Humanitarian Innovation on Flipboard

By Direct Relief | Intersections of science, technology, health and humanitarian assistance.

Inside Project Loon: Google's internet in the sky is almost open for business

“Good news,” says Katelin Jabbari, Google X’s communications chief. “It’s about to explode.”

We’re several hundred feet in the air, inching our way along a wooden walkway tucked high into the rafters of the massive hangar at Moffett Federal Airfield, where Google’s most outlandish and secretive …

Google

Plan to crack down on ketamine puts millions of women at risk, say campaigners

A new proposal to limit access to ketamine around the world would have a devastating effect on the health of millions of women in poorer countries, say campaigners. Although in developed nations ketamine is known primarily as a party drug, in lower income countries it's one of the most widely used …

Ketamine

Bill Gates on The Verge: Can we eradicate some of the world's worst diseases by 2030? | The Verge

Guest editor Bill Gates

Can we eradicate some of the world’s worst diseases by 2030?

By Arielle Duhaime-Ross

We're excited to have Bill Gates as our guest editor in February. Throughout the month, Bill will be sharing his vision of how technology will revolutionize life for the world's poor by 2030 by

Bill Gates

Acidic oceans are threatening shellfish around US coasts

Ocean acidification—it’s happening, and US coastal communities should start preparing now, especially if the rest of us want scallops, oysters and other shellfish to keep appearing on our restaurant menus and dinner plates.

That’s the message of a new study that shows that America’s shellfisheries …

Shellfish

Anthropocene Futures


An unavoidable topic for thinking about the future in the twenty-first century has to be the question of the Anthropocene. Any kind of critical

Anthropocene

A Vacant Lot In Wyoming Will Become One Of The World's First Vertical Farms

A unique conveyer belt design allows the three-story greenhouse to be efficient and sustainable, providing jobs and fresh produce to the Jackson community.

Jackson, Wyoming, is an unlikely place for urban farming: At an altitude over a mile high, with snow that can last until May, the growing season …

Farming

Drones for Good

UAVs, or drones, have the potential to be important components of disaster relief. Their use in responding to crises is still in its infancy but …

Drones

FutureFood 2050

Biotech policy expert Calestous Juma believes educating Africa’s leaders about the role of technology in agriculture is key to helping the continent …

Agriculture

Fatal Accidents as a Global Health Crisis

Worried about what to worry about? Accidents should move higher up your list.

Worldwide, road injuries kill more people than AIDS. Falls kill nearly three times as many people as brain cancer. Drowning claims more lives than mothers dying in childbirth. Both fire and poisonings have many times more …

Medicine

Women's Health: Rewriting the Goals | Chicago Council on Global Affairs

The Chicago Council will also live stream this program.

What does the future hold for global women’s health? 2015 will see the evaluation of the …

Women's Health

New map of human genetics contains clues for Alzheimer's and cancer

Alzheimer's disease may involve the immune system, and researchers might have figured out how to pinpoint the origin of a cancer that has spread prior to diagnosis. These are just some of the findings reported today in a series of studies published in the Nature journals, which detail a largely …

Cancer

Scientists say all the world’s data can fit on a DNA hard drive the size of a teaspoon

Even though it’s looking increasingly likely that humanity will find a way to wipe itself off the face of the Earth, there’s a chance that our creative output may live on. Servers, hard drives, flash drives, and disks will degrade (as will our libraries of paper books, of course), but a group of …

DNA

New Climate-Change Report Reminds Us NYC Will Eventually Become a Sweltering Swampland

Get out while you still can. Find a nice patch of land somewhere temperate where you can see the sky. Live out your days there, because at this point …

New York

The New Power Plants That Could Actually Remove Carbon from the Atmosphere

What’s better than a zero-carbon source of electricity like solar or wind? One that removes carbon from the atmosphere—a negative-carbon source.It’s …

Energy

Software That Turns Your Lego Masterpiece Into a Digital Building

It’s the frustration of many a designer: You grow up sketching and making with your hands, only to find yourself 20 years later spending the day in …

Lego

Monster hurricanes struck U.S. Northeast during prehistoric periods of ocean warming

Intense hurricanes possibly more powerful than any storms New England has experienced in recorded history frequently pounded the region during the …

Roman Empire

A Pancreas in a Capsule

Stem-cell advocates pin their hopes on an artificial pancreas to treat diabetes. Fourteen years ago, during the darkest moments of the “stem-cell …

Pancreas

Uncovering the genetic basis of obesity hints at new ways to define it

Obesity is determined by both by a person’s environment and their genetics. But until recently, researchers didn’t know exactly what role various regions of our DNA played in determining how human bodies look. Now, researchers have linked multiple new regions of the human genome to body mass index …

Genetics

The Risks of Climate Engineering

THE Republican Party has long resisted action on climate change, but now that much of the electorate wants something done, it needs to find a way out of the hole it has dug for itself. A committee appointed by the National Research Council may just have handed the party a ladder.

In a two-volume …

Climate

Remote Sensing Satellites and the Regulation of Violence in Areas of Limited Statehood

In 1985, American intelligence analyst Samuel Loring Morison was charged with espionage after leaking this satellite image of a Soviet shipyard:And …

Remote Sensing

The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Not-For-Profit

From the saviors of Detroit to the Ice Bucket Challenge, the best in not-for-profit innovation.

1. The Foundation for Detroit's Future

For saving a city and its art. Some philanthropists make big donations to find a cure for a disease, or to help poor children overseas. But what if not-for-profits …

Philanthropy

This bouncy ball drone wants to search and rescue without cutting off anyone's face by accident

We've seen some incredible progress recently when it comes to the sense and avoid technology that lets drones navigate around obstacles. But we're still waiting for these systems to be robust enough to actually deploy to the public. In the meantime, a Swiss company called Flyability has created a …

Drones

Drones for good?

DUBAI 09 February 2015 (IRIN) - Most commonly associated with spying and military missions, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – or drones – …

Disasters

U.S. to Develop DNA Study of One Million People

An Obama initiative seeks to channel a torrent of gene information into treatments for cancer, other diseases.President Barack Obama is proposing to …

DNA

Rich countries solved this problem decades ago, but now millions of poor people are dying from it

This year, industrialized countries will spend $10.4 billion helping poor countries cut carbon emissions and brace for the impact of climate change. Meanwhile, the world shells out tens of billions a year combating infectious diseases like HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, spending which continues to …

The end of the silo: What it means for today's global health worker

The number one trend in global health is the end of the sole actor and the embracing of collective impact. Here are three ways this trend may affect …

Global Health

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Predicts A Long List Of Breakthroughs In Global Health And Development By 2030

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Worldwide child deaths will be halved over the next 15 years, polio, guinea worm and river blindness will be eradicated, and there will be a single-dose cure for malaria.

The predictions appear in the annual letter from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, chaired by the …

Bill Gates

Scientists create new method to tame artificial organisms: make them dependent on lab food

Future artificial organisms may come with better built-in brakes to prevent their spread, two papers published in the journal Nature suggest. That may make genetically modified organisms safer for use outside the lab.

Some people worry that GMOs might spread widely beyond their intended use, damaging …