She Conquered Wrinkles … in Cotton Fabric

If you grabbed a cotton dress shirt out of the dryer this morning and put it on without ironing it, you probably should be thanking a chemist named Ruth Benerito. In the mid-1960s, Benerito and two colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed and patented a process for chemically cross-linking and reinforcing the chains of cellulose molecules in cotton fibers, which enabled them to stay in place under the stress of washing and wear. The “wrinkle-free” garments that manufacturers produced …

Endeavour’s Last Crawl

It crawled through the city like part of a slow-motion scene from a science fiction movie, towering over the southern part of Los Angeles toward the open heart of our history. There were applause, tears, cheers and even a salute as the 170,000-pound space shuttle Endeavour made its way from L.A. International Airport to its new home in the California Science Center just 12 miles away. During its 20-year life span, the gleaming, almost glowing, Endeavour soared through space at …

With the Aid of Science! Human on Our Own Terms

Medical science routinely offers solutions to problems that our bodies or environment can not naturally fix. It’s great when these are cool re-imaginings and re-purposing of existing products and procedures. Other times its fine-tuning that leads to good results. This week had a bunch of cool and slightly weird stories about solving some health related issues. Wheelchair Car: There aren’t many options for driving for those in wheelchairs. Existing cars often need remodeling to accommodate the systems that allow those …

With the Aid of Science! News Roundup

Bionic eyes, curing malaria and sweet, lovely chocolate. There’s a lot of cool and groundbreaking science and medical news that came out this week. Medical science was kind of awesome this week. Cyborg: A 54-year-old blind Australian woman was fitted with a bionic eye that stimulates her nervous system to allow her to see some light. While not actually vision, it does seem to be a good first step toward a better understanding of integrating technology with the nervous system. …

With the Aid of Science: Health News Roundup!

There’s been some cool medical and science stories that have cropped up this week. From a blood cell glucose sensor to a possible vaccine for heart disease, it’s been a pretty interesting week for some heavy topics. Digestible microchips! Of course there’s lots of stories and research out there. These are just a few that stood out. Let’s take a closer look: Your blood knows: Some folks have figured out how to make a blood cell into a chemical sensor …