Archive for August, 2016

“Bone-Aid” an innovative flexible cast

August 28, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

Remember those old plaster casts? I remember the discomfort of these casts for broken bones, but here’s an idea that I thought I’d share today: Bone-Aid casts, that I think might make the process of healing broken or fractured bones more comfortable.

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Photo via Business Insider.

These were designed by students from Tunghai University in China. The casts aren’t for sale yet, but the Industrial Designers Society of America recently selected BoneAid as one of its Gold winners in the 2016 IDSA Awards, in the category of Student Designs:

Called the ‘BoneAid,’ the unique device was made with a flat-pack design that is primarily meant for emergency situations. Whether it is in war, during natural disasters or any other crises of humanity in which medical resources may be limited, these bone casts are made to ease the suffering of those in need. The casts lie flat and it is believed that the average truck can fit 500 of them in one go.

The students say that these bone casts are perfect for people who lack adequate medical access and care, whether it is in poor regions, ones that are dealing with conflict or ones that are facing the consequences of a natural disaster. What do you think? More info via Business Insider.

Register for CLEAR™ VIEW: Driving Business Performance through Organizational Capability!

August 25, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences
Clear ViewCLEAR™VIEW is a highly interactive, three day leadership experience for top executives charged with driving business performance through organizational capability and transformational change.  The CLEAR™VIEW program is focused on building practical strategies to address challenges in agility, change, innovation, talent and leadership. In-depth sessions with globally recognized thought leaders such as John Boudreau, Rob Cross, Al Vicere, as well as small group breakouts with CLEAR™ Institute executive coaches are designed to maximize ideas and learning in an intimate peer-to-peer setting. October 27 – 29, 2016 at the Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center in Leesburg, VA.
Business and organizational transformation are among the most urgent needs facing today’s leaders, as they prepare to address future trends and challenges. Responsibility for making organizations more agile, innovative, resilient, and “capable” is increasingly becoming a multi-disciplinary leadership role.
With that in mind, CLEAR(TM) Institute is offering the inaugural CLEAR(TM)VIEW program, providing a 360 learning environment. Led by Ian Ziskin, I’ll be among the thought leaders featured, including John Boudreau, Al Vicere, Rob Cross, and Bill Schiemann, as well as group coaching sessions to maximize learning from peers, this program will enhance your ability to deal with transformations ahead!

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 2.21.33 PMDownload the full brochure.


October 27 – 29, 2016
Add to Calendar


Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center
44050 Woodridge Parkway
Leesburg, VA 20176

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Talisa Ernstmann
CLEAR Institute

Self-driving taxis hit Singapore

August 19, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets, Cool videos

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.58.49 AMStarting on this week, residents of Singapore can hail a self-driving car as a taxi, thanks to It’s brought to U.S.-based nuTonomy by Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi. The new i-Miev taxis use an invite-only app.

The trial will offer riders a commute through Singapore’s one-north business district:

The startup, which in May received $16 million in funding, is narrowly beating Uber to the punch. The ride-sharing giant reportedly hopes to trial autonomous vehicles in downtown Pittsburgh sometime this month. Uber hopes that a fully autonomous Volvo will be a staple of its Pittsburgh fleet by the end of the year.

It’s not the first self-driving taxi trial, however, with driverless taxis doing the rounds in Tokyo earlier this year, courtesy of phone company DeNA.

“The trial represents an extraordinary opportunity to collect feedback from riders in a real-world setting,” said Karl Iagnemma, CEO and co-founder of nuTonomy. “This feedback will give nuTonomy a unique advantage as we work toward deployment of a self-driving vehicle fleet in 2018.”

Learn more here, and check out this video:

Chinese scientists will be the first to use CRISPR gene editing in human patients

August 16, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Biotechnology
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Image via Digital Trends

A lung cancer diagnosis is serious business. But in China, scientists are using a revolutionary technique to treat lung cancer:

Chinese scientists are preparing to set a world’s first by treating lung cancer patients with immune cells modified using the CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing technique. The team of clinical researchers hopes the modified immune cells will attack the cancer cells, offering a treatment option in cases where other conventional treatments have failed. “This technique is of great promise in bringing benefits to patients, especially the cancer patients whom we treat every day,” said lead oncologist Lu You from Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in an article published recently in Nature.

