Combining sciences to innovate…

Recently, there were reports in the news about Finland abolishing school subjects. Naturally, with a very quick social media network ready to pass on anything without verification, many of us read this and were amazed. It seemed radical and far form our ground realities at home. However, the Finland Board of Education clarifies, it has not exactly “abolished” subjects. Rather, it has encouraged “collaborative learning” across subjects. Bingo! They want the youth to remain ready for the “challenges of the future” by working simultaneously with teachers across subjects on a project. In short, they want our of the box thinking.

Just this month, in Science Translational Medicine, an article was published that exemplifies invention from interdisciplinary teamwork. In this case, the walls separating “subjects” like physics, chemistry and biology were broken down and combined with a clear understanding of sports.

See the video here showing a patch that measures composition (chemistry) of your sweat (biology) using capillary action (physics). An invention from integrated science, which demonstrates again that knowing your basics is the platform for great discoveries to leap off from, but communication among disciplines can make these dreams a reality.

Here is a challenge for you, my out of the box readers: How about making a “low-tech version” of a chemistry patch at home? What would you use? Also, what other applications could you foresee for this invention?

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