This new metamaterial could turn your car into its own airbag

This new metamaterial could turn your car into its own airbag

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create materials that can transition between hard and soft states could open the door to a whole host of new applications.   I think you’ll agree with me that rubber and steel are at different ends of the spectrum when it comes...

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Scientists push the boundaries of nanotech to build the world’s smallest house

Scientists push the boundaries of nanotech to build the world’s smallest house

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create increasingly small nanoscale structures will help us create more advanced nanobots and nanomachines in the future.   Recently we’ve seen a spate of new ways to build houses, whether they’re 3D printed, or built using autonomous drones, robots and vehicles, but...

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Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today plastics are the scourge of the environment so now companies around the world are racing to create environmentally friendly alternatives, and plastics made from true glue could be near the top of the list.   Plastic’s fall from grace in the past couple of...

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Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Retail will soon be going through another disruption, one where personalised products are made on demand in the back of stores, and the sportswear industry are leading the charge.   We’re facing a retail revolution, another one, and this time it’s not e-commerce, one where...

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New omniphobic material reduces maritime fuel consumption by upto 80 percent

New omniphobic material reduces maritime fuel consumption by upto 80 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s ships use huge amounts of energy and fuel to move through the water because of the amount of drag on their hulls, this new coating could reduce fuel use by between 40 and 80 percent.   Shipping is one of the most polluting industries...

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3D printed Graphene Aerogel, stronger than steel and 99.8% lighter

3D printed Graphene Aerogel, stronger than steel and 99.8% lighter

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tomorrow’s materials will be lighter, stronger and more flexible than todays, and that opens up a whole host of new applications.   The world’s lightest 3D printed structure, a Graphene Aerogel, is so lightweight that it can be placed on top of a cotton ball...

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This is the world’s first 3D printed carbon fiber bike

This is the world’s first 3D printed carbon fiber bike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Carbon fiber’s light weight and superior strength make it idea for many applications, but up until now it’s been expensive and very difficult to work with to create products, that’s all about to change.   Modern carbon fibre bikes, stiffer and stronger than their metal...

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BMW and MIT create the world’s first 3D printed inflatable material

BMW and MIT create the world’s first 3D printed inflatable material

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to 3D print materials with different and unique properties opens up a whole new range of use cases and applications, from car design to implanted medical devices, to soft robots and beyond.   A two year collaboration between BMW and MIT has produced...

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Milk and dairy products without the cow, Perfect Day re-invents dairy

Milk and dairy products without the cow, Perfect Day re-invents dairy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The way we produce food today is, for the most part, hugely wasteful and has a huge impact on the environment, vertical farms, clean meat, and now other “animal free” products are starting to disrupt the status quo.   Over the past year we’ve seen...

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Japanese team show off their new flexible skin display technology

Japanese team show off their new flexible skin display technology

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Displays will one day be more than just slabs of glass stuck to our devices, and this is another step in that journey.   Palm reading could take on a whole new meaning, thanks to a new invention from Japan in the form of a...

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Fantastic self-healing material regenerates after suffering “catastrophic damage”

Fantastic self-healing material regenerates after suffering “catastrophic damage”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are lots of dangerous industrial applications, and other use cases, where equipment of all kinds suffer extreme wear and tear, this new material could extend the life of products by multiples of time.   The idea of creating self-repairing machines has been a popular...

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Stab these soft robots and they’ll self-heal instantly

Stab these soft robots and they’ll self-heal instantly

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Materials are an integral part of many products, and ones that can self-heal will help extend the life and usefulness of the products they’re used to make.   Robots already seem to have a great bag of tricks to draw on. They can balance, run,...

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Revolutionary Nano-antenna is hundreds times smaller than today’s state of the art

Revolutionary Nano-antenna is hundreds times smaller than today’s state of the art

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It’s not just our devices that are getting smaller and more powerful, the components that make our devices are also going through their own revolutions.   Recently I discussed how a new Metalense breakthrough from Harvard University will help us realise atomic sized camera lenses,...

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UC Berkeley’s atom thin display paves the way for truly invisible displays

UC Berkeley’s atom thin display paves the way for truly invisible displays

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We’re traditionally used to displays being bulky and stiff, but increasingly scientists are finding new ways to create new types of displays that break the status quo, and which will open up millions of new use cases, from health monitoring to way beyond.   We’ll...

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Scientists create edible electronics using Graphene to improve food safety

Scientists create edible electronics using Graphene to improve food safety

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to quickly and easily tag foods and other products with sensors and other electronics that can be safely eaten could improve food safety and security.   James Tour believes anything can be turned into the wonder material, Graphene, a material so versatile it...

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New eye drops use nanotech to fix faulty vision and eliminate eye glasses

New eye drops use nanotech to fix faulty vision and eliminate eye glasses

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Millions of people around the world have eye problems, whether they’re severe, or slight, but now a new nanoparticle solution looks like it could help users bin eye glasses for good.   Today there are a number of ways, from using bionic eyes, gene editing...

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Under Armour’s new clothes help heal your body while sleeping

Under Armour’s new clothes help heal your body while sleeping

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we develop new materials, and find new ways to use them for our benefit, one day in the future we’ll suddenly discover that clothes can do much more than clothe us.   Could the right clothes, in this case pyjamas, help athletes, and the...

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MIT invents a 3D printed dye that lets objects change colour on demand

MIT invents a 3D printed dye that lets objects change colour on demand

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There is nothing to say that tomorrow’s products can’t change their colour, or even their functionality, on demand, and this is one of the first steps in helping achieve that goal.   Do you remember the colour changing dress that took the internet by storm and went...

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Molecular programming breakthrough could create better molecular assemblers

Molecular programming breakthrough could create better molecular assemblers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we learn how to create and build new, smaller molecular sized machines and robots being able to manipulate matter at the molecular scale will become increasingly important.   Over the past couple of months there have been world firsts in the creation of DNA...

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New theory let’s scientists bring light to a standstill

New theory let’s scientists bring light to a standstill

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The manipulation of light is becoming an increasingly important factor in the development of new communications, computing, energy and entertainment systems, and our mastery of it is getting better all the time.   Light is famously fast, normally travels at nearly 300,000 kilometres per second through...

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