Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
27Jun/210

8 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders whose innovations have changed your life (really!)

Throughout US history, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders( AAPI) are accountable for countless remarkable technological innovations and scientific detections. Still, if asked to name an AAPI scientist or inventor, many of us would probably struggle, and members of this community continue to experience widespread discrimination and racial microaggressions in science, engineering, engineering and mathematics( STEM) fields.

Here are eight Asian American and Pacific Islanders whose breakthroughs have changed the world as we know it and whose calls we should all know 😛 TAGEND

Images: Unsplash // University of Tennessee Research Foundation( inset) The N95 respirator

Peter Tsai PhD, Taiwanese& American substances scientist( 1952 -)

When material scientist Peter Tsai PhD invented the N95 respirator in the 1990 s, it was originally intended for industrial purposes. Working in structure, quarrying, and automotive upkeep had all sorts of occupational health and safety hazards because of the high-pitched exposure to nanoparticles in construction cloths or coal dust, which increases the likelihood of chronic obstructive pulmonary malady or black lung disease. At the time, masks filtered molecules mechanically by trapping them in the fibers, but Dr. Tsai and his research team at the University of Tennessee developed training materials with electrostatically billed fibers that gathered particles in. The N95 respirator proved to be 10 times more efficient than other cover-ups, putting its filtering capacity at 95 percentage without making it harder to breathe while wearing one .

Dr. Tsai patented the establishments in 1995, and a year later the Middle for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC) discovered that the N95 could also block viruses and bacteria. This revelation encouraged its use in healthcare sets, and it has proven to be indispensable during the COVID-1 9 pandemic, where it continues to save lives. In 2020, since N95 respirators were in short supply, Dr. Tsai came out of retirement to study the best way to clean and re-use them.

Images: Nainoa Thompson // The Polynesian Voyaging Society The superstar compass

Nainoa Thompson, Native Hawaiian navigator( 1953 -)

Modern sailors often use instruments like scopes, radar gear, and Global Positioning System( GPS) receivers to navigate the seas. However, early Polynesian voyagers received their lane across oceans by understanding natural clues from the sun, moon, whizs, vapours and waves. Around the 14 th century, this traditional skill of wayfinding to go on long-distance ocean travels gradually died out. Native Hawaiian master navigator Nainoa Thompson became the first to practice it again when he blended traditional wayfinding principles and modern science to develop the star compass, a conceptual attitude organisation, in 1980.

The star compass is a visual representation to seeing how navigators consider the range around them to find their way. Unlike a physical compass, Thompson’s invention is a mental fabricate for navigation that divides the visual horizon into 32 residences where a certain celestial body is located. This allows sailors to familiarize themselves by identifying the position of the stars as they rise and designated, without the need for any navigational instruments.

In 1992, Thompson began training new Hawaiian navigators to preserve tradition and passed away the knowledge to future generations.

Images: CDC Public Health Image Library // National Cancer Institute( inset) Cloning the HIV virus

Flossie Wong-Staal PhD, Chinese& American virologist and molecular biologist( 1946 -2 020)

When immunodeficiency syndrome( AIDS) became a world epidemic in the early 1980 s, scientists didn't know how it was transmitted. It wasn’t until Flossie Wong-Staal PhD first cloned the human immunodeficiency virus( HIV) in 1985 that researchers were able to identify HIV as the cause of AIDS. Her work admitted others to determine the run of HIV’s genes and understand how it escapes the immune system’s natural defensive response. Dr. Wong-Staal had been studying retroviruses as part of her work at the National Association of Health( NIH ), and her uncovering conducted the organization to last-minute develop antibody exams. Her contributions in the field of HIV/ AIDS likewise helped to determine that using a “drug cocktail, ” or several narcotics at the same time, is a key to managing HIV.

Dr. Wong-Staal was the most cited female scientist of the 1980 s with almost 7,800 citations. Her research in HIV/ AIDS was highly significant in the field of virology and immunology, which helped lay the groundwork for understanding infectious diseases such as COVID-1 9 today.

Images: Wikimedia Commons // Adam Birkett on Unsplash USB technology

Ajay Bhatt, Indian& American computer architect( 1957 -)

In the early 1990 s, connecting a design like a keyboard, mouse, or printer to a computer involved a epoch depleting and strenuous installation process. Computer designer Ajay Bhatt considered the need to simplify this approach. He began envisaging a technology that would allow designs to is attached to computers more easily, same to the way plugs fit in electrical wall outlets. Corporations like Microsoft and Apple were hesitant to break the existing conformity functions of computers, but Intel -- the company Bhatt was working for at the time -- backed his idea and cured him be developed further. This invention would later alteration the part computer industry.

In 1994, Bhatt and his unit created Universal Series Bus( USB) technology, allowing users to connect different components to computers without additional inconvenience. The USB hub dishes as a "translator" for various designs, spawning it easier for computers to understand different requires. Intel concluded information and communication technologies open and royalty-free, and Bhatt believed they had every right to do so -- although it meant that he didn’t get rich off of his invention. “I don’t do these things for fund, ” he said.

