Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023

The year of the vaccine: Top inventions and innovations of 2021

The year of the vaccine: Top inventions and innovations of 2021

Like the year before it, 2021 has been dominated by the global fight against coronavirus. But unlike 2020 when the pandemic first broke out, this year has seen a surge in innovations when it comes to battling COVID-19.

Governments and citizens have been largely pinning their hopes on the development of vaccines, which have been approved by health agencies and rolled out across the world this year.

While vaccines steal the limelight for 2021’s top innovations, we have seen many exciting developments in technology and science outside of the context of the pandemic. Here’s a look at the top innovations and inventions 2021 has brought us.

COVID vaccines
A vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine ready to be used at Swaminarayan School vaccination centre, in London

The speed with which coronavirus vaccines were developed, tested, and rolled out as the battle to contain coronavirus raged on has been hailed as one of the great scientific and social feats of the year.

The race to jab against COVID-19 saw mRNA vaccines approved for the first time in history, with Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines rolled out across much of the world.

MRNA vaccines work by introducing a messenger RNA molecule into the body, which causes cells to produce a protein that resembles one of the viral proteins in the virus it is intended to protect against.

Malaria vaccine
A health worker vaccinates a child against malaria in Homabay County, western Kenya

Incredibly, perhaps the biggest vaccine development of 2021 had nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic.

Scientists celebrated the historic approval of a vaccine for malaria, an illness that the World Health Organization (WHO) said had killed 627,000 people in 2020, and infected an estimated 241 million people.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the approval was "a historic moment". The jab is only around 30 percent effective, but scientists hailed the moment as a "huge step forward".

Needle-free COVID jab
A new COVID-19 vaccine that can be administered without needles is being trialled at a university in the United Kingdom

Designed to ease the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, a needle-free inoculation is currently being tested in the UK.

The jab uses a jet of air that pushes the vaccine into the skin - which could provide an alternative for those with needle-phobia, the University of Southampton said.

The new coronavirus vaccine uses the University of Cambridge’s DIOSvax technology and could be scaled up and manufactured as a powder to boost global vaccination efforts if the trial proves successful.

COVID nasal spray

Another COVID-related innovation undergoing testing is a nasal spray designed to prevent COVID-19 infections.

"For the virus to enter the cell, it needs to undergo certain very specific chemical reactions," explained Rakesh Uppal, the chairman of Raphael Labs which is developing the spray.

"We've been able to find a way to manipulate that chemical reaction, and therefore stop the virus from entering, and it's fundamental to that virus," he said, adding that it appears effective no matter what strain of coronavirus it meets.

Bo.by incubator device for premature babies
The Bo.by device gives premature babies the feeling of touch and attention from a parent

The Bo.by device, developed at the Kunstuniversitat Linz university in Austria, helps premature babies have a sensory-rich bonding experience with their parents in situations when actual contact is not possible.

This could be due to their medical condition, hospital policy, or a pandemic or other issues.

Bo.by is a set of two wirelessly connected devices, one for the parent and the other a baby mattress inside the incubator.

Each device has sensors enabling collecting and sending data to the other, picking up touch, breast movement, vibration, heartbeat, body heat or smell. It means both parent and baby can experience indirect touch with the other.

Hands-free shoes

Hands-free shoes are growing in popularity, with more companies developing footwear that allows people with certain disabilities - or anyone who doesn’t have their hands free - to slip them on without any trouble.

In 2021, Nike launched its GO FlyEase trainer, which has a hinge enabling it to open and close, allowing the user to put them on without the use of their hands.

Wind-powered street lamps

With the challenge of meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, our societies need to find ways to reduce our emissions in all facets of life.

One bright idea that’s been developed this year is a wind-powered street lamp.

Papilio is a lamp post with an integrated wind turbine that makes renewable energy and only lights up when needed.

This cuts not only emissions, but also light pollution. It has been tested at numerous locations in Berlin, and its creator says it easily produces enough renewable energy to light up.

Selfie stick camera that fits in your pocket
The IQUI 360 degree camera

Travel may be disrupted for the foreseeable as the world deals with the Omicron COVID-19 variant, but for those that like taking selfies at home or abroad, the selfie stick had a modern update this year.

The IQUI offers 360-degree photos and videos with its four lenses, and a stand that lets you take pictures from all sorts of positions.

Three of the lenses shoot horizontally, and another points straight up, all on a thin 5.5 inch stick.

Mustang Micro guitar amp
The Fender Mustang Micro

One problem with playing the electric guitar is that in most cases a hefty amp is needed to be plugged in to create the required sound.

Now Fender has perhaps offered a way around lugging an amp to wherever you want to play, by producing one that could fit in a jacket pocket.

It simply plugs into the guitar, and with a pair of headphones you can jam away to 12 amp tones and 12 effects.


Related Articles

Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
U.S. charges FTX's Bankman-Fried with paying $40 million bribe
Fallen 'Crypto King' Who Owes Millions to Investors Was Kidnapped and Tortured
Regulators blame social media for SVB's rapid collapse: 'Complete game changer'
AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
UK: Humza Yousaf replaces Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister in Scotland
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Reform Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tours potential migrant housing in Rwanda as asylum deal remains mired in legal challenges
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
Jeremy Hunt insists his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Mexican President Claims Mexico is Safer than the U.S.
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, has apologized, but not resigned, yet, following the disruption of sports programmes over the weekend
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, has provided a list of five areas that he believes the black community needs to address.
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History