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The scientists were able to confirm the 7.68 oz (217.78 g) specimen as a single-crystal pi...

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the US have confirmed a 7.68 oz (217.78 g) piece of gold is in fact a singular crystal, increasing its value from around US$10,000 to an estimated $1.5 million. The specimen, the largest single crystal piece of gold in the world, was discovered in Venezuela decades ago, but it is only by using advanced probing instruments that experts can now verify its authenticity.  Read More

The new self-healing system features 3D vascular networks that release healing agents when...

We've seen numerous examples of self-healing polymers that allow materials to repair themselves after being damaged. One of the more common approaches involves the use of embedded microcapsules that release a healing agent when damaged. Researchers have expanded on this idea to develop a new technique that brings self-healing capabilities to fiber-reinforced composite materials, like those used in airplanes and automobiles.  Read More

The framework construction made of a ceramic-polymer composite created at KIT (Picture: J....

Researchers in Germany have developed a lightweight, high-strength material inspired by the framework structure of bones and wood and the shell structure of bees' honeycombs. Created using 3D laser polymer printing combined with a ceramic coating, the material is less dense than water but, relative to its size, boasts strength comparable to high-performance steel or aluminum.  Read More

Paint scratches like this could be healed using KIT's new technology   (Photo: Shutterstoc...

Researchers at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a self-healing polymer that can mend itself and fully restore its mechanical properties in just a few minutes when heated at low temperatures. The material could be used to create self-repairing sealants, scratch-resistant paints, and more reliable fiber-reinforced plastic components.  Read More

Peugeot shows the EXALT concept before its debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show

Picking up where it left off with the Onyx Concept, one of our choices for best concepts of 2012, Peugeot has revealed another sporty concept car that gets creative in the materials department. Like the Onyx, the EXALT concept catches the eye with a multi-material body that includes a healthy portion of bare metal.  Read More

Researchers from Iowa State University are the latest to shift their focus to the area of ...

The advantages of durable, long-lasting electronics are well established and, indeed, desirable in electronic devices large and small. But in what scenario would you want a device to dissolve away leaving no trace? The truth is, from military to medicine, "transient electronics" has a great many potential applications. The latest research team to shift its focus to this emerging field is a group from Iowa State University, which is developing materials that can melt away when remotely triggered.  Read More

DARPA's new Biological Technologies Office division aims to 'merge biology, engineering, a...

From robotics to optics and forgery prevention to solar cells, biomimicry has proven fertile ground for researchers. Recognizing nature's potential in the development of new technologies, DARPA has announced the establishment of the Biological Technologies Office (BTO), a new division that aims to "merge biology, engineering, and computer science to harness the power of natural systems for national security."  Read More

A new Perovskite solar cell has been found have light absorbing and light emitting propert...

When looking for the best materials with which to construct a solar cell, the obvious preference is for one that absorbs light, not emits it. But researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have discovered a material that does both. Amongst a variety of potential applications, the researchers say the material, Perovskite, opens up the possibility of mobile devices with displays that double as solar cells.  Read More

The Quiet Treehouse is currently installed at this year's Ideal Home Show in Earl's Court,...

Luxury treehouse manufacturer Blue Forest has teamed up with noise abatement specialist Quiet Mark and UK retailer John Lewis to produce the Quiet Treehouse. Constructed for this year's Ideal Home Show, the cosy retreat packed with noise-reduction technology and low-noise home appliances. Once the show is over, it will be installed in the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, West Sussex.  Read More

“Stick insects have developed an ingenious way of overcoming the conflict between attachme...

Could studying the slow moving stick insect help Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt cover 100 meters faster? Researchers at Cambridge believe it could. It's all to do with sticky toes versus hairy toes.  Read More

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