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Conch-inspired material may find use protecting humans. Although sea shells of various types have been studied as sources of inspiration for impact-resistant manmade materials, the conch shell is known for being particularly tough.

Conch-inspired material may find use protecting humans

US Air Force Academy cadet turns goo into bullet-stopping armor. A US Air Force Academy cadet demonstrated that school lessons aren't just about retreading old ground, by turning a classroom exercise into a new ballistic armor made out of goo.

US Air Force Academy cadet turns goo into bullet-stopping armor

In 2014, Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir's assignment to combine epoxy, Kevlar and carbon fiber into an anti-ballistic substance inspired her to develop the task into a new type of flexible bullet stopper. Composite armors aren't new and Weir's assignment was a standard one, but she wasn't satisfied with the result, which could stop a bullet but was hard and brittle. One-dimensional nanowires are the world's thinnest, at one atom wide. While it's generally held true since the 1960s, Moore's Law – the observation that the number of transistors on a single chip doubles every two years or so – can only last so long.

One-dimensional nanowires are the world's thinnest, at one atom wide

Researchers at Cambridge and the University of Warwick have jumped ahead to its logical endpoint and shrunk wires down to a string of single atoms. Effectively one-dimensional, these "extreme nanowires" are made of tellurium, compressed inside carbon nanotubes to keep them stable. In our three-dimensional universe (or four, if you count time), it's impossible for a material to be truly 1D or 2D – a sheet of paper still has thickness, no matter how small that may be. But materials like graphene, which is one atom thick but still has height and width, can be functionally two-dimensional. By the same token, the new nanowires are one-dimensional in the sense that they're no wider or taller than an individual atom. But problems arise on scales this tiny. NASA prints up complex metallic "space fabric" NASA is getting into the textile business thanks to a team led by systems engineer Raul Polit Casillas at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

NASA prints up complex metallic "space fabric"

The team has unveiled prototype swatches of a new metallic "space fabric" created using 3D printing that incorporates advanced functions that would be beneficial for use in space. To the naked eye, the space fabric looks like a cross between chain mail and metallic tiles, like something you might see in one of the more "with it" haute couture dresses of the Swinging Sixties. But this odd design is more than a fashion statement, with one side of the fabric that can reflect light and heat, while the opposite side absorbs it. NASA says that by folding the material in different ways, it can conform to various shapes and produce the desired levels of reflectivity, passive heat management, and tensile strength.

7 New Minerals Created by Human Activity. A recent study carried out by a team led by Robert Hazen of the Carnegie Institution for Science and published in American Mineralogist has shown that human activity is creating a boom in new minerals.

7 New Minerals Created by Human Activity

Of the 5200 minerals officially recognized by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), the study finds that 208 new minerals (4 percent of all minerals) have been created by human activity. The research supports the idea that we're in the midst of a new geological era—the Anthropocene—an epoch defined by the impact of human activity, rather than natural forces, on the geology and ecosystems of Earth. The majority of minerals on Earth were created about 2 billion years ago, during what's known as the "Great Oxidation,” when oxygen flooded into the atmosphere from photosynthetic bacteria. BRAEÖN. "Rebar graphene" foam supports 3,000 times its own weight. Graphene spends most of its time in a two-dimensional form, but that makes it hard to make use of its long list of advantages, like its strength, light weight, and electricity and heat conduction.

"Rebar graphene" foam supports 3,000 times its own weight

MIT scientists recently developed a 3D version that's 10 times stronger than steel but a fraction of the density, and now a team at Rice University has used carbon nanotubes to reinforce graphene foam. The resulting 3D material can be molded into any shape and supports 3,000 times its own weight before springing back to its original height. Named for the rebars (reinforcing bars) commonly used to strengthen concrete, Rice's "rebar graphene" is built around carbon nanotubes with several concentric layers.

