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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A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our optical technologies improve we’re increasingly able to see the universes building blocks in ever more minute detail.   If you paid attention in science class you know that atoms make up everything. They’re the smallest unit of matter, and everything you’ve ever touched,...

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Perfectly transparent solar concentrator turns every window into a solar panel

Perfectly transparent solar concentrator turns every window into a solar panel

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more materials become capable of producing and storing their own energy companies will be able to wean themselves off fossil fuels faster, and develop innovative new products.   Transparent solar cells and films that can be applied to any type of surface, even windows,...

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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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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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Lamborghini’s futuristic all electric, self healing hyper car won’t have batteries

Lamborghini’s futuristic all electric, self healing hyper car won’t have batteries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It’s likely that our flirtation with battery packs in cars won’t last as long as we think as new wirelessly charged cars start emerging, and as new materials let the cars themselves become the batteries.   Lamborghini and MIT recently introduced the Terzo Millennio concept, which...

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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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New polymer tears up anti-biotic resistant bacteria from the inside out

New polymer tears up anti-biotic resistant bacteria from the inside out

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the number of superbugs and anti-biotic resistant bugs increase, we need to find new novel ways of fighting them.   A research team composed of scientists from the A*Star Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and IBM, have produced a new macromolecule that can target...

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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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New graphene filter turns filthy water into drinking water

New graphene filter turns filthy water into drinking water

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Millions of people around the world don’t have regular access to clean drinking water, and this breakthrough could help them.   Every year millions of people around the world die from diseases they’ve contracted from drinking unclean water but now researchers in Australia have developed...

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New hydrogel that mimics cartilage could transform knee surgeries

New hydrogel that mimics cartilage could transform knee surgeries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Hydrogels are proving to be an amazingly versatile material, and in this case they could help revolutionise how surgeons treat knee conditions and injuries.   A new cartilage-like hydrogel material could make the job of repairing knees much easier, say a team of scientists in...

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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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Chinese scientists unveil a new material that heals itself like human skin

Chinese scientists unveil a new material that heals itself like human skin

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Up until now most self-healing materials have either been hard, or soft, and that narrows their number of applications, this new material is the first to have the best of both worlds.   Imagine a smartphone, or window, that can heal from cuts and scratches...

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