The Mantis Shrimp Inspires a New Material—Made by Bacteria

The Mantis Shrimp Inspires a New Material—Made by Bacteria

To its prey on the seafloor, the mantis shrimp is known as “death incarnate”—the crustacean cocks back its two hammer-like appendages under its face, releasing them with such force that they obliterate clam shells , one of the toughest materials in nature.

Nature Makes Wood. Could a Lab Make It Better?

Nature Makes Wood. Could a Lab Make It Better?

“The cells are suspended within this gel scaffold, and, over time, they grow and develop to fill out the scaffold volume and also transform into the cell types we’re interested in,” Beckwith says.

How This Teeny-Tiny Sea Critter Punches Like Mike Tyson

How This Teeny-Tiny Sea Critter Punches Like Mike Tyson

But how much energy can the amphipod store in the material that makes up its claw, and how far can it push that material before it fails?“Well, the answer is, the way to get the most energy out of the material is to break it, like to take it all the way to failure,” says Patek.

How Steel Might Finally Kick Its Coal Habit

How Steel Might Finally Kick Its Coal Habit

Boston Metal, an outfit spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, uses electric currents to heat iron ore into a bright orange-white liquid, which converts into metal and cools as gray steel blocks.Testing and scaling technologies that remove the emissions from steelmaking isn’t the only challenge to decarbonizing the building material.

How NASA Scrambled to Save OSIRIS-REx From Leaky Disaster

How NASA Scrambled to Save OSIRIS-REx From Leaky Disaster

Another possibility, given the surprisingly viscous surface material, is that the regolith’s soft, malleable rocks wedged into the Mylar flap opening and weren’t able to make it all the way into the head, Moreau says.

This Squishy 3D-Printed Human Heart Feels Like the Real Thing

This Squishy 3D-Printed Human Heart Feels Like the Real Thing

But instead of it extruding it into air, as a normal 3D printer might do when building something out of plastic, this extrudes the ersatz heart into a container of support gel, specifically gelatin.“The analogy I have is: Imagine you were printing inside of hair gel,” says Feinberg.

Give These Apps Some Notes and They'll Write Emails for You

Give These Apps Some Notes and They'll Write Emails for You

“Billions of people write email,” says Shuffet, a cocreator of Compose.VWO, which helps companies measure the performance of marketing content, has tested GPT-3 against human-written material for clients including travel site .

The iPhone 12 Ships Without a Charger. Will It Curb E-Waste?

The iPhone 12 Ships Without a Charger. Will It Curb E-Waste?

That number will continue to spike up to 74 million metric tons by 2030, almost double the amount recorded in 2014.E-waste, which includes batteries, appliances, phones, screens, and cables, might seem like junk at the end of its lifecycle to the people tossing it out, but those items contain traces of valuable components like iron, copper, and gold.

Robots Are Stringing Together These Adidas Running Shoes

Robots Are Stringing Together These Adidas Running Shoes

Strung," the technology sees a robot quickly place more than a thousand individual threads at mind-bending angles across the material part of the shoe.“There have basically been two ways to make a textile: there's weaving, and there's knitting,” says Fionn Corcoran-Tadd, an innovation designer at Adidas’ Futurecraft lab, where Strung was created.

Scientists May Have Found a Material for Building on Mars

Scientists May Have Found a Material for Building on Mars

And back in March, a paper by an international team of scientists suggested that astronauts setting up a base on the moon could use the urea in their urine as a plasticizer to create a concrete-like building material out of lunar soil.

Hey Students! Here's How to Deal With School in a Pandemic

Hey Students! Here's How to Deal With School in a Pandemic

You might think some other communication (like a Slack channel) would help, but in my experience it still takes a significant effort to get all the students to use a new system.It takes extra time to get things working for remote classes.

Platforms' Election 'Fixes' Are Rooted in Flawed Philosophy

Platforms' Election 'Fixes' Are Rooted in Flawed Philosophy

Three and a half years ago, as the country came to understand the outsize role of social media manipulation in electing Donald Trump, you might have imagined that by the next time around the major platforms would have profoundly changed the way politics is conducted online and come to grips with essential design flaws.

Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries a Cure for Nuclear Waste?

Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries a Cure for Nuclear Waste?

To power something that energy hungry, he says, means “the mass of the battery would be significantly greater than the mass of the vehicle.” Instead, the company is looking at applications where it is either impossible or impractical to regularly change a battery, such as sensors in remote or hazardous locations at nuclear waste repositories or on satellites.

On the Moon, Astronaut Pee Will Be a Hot Commodity

On the Moon, Astronaut Pee Will Be a Hot Commodity

The resulting material is a geopolymer, which has similar properties to concrete and could potentially be used to build landing pads, habitats, and other structures on the moon.Lunar regolith has chemical similarities to fly ash, which makes geopolymers an attractive option for building stuff on the moon.

