News You Can Use: Saving Lives on Earth, Sustaining Life in Space


News You Can Use: Saving Lives on Earth, Sustaining Life in Space

August 20, 2015

We can’t say it enough: we love inventing, and everything about it. We love the inventors, who, despite diverse backgrounds share the goal of making something new. And, of course, we love the inventions themselves, especially the revolutionary ones. But where do inventors get their innovative spirit? This month’s News You Can Use explores the process of innovation, even beyond our horizons.

Lifesaving inventor pens informative piece about disruptive innovation

Syringes make medicinal delivery quick and effective, and Marc Koska knows this better than anyone. The creator of the single-use syringe, an invention that has saved millions of lives, Mr. Koska offered great advice in his essay in The Telegraph about the process of innovation and invention. Among his best recommendations are to “start with the problem, not the solution” and use simplicity as an advantage. After all, complex problems don’t necessarily need to be solved with complex solutions.

Researchers believe “mundane” time is a necessary aspect of innovation

How do you handle mundane tasks? This might be a question you’ve had to answer during an interview. Well, according to The New York Times, mundane tasks actually improve the innovation process. A group of researchers examined Kickstarter campaigns and found that when people had more free time, the numbers of projects sharply increased. Yes, some of these people likely maximized their abundant time to optimize for Eureka! moments. But the researchers concluded that more free time means more execution-oriented tasks, which are critical to turning an idea into something more.

Astronauts eat homegrown “space salad”

Years in the making, astronauts on the International Space Station recently ate food grown in space for the very first time, a huge step toward sustaining life in space on manned missions to Mars and beyond. This didn’t come easy. In fact, the process of growing the red romaine lettuce required multiple innovative ideas to succeed. Syringes had to be used to water the soil, fans had to constantly circulate the air, and powerful artificial lights were turned on and off in as close to an Earth-like schedule as possible. The astronauts ate the crop with a nice seasoning of olive oil and balsamic vinegar after harvesting. But apparently the lettuce tasted great on its own, too.

Want to learn more about the invention process? Check out our Behind the Breakthrough series to hear first-hand from IV’s top inventors and innovators.  

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