Images: Reproduction Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash // National Academy of Sciences( inset) The mixed oral contraceptive pill

Min Chueh Chang PhD, Chinese& American reproduction biologist( 1908 -1 991)

The invention of the oral contraceptive pill in the 1950 s -- one of the most widely used birth prevention methods today -- converted reproductive freedom and autonomy worldwide. Reproductive biologist Min Chueh Chang PhD teamed up with John Rock MD, the founding fathers of the Rock Reproductive Clinic, and Gregory G. Pincus PhD, cofounder of the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, in the late 1940 s to study how the hormone progesterone can become a birth control agent. By 1960, the Food and Drug Administration( FDA) had officially approved their creation of the first oral contraceptive pill, Enovid .

Dr. Chang's last-minute involvement in fertility and reproductive health was differed, influential and -- at times -- controversial. In 1972, the prime minister of the People's Republic of China attempted his advice as a fertility professional on how to reduce the country's population, and he responded with the idea of a one-child policy in front of the Beijing University faculty. His research into the artificial insemination of farm animals has also contributed to the development of human in vitro fertilization engineering, which has all along been performed parenthood possible for people around the world.

Images: Ariel Waldman, Flickr Creative Commons // Florida State University( inset) Microbes that can live inside cliffs in extreme environments

Roseli Ocampo-Friedmann PhD, Filipino& American scientist( 1937 -2 005)

Microbiologist Roseli-Ocampo Friedmann PhD is best known for her research on extremophiles, organisms that survive and occupy extreme requirements. Around the mid-1 970 s, she and her biologist spouse E. Imre Friedmann PhD discovered living micro-organisms called cryptoendoliths inside stones from the seemingly lifeless and almost entirely ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. These microorganisms endure winters in this Antarctic desert and are then capable of thawing, rehydrating, and photosynthesizing in the summer. The Friedmanns’ discovery has been cited by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration( NASA) when discussing how to find potential living on Mars, theorizing that microbes similar to cryptoendoliths may have existed on the red planet long ago.

The National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Friedmann the US Congressional Antarctic Service Medal in 1981 for her conspicuous manipulate. By the late 1990 s, she had reaped almost 1,000 different cultures of extremophiles all over the world. Later in their own lives, she worked as the principal investigator at The SETI( Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute. A few months before she passed away in 2005, the mountain peak in Antarctica where she codiscovered endolithic microbes was listed after her.

Images: Wikimedia Creative Commons // Christian Wiediger on Unsplash YouTube

Steven Shih Chen, Taiwanese& American entrepreneur( 1978 -)

In February 2005, three former employees of Paypal -- including Steven Shih Chen -- bought the YouTube.com domain, which eventually became the multi-billion-dollar video-sharing platform we all know and use today. The inventors interpreted that there was huge potential in making a website where any user could easily upload, publish and watch videos. Chen acted as YouTube’s first chief technology officer, ensuring that users did not run into issues when uploading and streaming videos.

By July 2006, at merely over a year age-old, YouTube already had more than 65,000 brand-new uploads daily. Its gargantuan and rapid growth never seemed to slow down, which was simultaneously a success and a quandary. To accommodate the ever-increasing number of users, the company needed brand-new material and more efficient broadband. Plus, numerous mortals frequently uploaded copyrighted textile so they faced lawsuits and thousands of requires to remove videos. All these ripening payments meant that they needed to find a buyer.

In November 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. Chen stood at YouTube until 2009 and then left Google perfectly in 2011. He is now one of the investors of Origin Protocol, a blockchain platform, and a board member of XA Network, major investments network in Southeast Asia.

Images: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash // Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, School of Engineering( inset) OLED screen engineering

Ching Wan Tang PhD, Hong kong residents& American physical pharmacist( 1947 -)

Although liquid crystal display( LCD) has long been used in televisions and computer observes, a thinner, lighter and overall superior presentation engineering is steadily dethroning it. Physical pharmacist Ching Wan Tang PhD and chemist Steven Van Slyke were working at the Eastman Kodak Company together when they invented the organic light-emitting diode( OLED) in 1987. It produces a more vibrant display than LCD because it generates all dyes, offer higher comparison and does not require a backlight. Major business like Apple, Samsung, Sony and LG now use information and communication technologies to do smartphones, TVs, tablets and smartwatches even smaller, thinner and lighter, with the global demand for smartphones driving the demand for OLEDs. By 2022, they are expected to be produced at a charge 25 times greater than the previous decade.

Dr. Tang is mentioned on 84 patents and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2018 for his co-invention of the OLED. Since 2013, he has been educating at the Hong kong residents University of Science and Technology as the IAS Bank of East Asia Professor.

Watch this TED-Ed Lesson about Polynesian wayfinders:

Read more: ideas.ted.com

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