Since the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake 20 years ago, researchers at Caltech have learned much more about where earthquakes are likely to happen, and how danger to human life and damage to property might be mitigated when they do occur.
About a third of American adults suffer from cardiovascular diseases, which are the underlying cause of about one in three deaths in the U.S. In 2010, cardiovascular diseases generated direct and indirect costs of approximately $503 billion. New techniques to detect these diseases early and provide ongoing health information could significantly reduce such unacceptable human and financial costs.
The discovery of new materials with novel properties often spurs leaps in science and technology. One of the most promising advances under way now is the creation of "tunable" materials. Caltech aerospace engineer Dennis Kochmann, who works on the modeling and fabrication of novel materials, is using Caltech Innovation Initiative support to design materials whose performance can be altered on demand.
Glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness, affects some 70 million people, including four million Americans. As Americans age, the problem is expected to worsen in the U.S. There's stronger hope of progress in the fight against glaucoma, thanks to funding from the Caltech Innovation Initiative, a philanthropically funded internal grant program designed to provide research funds to high-risk but potentially high-reward projects that could produce disruptive technologies with practical applications in the marketplace.