Truly Smart Cities Are More than Sensors & Real-time Data

Boston, with its rich university resources and innovative start up incubators, stands to have the smartest creativity infrastructure in the world outside of Silicon Valley, says Dr. Boyd Cohen. 

What's the Latest Development?

Tomorrow's smart city will not only have great technology but also great institutions that support new technological development. For that reason, Dr. Boyd Cohen, who researches start up accelerator programs around the world, says that Boston, Mass., is one of the smartest cities on the planet. The city's rich university resources work in tandem with incubators like MassChallenge, which "leverages a nonprofit model and takes no equity stakes in the 100-plus startups it supports each round." Outside of Silicon Valley, says Cohen, Boston may have the most innovative ecosystem in the world. 

What's the Big Idea?

Cities interlaced with data-collecting sensors and connected to a central processing hub are helping to make today's urban environments more efficient and more enjoyable places to live. But new technology is not the only thing that can make a city smart. Attracting the right people to live in your city is an important way to cultivate local solutions that benefit from an international network of professionals. "While Boston also has many other smart characteristics--including quality transit and renewable energy leadership--it truly stands out as a global leader in fostering innovation within and outside of its worldclass universities."

Photo credit:

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less