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Here's How Scientists Bent Diamonds Here's How Scientists Bent Diamonds

A team of physicists has figured out how to bend diamonds, according to a new paper. Okay, we’re talking about nano-scale diamond needles here. But it’s an impressive feat, because while diamonds are known for their hardness, these rocks will break if they are bent even a tiny bit.

These Birds Evolved Feathers So Dark, They’re Like A ‘Black Hole’ These Birds Evolved Feathers So Dark, They’re Like A ‘Black Hole’

If you’ve seen BBC’s Planet Earth, you may recall of one of its sillier scenes: the superb bird-of-paradise mating dance. A female hops up to a male, who unveils a mane of feathers and puts on a performance like a drunk rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” at a karaoke bar. But when the male bird faces the camera, things…

This Temporary Tattoo Is Made From Living Cells This Temporary Tattoo Is Made From Living Cells

It’s a little more high-tech than the tattoos you might remember fishing out of the bottom of a Cracker Jack box as a kid.

This Laser Printer Creates High-Res Color Images Without a Single Drop of Ink This Laser Printer Creates High-Res Color Images Without a Single Drop of Ink

Anyone with a color printer knows that selling replacement ink cartridges is the quickest way to become a millionaire. But what if your printer never needed a single drop of ink to produce color images at impossibly high resolutions? A new laser printer can already do that by etching microscopic patterns onto sheets…

Overhyped 'Miracle' Metal Hydrogen Miraculously ‘Disappears' Overhyped 'Miracle' Metal Hydrogen Miraculously ‘Disappears'

Lots of people went wild last month at the news that scientists had suddenly discovered some sort of physics holy grail: metallic hydrogen, hydrogen that turned into a metal. Gizmodo didn’t buy the hype. Well, according to ScienceAlert, that metal hydrogen sample has now disappeared.

That Crumpled Candy Wrapper Remembers What You Did That Crumpled Candy Wrapper Remembers What You Did

Take a look at that crumpled-up piece of litter on your desk, compressed by the laws of physics and tossed aside. It remembers what you did, even if no one else does.

These Crazy 'Living' Gloves Glow When You Touch Certain Chemicals These Crazy 'Living' Gloves Glow When You Touch Certain Chemicals

Imagine a near future when detectives looking for evidence in a murder investigation could slap on a pair of rubber gloves that would light up when the cop touched a certain chemicals. MIT scientists just created an early version of this technology, and it looks super cool.

Disgusting Fish Slime Is an Amazingly Versatile Material Disgusting Fish Slime Is an Amazingly Versatile Material

The humble hagfish produces a sticky slime to defend itself from predators, as well as to hunt for its own food. Now a team of Swiss scientists has figured out the physics behind how the hagfish can use the same slimy substance for both purposes, according to a new paper in Scientific Reports.

Chemists Just Turned Plastic Into Liquid Fuel Chemists Just Turned Plastic Into Liquid Fuel

In news that offers hope that human civilization won’t end up drowning in soda bottles and plastic wrap, Chinese chemists have developed a remarkably efficient method for converting polyethylene into liquid fuel. If it proves scaleable, it could make a real dent in global plastic pollution.

The Mighty Claw of the Mantis Shrimp Inspires Next-Gen Helmets and Body Armor The Mighty Claw of the Mantis Shrimp Inspires Next-Gen Helmets and Body Armor

The powerful, hammer-like rounded claws of the mantis shrimp are incredibly strong, making them ideal for cracking open the hard shells of clams and crabs (its favored prey), and for warding off predators. Now those claws are also inspiring scientists keen on building super-strong materials to make tougher body armor…

Why Certain High-End Golf Clubs Make Such an Ear-Splitting Sound Why Certain High-End Golf Clubs Make Such an Ear-Splitting Sound

Back in 2006, Nike introduced the high-performance SUMO 2 golf club driver, specially engineered to help golfers hit straighter shots, even for slightly off-center hits. There was just one problem: the newly designed club made an unpleasantly loud, tinny sound when it struck the ball—so much so, that most players…

Spider Silk Inspires Creation of ‘Liquid Wire’ Spider Silk Inspires Creation of ‘Liquid Wire’

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown property of spider silk, and used it to create a remarkable new “hybrid” material. The new bio-inspired thread, which acts like both a solid and a liquid, could lead to a host of new materials and technologies.

Transparent Wood Could Replace Glass, Become Coolest Building Material Ever Transparent Wood Could Replace Glass, Become Coolest Building Material Ever

Wood is a great material because it’s cheap, renewable, and versatile. But this crazy transparent wood that scientists in Sweden brewed up is nuts. It could replace glass for some seriously eye-catching architecture, and even be used in cheap solar panels or windows.

Microwaving Rubies Makes Them Prettier Microwaving Rubies Makes Them Prettier

Not all gemstones are of the same quality. While some rubies are clear and beautiful, others are dull, filled with flaws, and the color of old blood. Scientists have found that chucking them in a serious microwave can really improve them.

A Violin's Warm, Mellow Sound Comes From Its Varnish A Violin's Warm, Mellow Sound Comes From Its Varnish

Violin makers routinely finish their instruments with a thick coat of varnish, the better to protect and preserve the wood. Now Swiss scientists claim that this varnish also plays a role in the overall sound quality of the instrument.

Transparent Fabric Traps Dust, Lets Air Flow Freely Transparent Fabric Traps Dust, Lets Air Flow Freely

Physicists have used an old technique to make a new kind of material: a fabric that looks like glass. This material is clear enough to see through, incredibly thin, and snatches dust out of the air—all while seemingly evading the laws of classical physics to let the air flow unimpeded.

Graphene Patterned After Moth Eyes Could Give Us 'Smart Wallpaper' Graphene Patterned After Moth Eyes Could Give Us 'Smart Wallpaper'

Tweaking the structure of graphene so that it matches patterns found in the eyes of moths could one day give us “smart wallpaper,” among a host of other useful technologies.

New Video Series Explains Why Woodpeckers Are Built To Peck New Video Series Explains Why Woodpeckers Are Built To Peck

Fans of woodpeckers and materials science will be thrilled to hear that MIT has just released a series of eight short-form videos explaining how woodpeckers can bang their heads against trees all day without suffering major brain trauma — or even getting so much as a headache.

This Scientist Is Turning Every Element In the Periodic Table Into Music This Scientist Is Turning Every Element In the Periodic Table Into Music

Materials scientists typically rely on their eyes to analyze data, but soon they could employ their ears as well. Setting the motions of molecules to music can help scientists identify hidden patterns in their data that might otherwise be too small, or occur over such short time scales that they’re easily missed by…

Now We Know How Many Ways We Can Arrange 128 Tennis Balls Now We Know How Many Ways We Can Arrange 128 Tennis Balls

Here’s a question worthy of the ball boy at Wimbledon: if you have 128 tennis balls packed into a container, how many different ways can you arrange them? Answer: 10250 — more than the entire number of subatomic particles in the universe.

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