science
Why are We So Bad at Recycling Rare Metals From Technology?

Last month, the internet flew into a frenzy over news that Apple recovered £27 million worth of gold from old gadgets last year. That story turned out to be wildly oversold. But our eagerness to celebrate a tech company’s recycling victory speaks to a disturbing truth. Read More >>

science
Microbot Navy Might Swim About Absorbing Lead from the Sea

Scientists have come up with a new potential use for both graphene and little robots, suggesting that a fleet of "graphene oxide-based microbots" might one day swim around everywhere, hoovering up all the chemicals we spew into the world. Read More >>

robotics
Foam Metal Could Make Terminator 2-Style, Shape-Shifting Robots

A new form of metal that combines both rigid bits and soft bits has been demonstrated by technicians at Cornell University, who make the outlandish claim that it might one day be used to transform aeroplane wings in mid-flight. Read More >>

science
A New Technique Can Weld Together Un-Weldable Materials

In recent decades, scientists have created ever-stronger metals — but the techniques used to weld them often ruin the materials' molecular properties. Now, a team has developed a way to weld together these previously un-weldable materials. Read More >>

aircraft
Microlattice Air Metal Could be the Next Big Thing in Aeroplane Design

A new method of building metal things that only weigh as much as foam things is being instigated by the tube-makers at Boeing, who claim that their new "microlattice" metal structures have all the strength of traditional metal but virtually none of the weight. Read More >>

robots
Special Metal Feet Let This Robot Walk Around a Hot Frying Pan Forever

Blending different metals together produces an alloy, but layering them instead creates a bimetal that often has unique properties. In this case, bimetal feet allow a tiny robot to walk across hot surfaces, without the need for any other power sources. Read More >>

apple watch
The Crazy Metallurgy Apple is Using to Sell its Watch

Yesterday, Apple announced two things about its Apple Watch: the day you can buy it, and the money you'll fork over for it. But we also, somewhat unexpectedly, heard a lot about the material science behind the Watch too. Read More >>

environment
Is There a Cleaner Way to Make Metals?

Making metal is a dirty business, and we don't just mean in terms of getting your hands dirty. Creating useable metals from the ores that are dug from the ground is a heavily polluting endeavour. It might be about to get a whole lot cleaner. Read More >>

science
Scientists Have Created the Heaviest Metal Ever: Ununseptium

An international team of researchers has just published a paper confirming the existence of element number 117—ununseptium. It's the heaviest element ever created, with an atom of ununseptium outweighing an atom of lead by 40 per cent. Make some room on your periodic table, there's a new metal in town. Read More >>

science
The Latest Mining Boom? Plants That Eat Metal and Scrub the Soil Clean

Plants that eat metal sound like a biological impossibility. But these hungry little guys exist, sucking tiny bits of toxic metal from the soil. They don't just clean the Earth, either—they can actually mine bits of gold and nickel for use by humans. Read More >>

watch this
This Wire-Bending Machine is Stupefyingly Clever

Seriously. Watching this awesome machine bend wires in different shapes puts my brain into deep whadafuhhh mode. The manufacturer claims it is the fastest wire bending machine in the world. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's unreal. Read More >>

uncategorized
Apple: Our Supplies (Largely) Don’t Come From War Zones

Apple has just published its supplier responsibility report, which audits its contract workers who produce and assemble hardware in factories outside the US. Read More >>

Gold Nuggets
science
There’s Gold In Them Earthquakes

While everyone's having a rocking good bad time up top, big things are happening deep underground as an earthquake strikes. Of course, minerals from the Earth's core are known to seep out, but now scientists have discovered that gold veins are actually formed instantaneously due to a massive drop in pressure as an earthquake rumbles on. Read More >>

security
Thames Water Adding “SmartWater” Forensic Tags to its Valuable Infrastructure

In an attempt to lessen the £1.2m the company loses each year from thieves nicking lumps of its pipework, cabling, roofing and gratings, Thames Water is starting to tag its hardware, so those who nick it can be caught. Read More >>