Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Wonder: Systems of Simplicity

Carpet tape.
Cellphones with cameras.
Egg Beaters.

Each of the items above has a relationship to the other that is uncovered in the 16-minute TED Talk that I'm sharing with you today. Each has to do with the need for lab tests for disease diagnosis in the most needy populations in undeveloped and developing countries. Each represents a creative and ingenious solution to the problem of manufacturing "dirt-cheap" medical testing devices that can be used without a doctor being present.

Delivered by renowned chemist George Whitesides, the talk reveals the fascinating capability of the mind to come up with elegantly simple responses to complex human needs.

Whitesides himself is something of a wonder. He leads the Whitesides Research Group at Harvard University, which explores nanotechnology, fluidic optics, magnetics, functional self-assembly, and a host of other subjects. He's co-authored more than 900 scientific articles and co-founded 12 companies. His name is on more than 50 patents. His nonprofit, Diagnostics for All, works closely with his research group to bring low-cost, easy-to-use, point-of-care diagnostic devices to developing nations.



Stand With Haiti

No comments: