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A few years ago, graduate student Kinsey Hart wanted to celebrate a promotion with a new piece of jewelry. She had a simple design in mind but could not find her dream piece.

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Alva jewelry invention hero
Designed for the COVID-19 era by an international team that includes Northwestern senior Ryan Teo, a new public transportation design concept aims to once again give passengers the confidence to ride the bus. The Futurebus reduces contact between passengers and uses antimicrobial fabric and self-sanitizing handles.

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Ana Cornell wanted to learn about her genetic background but shied away from trying a commercially available DNA test kit because of privacy concerns. She couldn’t find a test that could be taken and analyzed at home.

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genome lock
An organization run by Northwestern students is working hard to keep Evanston’s small business owners afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is just one of several ways that Northwestern students are addressing needs in response to the pandemic.

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Lending a hand
Morgan Lewis ’18 MS wanted to create a storage solution to keep her guitar safe during “rest mode” — between songs or at breaks during gigs. For her Engineering Design Innovation final project, she created Auxilia, an attachable stand that stays out of the way while the guitarist is playing and deploys automatically when she sets the guitar down.

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guitar stand annotate
To help provide students with easy access to medication and other personal care items, a team of entrepreneurs created MedKit Solutions. Pre-med seniors Matthew Urban and Chris Holland, both neuroscience majors, developed the concept with Feinberg School of Medicine first-year student Ashorne Mahenthiran ’19.

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Many wine lovers struggle with a sensitivity to sulfites — preservatives used in food and beverages. James Kornacki drew from his research experience in the lab and created Üllo, a polymer technology to remove free sulfites from wine and restore it to its original, from-the-vintner purity and taste.

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Blaze Pizza started with a trip to Chipotle in 2011. Looking for a no-wait pizza lunch, Elise Wetzel ’87, ’92 MBA and her husband, Rick, ended up eating burritos, but the made-your-way format sparked an idea.

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elise wetzel lg
Todd Somers ’73 helped direct Northwestern football’s offense as a quarterback for parts of three seasons in the early 1970s. Now, as a longtime Wildcats season ticket holder cheering from the stands, he’s created a new game-day condiment combo: MustKetch.

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mustketch todd somers
Sahar Jamal, founder of Maziwa, is creating a battery-powered breast pump so new mothers in East Africa can return to work. Maziwa’s design includes a cooler and pump so that women can collect and store breast milk even if they have no access to electricity or refrigeration, and the pump’s sleek, compact design also allows women to pump more discreetly.

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