In previous work the team had created three-dimensional graphene foam, and having already used the nanotubes to reinforce regular old 2D graphene, it made sense to combine the two. Technology means there's no limit to designs at Bolon, says director Marie Eklund. Dezeen looks behind the scenes at Bolon's factory in Sweden to see how the brand's woven-vinyl flooring is produced in the next instalment of our exclusive Bolon at Heart video series.

Technology means there's no limit to designs at Bolon, says director Marie Eklund

All Bolon flooring is produced at the company's factory located in a small town called Ulricehamn in Sweden's textile-producing region. The heart of the production facility is the weavery, where thousands of threads and strips of vinyl are woven together to create the surface material of the flooring. "We have two different kinds of looms in the weavery – shaft looms and Jacquard looms," explains Lars Eklund, who ran the company together with his wife Monica before his daughters Annica and Marie Eklund took over in 2003.

Observation of the Wigner-Huntington transition to metallic hydrogen. Cross-Laminated Timber May Provide Hope For Struggling Lumber Industry. Super-thin electrical wires are made from tiny diamond bits. Composed of interlocking cages of carbon and hydrogen, diamondoids occur naturally in petroleum fluids.

Super-thin electrical wires are made from tiny diamond bits

For this research, the tiny molecules were extracted and separated by the researchers and a sulphur atom was attached to each one. In a solution, the sulphur-loaded diamondoids were made to bond with copper ions to create the nanowire building blocks. "Much like LEGO blocks, they only fit together in certain ways that are determined by their size and shape," said Stanford graduate student Fei Hua Li. "The copper and sulfur atoms of each building block wound up in the middle, forming the conductive core of the wire, and the bulkier diamondoids wound up on the outside, forming the insulating shell.

" New soap is cleaner and greener. Whether they're hand soap, shampoo, dish-washing liquid or laundry detergent, the majority of commonly-used soaps contain petroleum-based cleansing agents.

New soap is cleaner and greener

For warmer surfers, leave it to beaver-inspired wetsuits. Even though they don't have a thick layer of blubber, animals such as beavers and sea otters are still able to stay warm when diving in frigid waters.

For warmer surfers, leave it to beaver-inspired wetsuits

How do they do it? Well, they trap an insulating layer of air between the hairs of their fur. Plastic cloth makes for cooler clothing. Unless you're into bleeding-edge haute couture, wrapping yourself in cling film isn't likely to be your first choice in summer fashion. This might change your mind. A team from Stanford University has developed a new low-cost textile made of plastic that uses a combination of nanotechnology, photonics, and chemistry to cool the wearer in a new way, leaving them feeling almost four degrees Fahrenheit cooler compared to cotton clothing. Autos - Is there life after leather? OPTIONS FOR SEATING SURFACES do not generally extend beyond leather, a leather lookalike, some sort of utilitarian twill fabric or, if you happen to be in the market for a used Oldsmobile, button-tufted velour.

But that may be changing. A range of emerging textiles — including sustainable upholstery materials that are lighter, tougher and less expensive than animal hides — could dramatically expand cars' interior options. Seats with smarts Embedded sensors will allow the seat of the future to know the driver. FORMcard. Metamaterial paves way for thermophotovoltaic cells that generate electricity in the dark. Using a new optical magnetic metamaterial claimed to have revolutionary properties, physicists from the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have produced a prototype device that could be used in super-efficient thermophotovoltaic cells. These cells do not need direct sunlight to generate electricity, but instead absorb infrared radiation to convert to electric current and, unlike conventional photovoltaic cells, can do so even in the dark. Lightweight metal foam turns armor-piercing bullets into dust.

Composite metal foams (CMFs) are little-known materials that are beginning to show some big promise. Last year we saw researchers adapt these lightweight materials to stop various forms of radiation in their tracks, and now the same team has ramped things up to offer protection from something with a bit more force: an armour-piercing bullet, which was turned to dust on impact. In its most simple form, foam metal is made by bubbling gas through molten metal to form a frothy mixture which then sets as a lightweight matrix. This leaves a material that offers a lighter alternative to conventional metals, while still maintaining a comparable strength. Afsaneh Rabiei, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University, last year produced a foam metal shield that could block X-rays, various forms of gamma rays and neutron radiation, giving it potential as a lightweight alternative to the bulky radiation shielding currently available.

