TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Monday, Jun 17, 2024

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.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×