Nidhi Subbaraman
Nidhi Subbaraman
Staff Writer
Nidhi Subbaraman is a staff writer at BetaBoston, reporting on science, research, technology, and any combination of those. Before this, Subbaraman covered science and tech at NBCNews.com. Her work has also appeared online at MIT Technology Review, Fast Company, New Scientist, Nature News, and others. She hearts robots.

Stories by Nidhi Subbaraman

Private social network 'Koko' to give people with depression a boost on bad days
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Millions of Americans battle anxiety disorders and depression, conditions that sap social ties and leave its sufferers vulnerable if they lack a viable support system. Now, a group of researchers with ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are creating aa private social network where people can anonymously share their daily struggles, and also find kinship. While the forum won’t replace professional treatment or therapy, Robert Morris, who created the system as a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, said it does show promise as a reliable support for people battling stress. Read More
Smart panels turn one shoe into a companion for any outfit
(Image via Volvorii)
It’s a tall order, blending high fashion with high tech, but when you’re working with 4-inch heels headed for the runway, the stakes are even higher. An international team of engineers is taking on this challenge in earnest: They have created a “smart shoe” that, chameleon-like, can change its colors and patterns, according to a wearer’s whims. Their reasoning: Why cede closet space to a dozen pairs of shoes when you can own one pair that can transform into many? Read More
doc on demand
With an app for texts and video chats, FirstLine offers doctors' advice on demand
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A new service launching in the United States this week wants to be the Uber for doctors, making medical practitioners available for consultation by text message, video chat, or even a house visit — for a fee, of course. The company, FirstLine, which has offices in Boston and San Francisco, launched its app nationally this week. Two dozen California-based doctors have been contracted to be on-call and the team is already hiring and training local medics with a goal of launching in Boston this summer. Read More
Citizen science
Open Humans project allows healthy adults to open-source medical data
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Medical researchers typically don’t share the results of their studies with the hundreds of subjects who participated. But Jason Bobe, one of the co-founders of the Open Humans project, wants to reverse that trend. The latest in a series of programs that let you to share or “open source” your genetic and health data, Open Humans, which launched Tuesday, is striving to broaden the reach and eventual impact of medical research by making it easy to participate. Read More
Sticky business
LiquiGlide, Cambridge maker of slippery coatings, signs deal with glue king Elmer's
You know your packaging is iconic when it doesn't need a label.
LiquiGlide, the Cambridge startup that's creating a slippery coating to get the stickiest of substances out of bottles, announced a first major partnership Monday that will push its product to the limit. The company signed a licensing agreement with Elmer's Products; to the delight of every kindergartner in crafts class, it will make it easier for glue to slide out of its tube.  Read More
Science in the East Room
NuVu students to showcase urban wheelchair at White House Science Fair
Mohammad Sayed, a current student at NuVu, has always wanted a tray for his wheelchair. He worked with Pablo Yanes, Nuradin Bhatti, and Carlos Alvarenga to design one that suited his needs. (Photo: NuVu)
Two students enrolled at the NuVu innovation center in Central Square are among the intrepid middle- and high-schoolers who will present projects at White House Science Fair on Monday, March 23. Kate Reed, a 17-year-old from Cambridge, and Mohammad Sayed, an 18-year-old who goes to Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, were part of the team that used a 3-D printer to build parts to enhance Sayed's wheelchair during NuVu’s fall session last year. Read More
the new village square
Civic apps connect neighborhoods, city governments
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Shoulder surgery had left Marilyn Bravo, a 65-year-old Jamaica Plain resident, unable to lift more than a gallon of milk this winter. So when the record-breaking snowstorms hit, she planned to look for help shoveling out her car. Bravo posted a request for help on a website called “SnowCrew,” which connects people who need shoveling help with able-bodied volunteers called “Yetis.” About an hour later, a strapping stranger named James was at her door, shovel in hand. “I was never so happy to see anyone in my life,” Bravo remembers. “And later I said to him, ‘You just have no idea what this means to me, you know. This is my freedom. I can get out of the house.’” James returned to help Bravo with two bouts of shoveling this season. Read More
Beta Testing
Good morning, stranger! Wakie app is a human alarm clock
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"Are you in bed?” It was a stranger on the phone, someone called Gaurav in Dubai. At 7:31 this morning, Gaurav was calling me at home to get me up. I was experimenting with an app called Wakie, launched by two Armenian brothers who wanted to give the world a more effective and personalized alternative to an alarm clock. Their solution? Invite a stranger from the other side of the world to make a wake-up call. Read More