ProtoCem: Zero Emissions Cement Manufacturing

Portland cement concrete is the most widely used man-made material in the world and its production is responsible for 8% of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Hence it is of paramount importance to reduce these emissions to avoid the disastrous effects of climate change. The traditional process of cement manufacturing involves the use of fossil fuels to process limestone which generates large amounts of greenhouse gases. Using electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind, it is possible to convert limestone into calcium hydroxide in a device called an electrolyzer. In the further stages of processing, the use of calcium hydroxide completely eliminates CO2 emissions. The electrolyzer also generates high-value gases like hydrogen and other hydrocarbons which are widely used in industry. This technology has tremendous potential to transform cement and chemical manufacturing into a carbon-free, zero-emissions industry.

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Iron-Deficiency Anemia is the major cause of illness and death in adolescent girls in developing countries, weakening an already vulnerable population and contributing to the cycle of poverty and gender inequality. Unfortunately, attempts to address iron-deficiency anemia in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are often limited by bottlenecks in access, distribution, and community and cultural acceptance. These issues commonly bring well-funded, national-scale global public health initiatives to a halt. By utilizing naturally growing turkey berries, this initiative mobilizes a ubiquitously accessible, culturally integrated, and uniquely bioavailable plant-based iron supplementation solution to address iron-deficiency anemia in LMICs. In a first-of-its-kind randomized-controlled trial held in Ahafo, Ghana, turkey berry–fortified biscuits outperformed UNICEF’s nationwide initiative by a factor of triple, six times faster, and at a cost of roughly US$15 per adolescent girl over a month and a half.

Carenea: Redefining the Storage of Cornea Transplants

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The standard for corneal storage requires preservation in solutions at 4 degrees Celsius for a maximum of 7-14 days. In developing countries, eye banks struggle with proper refrigeration and the high demand for corneas. They often resort to importing corneas, which are costly and have a shorter shelf life due to transport time. As a result, there is a critical shortage of corneas with 1 cornea for every 70 individuals in need. Micronanobubbles (MNBs) are gaseous vehicles that can carry oxygen within solutions for a prolonged period of time. In transplant solutions, MNBs may meet the oxygen demand of corneal cells, increasing cell survival and extending corneal shelf life. Increased oxygenation may also decrease the need for refrigeration as cells at room temperature, which have higher metabolic demand, would have enough oxygen. If eye banks in developing countries have MNBs, more patients may get the care they need.

MindFull™ Technologies, Inc.

MindFullMore than 10 million Americans experience depression each year. Globally, mental illnesses are projected to cost $16 trillion indirectly through lost labor and capital output. Additionally, subpar mood also reduces the quality of life of those affected. However, the gold-standard in the U.S., one- on-one therapy, is too costly and labor-intensive to keep up with the expected growth of demand. At this point, innovative solutions are needed to improve mental health care delivery and patient self-management. Because 85% of the world’s population has wireless access, mobile technologies are poised to deliver personalized self-care and relieve workforce shortages. MindFull™ is a mobile application created by medical students to boost mood and assist in the self-management of depression, anxiety, and stress. It presents evidence-based treatments as daily tasks the user can accomplish. These are portrayed as interactive, “flippable tiles” that display more information, provide scientific citations, and suggest local resources.