Why you should take note of graphene


Think this phone is thin? Graphene could make it even thinner. (Christoph Schmidt/EPA)

Here are five ideas that affect the way we live, work and play.

1. Graphene: The wonder material. If you’d one day like to have a phone as thin as a piece of paper that you could roll up in your pocket, graphene may be the answer. Via the New York Times:

Graphene is the strongest, thinnest material known to exist. A form of carbon, it can conduct electricity and heat better than anything else. And get ready for this: It is not only the hardest material in the world, but also one of the most pliable.

Only a single atom thick, it has been called the wonder material.

Graphene could change the electronics industry, ushering in flexible devices, supercharged quantum computers, electronic clothing and computers that can interface with the cells in your body.

2. A 300,000-person company that tries to act like a start-up. GE is changing its management style in a quest for innovation. Will it work? Via Wired:

All across the company, employees and managers are being trained refocus and retool their workflow. “We’re saying to people it’s ok to try things earlier, it’s ok to bring customers in earlier,” says Comstock. “You’re giving people a lot more freedom to move faster to make more small mistakes.”

GE hopes this effort, along with its focus on open innovation, will lead to a culture where new, unexpected ideas can blossom instead of getting stuck in corporate bureaucracy.

3. The health benefits of adding beer to your barbecue. Via the Economist:

The PAHs created by grilling form from molecules called free radicals which, in turn, form from fat and protein in the intense heat of this type of cooking. One way of stopping PAH-formation, then, might be to apply chemicals called antioxidants that mop up free radicals. And beer is rich in these.

4. An app focused just on lightning. Via Steven Overly:

“We have this core weather app that has this spark lightning feature in there and we want to put it in the hands of folks who have the same core value. Little League Baseball has youngsters out there, and they’re dealing with the decision of should they take them off the field or not when it comes to lightning.”

5. Leave your desk to be productive. Via Harvard Business Review:

Research shows that walking isn’t just a way to exercise or relax; it boosts creativity, lifts your mood, and helps spark new ideas. If you’re constantly getting distracted at your desk, by e-mail or coworkers, a walk can help you focus. When walking alone, rehearse a presentation, mentally prep for a difficult conversation, or mull over a tough problem.

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Matt McFarland · April 11