Today's CO2 may become tomorrow's concrete. As carbon emissions continue to rise and cause the planet to warm up, we need to find ways to reduce them. Capturing carbon at the source of its emission is one of the solutions, but there is still the problem of storing all the carbon sucked out of the atmosphere. If that captured carbon could be put to good use, then perhaps we could have the perfect capturing system in place. Future - The wetsuit that repels sharks. Transforming metamaterial alters size, volume, and shape on command. Harvard researchers have created a 3D programmable mechanical metamaterial that can be programmed to change shape, volume and size on command, making it ideal for building a range of different assemblies and structures that can be automatically altered to suit their purpose or environment.

Self-healing Concrete. Basic origami fold could create anything from surgical stents to satellites. A versatile origami fold could be the key to creating just about any structure, from the nanoscale to full-scale buildings, according to new engineering research out this week. "Metal glue" could replace welding and soldering – in some applications. Usually, if you want to join two metal objects together, you either weld or solder them – depending on how big they are. Both processes involve the application of heat, however. Terminator-style 'skin' quickly repairs itself after a gunshot. Self-healing material could plug holes in space ships. As the movies have shown us, space travel is an intimidating prospect, what with the possibilities of running out of air, the rocket engines conking out, or the shipboard computer deciding to bump off the crew. Temperature-controlled hydrogel can walk. Scientists have developed a new hydrogel that stretches and contracts just like an artificial muscle.

New catalyst material quickly neutralizes nerve gas. While the Iran-Iraq war of 1981-1988 saw the only large-scale use of chemical weapons since WWII, in a world beset by rogue states, civil wars, and terrorism, protecting against nerve agents and disposing of them remains a major problem. Weekly Innovation: Nonstick Coating Helps Ketchup Slide Out : All Tech Considered. Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible to Use. Adding liquids to solids could make them stronger – and more useful.

Chemists create clever rewritable paper. Future skintight spacesuits could snug up at the touch of a button. Liquid metal could be used to create morphing electronics. Ceramic-studded carbon fiber fabric made to protect cyclists from road rash. Phase-change material could let robots be soft or hard-bodied as needed. Cloaking Material Makes Objects Imperceptible to Touch. Small capsules – big potential. Biodegradable fibers as strong as steel made from wood cellulose. Even when stitched together, graphene remains the strongest known material.

Visiting - Current Topics - Press Releases - PI 2014 - New Self-healing Plastics Developed. Artificial "Spiber" silk is tougher than Kevlar. Simple invisibility cloaks hide toys, pets, people. Multi-use Titanium Dioxide claimed to be the next "wonder material" Caltech’s chips survive laser armageddon thanks to self-healing powers. Flexible, high-strength polymer aerogels deliver "super-insulation" properties. Sisma Calce seismic fabric helps hold buildings together during earthquakes. Paper waste used to make "green" bricks. Scientists copy structure of cork to produce 3D blocks of graphene. Forget Gore-Tex – the next big synthetic fabric could be based on hagfish slime. New technique allows scrap rubber to be recycled into high-quality plastic. MIT breakthrough could lead to paper-thin bullet-proof armor. First pressure-sensitive, self-healing material developed.

German scientists create usable foam from tree bark. 'Interference' Changes Colors At An Atomic Level At Harvard (PHOTOS) New material may replace silicon. Scientists reinvent light. One Per Cent: Smart carpet detects falls and strange footsteps. New oil spill dispersant made from ingredients in peanut butter, chocolate, ice cream. Japanese Scientists Create Elastic Water.

One-molecule thick material promises electronics revolution. Ultrathin, distortion-free flat lens could replace bulky glass lenses. NASAs nanotube paint is ten times blacker than Darth Vaders armpit.