As 2016 draws to an end, it’s a great time to take a look back at some of the good news of the past year. Throughout these final days of the year, Alabama NewsCenter will share stories you responded to the most in various categories, along with one we think deserved more attention.
Whether Alabamians were using satellites to find ancient Viking settlements, using plants to fight mosquitoes, teaching youth to write computer code or solving the mysteries of fibromyalgia, innovation was happening all across the state this year.
Here are the Top 5 Alabama NewsCenter innovation stories for 2016:
- Researchers at UAB believe they are close to solving the mysteries of fibromyalgia, a painful condition that affects 5 million Americans. Just knowing some answers and possible treatment could be in the future is welcome news among those who suffer.
- Sarah Parcak is a renegade archaeologist in the vein of Indiana Jones. But unlike a pistol and a bullwhip used by the fictional character in the movies, Parcak uses satellites hovering miles above the Earth to find lost civilizations. She was part of a team that made a possible discovery of a former Viking civilization in Newfoundland, which could be the second North American site of the Norse society.
- You don’t need to spray chemicals to keep mosquitoes away. Auburn horticulturist Tia Gonzales has carefully studied what plants work best to fend off pests and shared her findings with Alabama NewsCenter.
- Computer science has long been understood and practiced by a small percentage of the population. But that may only be because it hasn’t been taught to enough people. A new partnership between Code.org, A+ College Ready and the Alabama State Department of Education is changing that in K-12 classrooms in the state.
- Birmingham’s Innovation Depot is at the heart of a new Innovation District being established in the Magic City and for good reason. The award-winning business incubator has had a $1.4 billion economic impact since 2010 and has turned out graduate companies that have gone on to enhance the innovation ecosystem of the metro area.
In much the same way that Innovation Depot has meshed perfectly with Birmingham, Mobile is out to establish its own downtown incubator with Innovation PortAL. What was once Automotive Alley in the Port City will be home to the new motor for entrepreneurship and innovation.