Eli Gershenfeld/NASA Ames Research Center

Humankind has made leaps and bounds in aviation since the Wright brothers first took flight. While the makes and models have changed and improved over decades, one consistent aspect has been the straightforward, unbending structure of the wing.

Now, researchers at NASA and MIT are looking to change that.

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Researchers at MIT have created the most advanced robotic fish built to date.

SoFi, short for “Soft Robotic Fish,” is 18.5 inches long, weighs 3.5 lbs. and can swim up to 60 feet underwater for about 40 minutes at a time. Just like a real fish, it features a torpedo-like shape and undulating tail.

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MIT's winning Mars city design. (Valentina Sumini / MIT Redwood Forest Team)

There’s been serious talk of late about sending people to Mars, the goal of which is to establish a permanent colony on the Red Planet, perhaps within the next decade. Assuming astronauts can survive the six-month-long journey in one piece, human life in the lethal Martian environment presents its own challenges. Sustainable habitation requires shelter, water, food and recreation, none of which exist on Mars in any usable form (there is water on Mars, but a lot of work is required to access it). Martian settlers will need to grow their own crops, generate their own air, purify their own water and find ways to have fun, all without any physical assistance from mission control.

Fortunately, there are some brilliant minds working to figure all this out, and very brave individuals living in Earth-based habitats that mimic what life would be like in a first-generation Martian colony.

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Lucy Butler,15, getting ready to have her measles jab at All Saints School in Ingleby Barwick, Teesside as a national vaccination catch-up campaign has been launched to curb a rise in measles cases in England. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)

As any parent who’s held down a screaming toddler in a pediatrician’s office can attest, childhood immunizations — while necessary — can be difficult. With up to five pokes required at a single visit, multiple boosters for a single vaccine, and a flu shot recommended each year, it can be difficult for even the most organized caregiver to keep up.

Luckily, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have just invented a new method that could allow all immunizations to be condensed into a single jab. The procedure was outlined in a September paper published in Science.

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