Best of 2010: Saving the World, One Invention at a Time

by | Dec 29, 2006 08:00 PM ET
Marshall Brain

Behold, the Stuff of Genius. But where does it come from? Over the past year, we've covered some amazing inventions, not to mention some incredible inventors. Here are three that have made the world a better place.

We'll start with self-adjustable eyeglasses, which physicist Joshua Silver built to provide better vision for people without the money or opportunity to visit an optometrist. When users wear the glasses for the first time, they turn dials at the side of the frame to inflate or deflate the lenses with liquid, effectively filling their own prescriptions. Thanks to Josh's efforts, thousands of people can see more clearly than ever before.

As inventor of the Life Straw, Mikkel Frandsen has also tackled a problem for the world's poor; clean water. When a person sucks water into this straw, the liquid passes through several elements, including super fine mesh, iodine pellets, and activated charcoal. This process eliminates 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses making water much safer for people across the world.

And we can't forget Peter Safar, the creator of what we call Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR. Along with James Elmo, Peter combined several existing procedures from his colleagues at John Hopkins to create something he called the ABCs which stands for a patients Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. It is impossible to precisely count the number of people saved by CPR, but the only purpose for this invention is to save lives. If that's not a benefit to humanity, then what is?

Who is your favorite inventor of 2010? Do you have an inventor you'd like us to cover in 2011? Be sure to send us an email, and remember, for more Stuff of Genius, check out HowStuffWorks.com.

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