Lu and his team plan to extract T-cells from cancer patients and modify them using the CRISPR–Cas9 technique. The technology will knock out the PD-1 gene, which sits on the surface of the T-Cell and prevents the cell from attacking healthy cells that have the companion PD-L1 protein. Many cancer cells also express this standard PD-L1 marker as a defensive mechanism to prevent the body’s T-cells from attacking them. By disabling this PD-1 gene and removing the PD-1 protein, the modified T-cell will be free to destroy the cancer cells.

Read the full article here: 


When you’re away, device lets you reward your dog

August 12, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 5.42.17 PMIt’s Friday, so here is an upbeat invention to share for those of you who might want to step away from your pet for a few hours this weekend: The Furbo Dog Camera. It’s a smart camera that lets you see, talk to, and even toss a treat to your dog while you are away.

I travel a lot myself, so imagine being able to make your pup feel loved whether you’re across town or halfway around the world!  This camera comes with night vision, so dog owners who work late can still see their furry friend.

The concept was developed in 2014 by Tomofun, an international tech startup founded in 2014 by Victor Chang and Steve Chang, Chairman of Trend Micro. Designers shared their brand story on their website:

We talked with over 5000 dog parents to get their input on product design, features, packaging, and everything in between. From the very beginning, Furbo was created for dogs by dog lovers. We’ve also worked closely with veterinarians and professional dog trainers to ensure Furbo is good for your dog. In truth, Furbo wasn’t just created by our team, it was created by a whole community of dogs parents that wanted the very best for our puppies.


New health app tracks Zika

August 11, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Health and Wellness

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I’ve been watching the Summer 2016 Olympics from Rio, and it’s been exciting! But along with the competition, spectators and athletes have had to worry about the Zika virus. I recently learned that the Brazilian Ministry of Health has developed a new app that will crowdsource health symptoms and map out any spread of the Zika virus and other communicable diseases.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 6.25.01 PMThe Guardioes de Saude app encourages users to upload daily information about their symptoms, reporting any information to do with respiratory issues, diarrhea, or rashes. it’s completely voluntary, and those users can register with their basic information and allow the app to access their location.  The Ministry uses the data to create a Health Map, allowing people to follow health conditions near them in real-time.

The company estimates as many as 50,000 installations.

Off-grid living is still a thing

August 7, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 6.16.35 PMWhether for financial or environmental reasons, the trend of “off-grid” living doesn’t seem to be diminishing. There have been an explosion of blogs and reality TV shows these past several years dedicated to living off the electrical grid.

Three years ago a survey showed that 1.7 billion people in the world live off the grid. That takes into account emerging nations and poor populations, but what about in the United States?  According to Home Power Magazine, at least 180,000 families are living off the grid in America, and that number increases each year.

The term “off the grid” is defined as not requiring utilities, such as electricity, water, sewer, natural gas, heat, and other services. To truly live off the grid means a house operates without the assistance of any public utility services. To achieve this independence, one’s electricity needs to be on-site and powered by renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar or geothermal. Generators and fuel reserves are also needed. Another option is to simply do without electricity. source

But the U.S. isn’t the only nation jumping on the off-grid trend. There are off-grid families in every continent who intentionally wish to live completely sustainable and free from utility bills. And corporations are developing innovative solutions to go along with the need.

One startup company in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, has developed an egg-shaped “pod” house and shipping it all around the world. It’s called the The egg-shaped Ecocapsule.

Check it out:


Eco-friendly leather: Made from mushrooms!

August 4, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 5.51.11 PMLeather is great, but it’s a resource–intensive product that many would rather avoid, for environmental and animal safety reasons.  Here’s the story of how one company – MycoWorks – found a solution in nature. The company created a leather-like product grown rapidly from mycelium and agricultural byproducts in a carbon-negative process. In other words: Mushrooms!

The company says its custom-engineered material is sustainable, versatile, and animal–free, and it actually feels and performs like leather:

Our leather is uniquely customizable. We can grow textures and other features right into the material. And unlike animal hides, our materials can be grown to nearly any size and shape.

The closed-loop process uses abundant, natural fibers to create 100‰ biodegradable materials, making this an infinitely renewable technology. Source

Check out the video here:

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