Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective, was regularly whipping his trusty magnifying glass out of his greatcoat to examine clues at crime scenes.  In both the printed short stories and novels, as well as on film, his deeper scrutiny of evidence – via the enlargement by lens – was most often followed by an “a-ha!” moment that typically leads to the villian(s)’ undoing.  Now, imagine that every man, woman and child all over the planet could engage in their own “a-ha” moment…not necessarily as a crime-solver, but for the simple pleasure of seeking out answers.

That’s the dream of one Manu Prakash, a professor at Stanford University in California.  He wants everyone to have the tools available to “think like a scientist”!  High-tech usually equates to high dollars to obtain the equipment necessary for scientific study.  School budgets are notoriously strapped in both developed and developing countries.  Professor Prakash and his research mates at PrakashLab have given the every-man a solution – their unit is a print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper:


Foldscope: Microscopy for



Photo credit:


Released in 2014, and much publicized then (check out: Foldscope Is A Paper Microscope That Can Fit In Your Pocket on Inquisitr) and since (take a look at this video posted on the Stanford Medicine Scope blog this June: Microscopes for the masses), the intervening time has been spent making this patented invention available in all corners of the globe.

And take a look at the many uses that have been devised by the folks who were part of their highly successful beta program:

Foldscope Explore: Exploring the Microcosmos


The endless possibilities for exploration and learning and disease control and…  well, what will YOU do with the microscope in YOUR pocket?  Or will you create the next affordable equipment that we can all have access to?  The journey has begun – where will you take it?

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The many issues facing the African continent concerning food, energy, healthcare, and many other services taken for granted in various areas of the globe continue to dominate headlines.  Those issues bring the heads of nations to the table to speak seriously on what we all can do to address crises that arise in any part of the world.  If each of us were to take steps in our own lives to examine the way we go about our daily routines, there could be some miraculous improvements.  Take a look at a company in Africa that is dedicated to that concept – and the well-deserved recognition they’ve received for their work!  Notably, they were a recipient of a Genesis Generation Prize in 2015.  Click the logo below to learn about this exciting company in Nairobi, Kenya…



Check out some of the awards and accolades Sanergy has garnered.  And, their reach extends beyond the places in which inhabitants live…  Read about:

Scaling sanitation in schools: Sanergy’s partnership with the SWASH+ Consortium

Sanergy’s School WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) program aims to raise students’ awareness of the importance of hygienic sanitation. Over the last year, Sanergy has made good progress toward this goal, training teachers from 109 primary schools in the Mukuru and Kamukunji areas of Nairobi. Of these, 90 schools have now installed Fresh Life Toilets for their students.


Take a look, too, at this site & think about becoming a competitor…

Genesis Generation Challenge

The Genesis Generation Challenge welcomes multi-disciplinary teams of young adults to propose big ideas to better the world. Each team must consist of approximately 10 individuals and must designate a team leader (age 20-36). Other team members must be 18 years or older. Teams may represent nonprofit or for profit entities. Because the idea must offer a sustainable and scalable solution to an important problem, we are seeking social entrepreneurs and others with experience delivering projects with lasting and innovative change in their communities and the world.

Maybe your submission will bring about a remarkable change that leaves your imprint on civilization!

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Cognitive development is a wondrous event to witness.  Hearing a child say their first words, take their first steps, or any other “firsts” that take place can be a reason for celebration.   On the flip side, when those expected events fail to materialize, it can be cause for worry and alarm.  Read about an app, invented by 19-year-old Harsh Songra in India, that seeks to bring some assistance when those circumstances arise.

His app,  MyChild, helps parents screen developmental disorders in their kids in just 45 seconds. It then makes suggestions on which specialist doctor they should visit.  Click on the pic below to learn more about his life and his vision!!

My Child


And he’s got plans for the future as well – - – “We want to extend medical research with the help of multiple doctors and medical associations to make the algorithm more accurate”

Visit the product website here:

My Child

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September 23rd, 2015

If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you’ll be familiar with the words in the title of this blog.  If you’re not a devotee of The Bard, you can catch up here and check out the literary reference:  Shakespeare Quotes

But this blog is not about that kind of sleep – it’s about how lighting may be the key to getting a truly good night’s rest.  Read all about the



According to Mariana Figueiro, who leads light and health research at the Lighting Research Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “It’s about delivering individualized light treatments to people.”

The Sleepy Baby Bulb is an invention that comes to us from The Lighting Science Group  Perhaps this lighting is what you need to help you get through your studies – or maybe it will spark a “bright” idea for a lighting innovation of your own!!

Sleepy Baby Bulb

Fredric Maxik, the inventor of the Sleepy Baby bulb.
Credit: Oscar Hidalgo for The New York Times




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The term “designer drug” may soon refer less to the illicit kind and more to custom creations by the pharmaceutical industry.  Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Company has just had its proprietary ZipDose® Technology platform approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  This marks the very first instance that the FDA has given the green light for a 3D-printed drug product.

ZipDose® Technology utilizes their proprietary three-dimensional printing (3DP) platform.  This process stitches together multiple layers of powdered medication using an aqueous fluid to produce a porous, water-soluble matrix that rapidly disintegrates with a sip of liquid.

Spritam levetiracetam is an oral prescription for the treatment of seizures and those affected by epilepsy.  Aprecia’s ZipDose® Technology enables the delivery of this drug, up to 1,000 mg per dose, with just a sip of water.  This rapid disintegration method is achieved by 3D printing Spritam with a porous formulation.  As a result, each dose is easy to take and does not require any measuring.

Take a look:

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This is a great breakthrough and will greatly enhance the lives of so many that suffer from seizures and epilepsy!

If you have an interest in enhancing lives in a big way, check out their career opportunities here.

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