This Lab ‘Cooks’ With AI to Make New Materials

This Lab ‘Cooks’ With AI to Make New Materials

Sargent’s team discovered new ingredients for making ethylene by using new AI and supercomputer-driven techniques that have been gaining popularity among materials scientists in the past decade.Ted Sargent uses electrical setups like these to chemically upgrade carbon dioxide into useful materials at the University of Toronto.

Want to Study Permafrost? Get It Before It's Gone

Want to Study Permafrost? Get It Before It's Gone

The bone of a steppe bison, a large Arctic ungulate that went extinct about 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, rests in the hard peat.

A New, Plastic-Busting Enzyme Can Break Down Water Bottles

A New, Plastic-Busting Enzyme Can Break Down Water Bottles

For natural materials, breaking down isn't an issue, as microbes have evolved ways of digesting them to obtain energy or useful chemicals.The microbes that currently digest PET break down that ring as well, making them unsuitable for recycling.

Climate change content for school kids gets revamp

Climate change content for school kids gets revamp

Young New Zealanders can now access the most up-to-date educational material about the science of climate change and its impacts on Aotearoa thanks to NIWA’s new web section: .

The Next Generation of Batteries Could Be Built by Viruses

The Next Generation of Batteries Could Be Built by Viruses

Although it's not the only virus that can be used for nanoengineering, Belcher says it works well because its genetic material is easy to manipulate.

Building High-Rises Out of Wood Can Help Save the Planet

Building High-Rises Out of Wood Can Help Save the Planet

“You end up with a basically a sheet of wood that is, in its size and the way you use it when you engineer or design with it, very similar to a slab of concrete,” says Michael Ramage, director of the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at the University of Cambridge, who wasn’t involved in this new work.

Acidifying Oceans Could Eat Away at Sharks' Skin and Teeth

Acidifying Oceans Could Eat Away at Sharks' Skin and Teeth

They found that on average, a quarter of the denticles on the sharks in acidic water were damaged, compared to 9.2 percent on the controls.

Anti-Deepfake Law in California Is Far Too Feeble

Anti-Deepfake Law in California Is Far Too Feeble

Because of the high burden of proof to determine actual malice, a lengthy review process will likely ensue and allow the deepfake to continue to spread.

This Clever Gel Works Like a Vaccine for Wildfires

This Clever Gel Works Like a Vaccine for Wildfires

A typical fire retardant dropped from a plane, like the inorganic salt ammonium polyphosphate, or APP, works by sticking to the surface of vegetation and binding to carbon, creating a char layer that is resistant to burning.

Eyeless worm a window into our diverse ocean

Eyeless worm a window into our diverse ocean

NIC manager Sadie Mills says staff on research vessels and fisheries observers use identification guides to help them to identify common species and over the past few years have become much more proficient at what they do.

New Designs Could Boost Solar Cells Beyond Their Limits

New Designs Could Boost Solar Cells Beyond Their Limits

This process is known as exciton fission and means that the solar cell is able to use high energy photons from the blue-green part of the visible spectrum. Baldo says that using tetracene could bump the theoretical energy efficiency limit up to 35 percent—higher than was ever thought possible for single-junction cells.

Magnetic Materials Help Explain How Arctic Ice Melts

Magnetic Materials Help Explain How Arctic Ice Melts

"Somehow by hanging out with those people in melt ponds, seeing all these images, it struck me that they look like pictures I'd seen of the Ising model," says Golden.

New Balance's Latest Shoes Come With 3D-Printed Soles

New Balance's Latest Shoes Come With 3D-Printed Soles

For these reasons, shoe companies have been actively experimenting with materials to replace EVA.Two years ago, running shoe giant New Balance teamed up with Somerville, Massachusetts–based 3D-printing company Formlabs to develop a new type of sole.

The Psychological Impact of Seeing YouTubers Spend Millions

The Psychological Impact of Seeing YouTubers Spend Millions

YouTubers like Tana Mongeau, Jeffree Star, and Jake Paul have turned showing off wealth into its own genre.

How Facial Recognition Is Fighting Child Sex Trafficking

How Facial Recognition Is Fighting Child Sex Trafficking

Tom Simonite covers artificial intelligence for WIRED.Using Amazon’s facial recognition technology, Spotlight quickly returned a list of online sex ads featuring the girl’s photo. Thorn has previously built language processing tools to help law enforcement officers find child abuse content on the dark web.

Distant Neutron Stars Could Reveal the Quirks of Quarks

Distant Neutron Stars Could Reveal the Quirks of Quarks

When the Large Hadron Collider smashes lead ions together, the collisions regularly reach temperatures of 5.5 trillion degrees Celsius, or 10,000 times hotter than the core of the sun.