The improvement of existing devices and the design and redesign of much needed scientific gadgets and tools has been the focus of much pioneering work in recent years. Five innovations stand out as representative gadgets that have enhanced scientific and technological research.
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The World Wide Web
A groundbreaking technological innovation of the late 20th century is the Internet, originally designed to facilitate rapid communication of complex information without the need to physically travel. The Web has evolved into an amorphous network connecting diverse people to multiple sources of information and stands out as a gadget that has democratized the world of research, moving research materials and access to other researchers beyond the academy into the hands of a diverse global population.
Applications for Everything
In the world of communications technology, a central area of innovation in the 21st century has been in the development of applications (or apps) for use on tools that range from smartphones to tablets and personal computers. Designed to enable all sorts of pragmatic undertakings, apps that facilitate scientific and technological research range from automated data collection platforms to practical aids to research such as scientific calculators.
Capturing the Very Small
In the world of biology, research has been enhanced by the development of many gadgets, including the digital microscope camera. This innovative device replaces the traditional eyepiece of the traditional stereo microscope with screen projection connected to a computer for easy data storage and retrieval and collaborative viewing. This gadget allows unrestricted data collection and imaging to leave the lab and enter the home and classroom in new and unrestricted ways.
Improving Health and Saving Lives
Innovations in the world of medical research are myriad, ranging from glaucoma shunts to more effective organ transport containers. Many such life-saving and improving gadgets also contribute to furthering medical research, such as regenerative bio-materials that repair damaged tissues and spinal cord neuromodular devices that facilitate movement.
A last gadget that has transformed research is the 3-dimensional printer. This tool allows the reproduction of objects from 2 dimensional data sources, enhancing the visualization of internal structures such as body systems, and permitubg the tactile exploration of fragile objects, such as archeological and forensic materials.
Innovation in science and technology is both the generative engine for research and the wellspring for new ideas. The five contemporary gadgets mentioned above have expanded potential in scientific and technological research, both facilitating new ideas and streamlining contemporary endeavors.
By Hannah Whittenly