Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
March 27th, 2015

Botany is an exciting field.  Plant life has been cataloged, drawn/painted/photographed, distilled, and used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes for centuries.  However, overharvesting and pollution have caused many varieties to suffer and/or become extinct.  Among our goals to save the planet, plant life takes a high priority.

Read about studies taking place in South Africa to capitalize on the health-giving properties of indigenous plants.  This research could bring about economic as well as life-saving benefits!

SceletiumScientists break


botanical boundaries


And make a visit to the website for Stellenbosch University, where this research is taking place.



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March 24th, 2015

Violet is a twin who was born with born with a Tessier Cleft, a rare defect that left a fissure in her skull. Boston Children’s Hospital performed a reconstructive facial surgery utilizing 3-D printing.  The surgical team created a 3-D replica of of Violet’s skull enabling them to practice this rare and intricate surgery before having to actually perform it on Violet.

The video does not show the actual surgery, but describes the process that was undertaken to move Violet’s eyes closer together and close the gap in her skull.

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Do you have any expertise in 3-D printing that can change someone’s life forever or make a real difference in the way we live?

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March 21st, 2015

Well, it’s Spring here in the U.S.  There’s an old saying that tells us that Spring is when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love.  After the wicked way Old Man Winter treated us this year, and all the *#$! snow shoveling, everyone could most certainly use a dose of a more gentle activity.  Here’s a little science to go along with the emotion…funny enough, this particular article is from the Daily Mail published in the U.K. – where they are renowned for their ‘stiff upper lip’ and cool, dispassionate response to life.  Maybe that’s why it’s a science article and not a sonnet?  The research comes from Professor Xiaochu Zhang of the University of Science and Technology of China

Scan that says it’s true love:

Brain experts say they can tell what stage of

romance someone is at by looking at MRI results


And here’s a little bit about different types of love from BrainHQ

Brain love


And from the city that saw the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, research at the University of Chicago shows A region deep inside the brain controls how quickly people make decisions about love

So, while you’re chasing butterflies and composing songs to celebrate your sweetie this Spring, think about what’s going on inside your head that makes it all so wonderful!



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March 11th, 2015

Bionics used to be the stuff of fantasy and featured grandly on several U.S. television series.  In the world of everyday life, there are a good number of individuals who, for reasons of birth defect, disease or as the result of a (usually) shocking accident do not enjoy  ‘freedom’ of motion and sensory perception.  Until now, prosthetic replacements for amputated limbs have been limited to those with superlative insurance to cover the cost of these devices.  We hope that is about to change…

A company in Argentina – Bioparx Health Technology – has developed a state-of-the-art bionic arm for less than half of what the others cost.   Read about their technology here:  Smart Prosthetics

Bionic hand

Photo credit: bioparx site

And pay a visit to the bioparx company site to see if there’s a place for you to contribute (or be inspired to envision the next generation of their products…).  The site is in Spanish, so if you’re bilingual, this may be a great fit for you!  BIOPARX.COM 

You may also want to pay a visit to Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden where they, too, are working on bionic technologies.

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March 8th, 2015

With so much talk of drones in the media and how they can sometimes be viewed as a threat, it is refreshing to see that some drones are actually saving lives.

From delivering blood….  to search and rescue….  to defibrillation, drones have many different roles when it comes to saving lives.

Here is a good example of how drones with thermal imagery can spot survivors of a disaster much better than could otherwise be found (look closely and you will see the white images moving amongst the rubble):

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Danish firm Sky-Watch, in cooperation with DanChurch Aid, has used airborne thermal imagery to spot people stranded amongst storm debris. The drones can be in the air in a matter of minutes after a disaster strikes, saving lives earlier.

There are signs more drones are coming to developing countries. A team from Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, has created a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) with built-in defibrillation equipment. And EPFL is working to set up African drone networks to deliver blood supplies to rural health clinics.

Do you have a need for a drone in the technology you are developing?  Drone Adventures provides the drones for other industries that have a need, so you don’t have to be an expert in drone technology, but can benefit from their expertise.

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