3M Reinvents Bubble Wrap, Promises to Reduce Shipping Materials By Half

Despite repeatedly being called out for the practice, online stores like Amazon are still occasionally getting caught shipping tiny items in comically oversized boxes. It’s wasteful, it reduces the amount of cargo a truck can carry, and it inspired 3M to redesign bubble wrap to greatly reduce the packaging needed to ship smaller items. Read More >>

It Is Kind of Shocking Who is Doing Some of the Most Interesting Stuff in Laptops Right Now

There are things I associate HP with: printers, instant ink, and inexpensive enterprise computers. Oh, and very interesting laptop design. I know, it’s weird. Read More >>

Lunar Colonists May Make Bricks From Moon Dust and Sunlight

Scientists with the European Space Agency have shown that it’s possible to make durable bricks using simulated Moon dust and concentrated sunlight. A similar approach may eventually allow lunar colonists to 3D-print their own habitats and structures using materials found on the Moon. Read More >>

That Crumpled Sweet 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. Read More >>

This UV-Light Controlled Adhesive Could Help Ordinary Humans Become Spiderman

In the future, we’re all going to be Spiderman. At least, those of us who can afford super-sticky light-controlled wall-climbing spider boots. Read More >>

Amazing Crab Goo May Save Your Life One Day

The next time you go in for surgery, you might come out thanking a crab. New research from the Harvard Wyss Institute shows that chitosan, a fancy term for crustacean goo, can be used as a biodegradable glue to heal wounds and patch surgical incisions. Read More >>

Making a Surfboard By Hand Looks Satisfying As Hell

I really enjoyed watching this surfboard get made by hand because, well, I love watching anything get made by hand. Read More >>

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Does Listening to This Pink Kinetic Sand Give You the Tingles?

Kinetic sand is a freaky-looking substance made of 98 per cent sand and 2 percent silicone oil, so it sticks to itself, but won’t stick to anything else. It’s like an especially granular type of dough, and you can watch — and hear — the stuff in action in a new short “trigger” video from The ASMR Circus. Read More >>

How Aluminium Changed the World

Aluminium started as one of the world’s most expensive materials because it was difficult to refine—even though it made up 8 per cent of the world’s crust. But eventually aluminium became one of the cheapest materials after methods of mass producing it were invented in the 1880s. It went from $1200/£907 per kilogram down to a $1/£0.76 in 50 years. Read More >>

Amazing Spider Silk Continues to Surprise Scientists

We already know that spider silk is something of a wonder material, but scientists are still discovering more awesome things that it can do. An international team of researchers has found that spider silk shares a useful property with semiconductors—except rather than exploiting this to manipulate electrons, it can be used to manipulate sound and heat. Read More >>

The Maths Behind the Perfect Climbing Rope

Rock and mountain climbers rely on strong, yet elastic ropes to keep them safe should they happen to fall. Now mathematicians at the University of Utah have come up with an equation to design an ideal climbing rope—one that would be safer and more durable. They described this perfect rope, and a promising class of materials that might be used to make it, in a recent paper in the Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology. Read More >>

Here’s Van Gogh’s Starry Night Recreated with ‘DNA Origami’

Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night seems to have a special appeal for scientists, who have recreated it using bacteria, among other media, in the past. Now scientists at Caltech have made their own tiny version of the painting — the width of ten pence piece across — out of folded DNA molecules. Some day the same technique could be used to build teensy biosensors, or for targeted drug delivery. Read More >>

How Graphene Is Made

It’s so interesting to watch the magic material that is graphene get made, because you can’t really see a damn thing. It’s totally transparent and only one atom thick, so it’s basically creating invisibility with the help of other materials. Read More >>

Physicists Turn the Cheerios Effect Inside Out 

We’ve all noticed how those last few Cheerios in the cereal bowl seem to cluster together in the centre and along the edges. It’s called the “Cheerios effect.” Now an international team of physicists has discovered a reverse Cheerios effect. They described their results in a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read More >>

Super-Thin Silk Coating Keeps Fruit Fresh for Over a Week

A lot of fresh fruit and vegetables spoil between the farm and your mouth. But a team of Tufts University, Massachusetts, researchers has developed a silk coating that could help keep fruit from turning without the need for refrigeration. Read More >>