these points in mind, have developed an eco-friendly Brick that requires no firing at all and makes use of waste boiler ash that otherwise clogs up landfills. The brick is economically cheaper, yet its durability and feasibility is being tested in a paper mill in Muzzaffarnagar, a town in North India.

A Dot that can save Lives

Bindi, an integral part of Indian culture and a symbol of beauty. Can it do more? We say yes, it can save life.

Millions of women across rural India suffer from Breast Cancer, complications during pregnancy and Fibrocystic Breast Disease . Most of these cases are linked to an iodine deficiency. Supplements in form of pills are available, but they were not talking them and getting them. This problem gave rise to the solution, Life Saving Dot:  an idea that transformed bindis into iodine patches. Every woman requires between 150 – 220 micrograms of iodine daily.These bindis dispensed that amount to the wearer daily.

These are distributed to women across India, through local clinics and hospitals, and are showing their effect.

A temporary tattoo that helps to detect blood sugar level


Syringes, painful prick and blood test is a nightmare for Sugar patients, which they endure everyday. But nano engineers at UC San Diego developed a temporary tattoo that without piercing extracts and measures glucose levels in the fluid between skin cells.

The tattoo does not provide required numeric reading, but research is going on to extract this data through blue tooth into hand-held device. This surely is a promising tattoo and can pave way for new generation of better devices and processes, such as delivering medicines through the skin and measuring other vital information of body.

These innovations are yet to hit public space, but are sure to rock the space and make Earth a better planet.